Democrats, Republicans speak out following employee unions’ concession agreement

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HARTFORD – State GOP leaders are speaking out after state worker unions approved a labor concessions package that’s expected to provide $1.5 billion in savings over the next two years.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy said it’s now up to the General Assembly to approve the deal that his administration negotiated earlier this year.

The concessions package is considered crucial to eventually reaching an agreement on an overdue, new, two-year state budget.

Among other things, the agreement provides workers with four years of job security in return for a two-year hard wage freeze and higher insurance premiums and pension contributions.

Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman released the following statement:

Governor Malloy said, “When we asked labor to come to the table and be part of the solution, our state workers answered the call. This agreement contains significant short-term savings that will be the foundation of a responsible, balanced budget. More importantly, the agreement delivers over 20 billion dollars in savings to taxpayers over the long term and ensures that the promises we make to our employees today are promises that we can afford to keep. They agreed to historic concessions that will put the state on a sustainable path.

“State unions held up their end of the bargain – negotiating in good faith, leading their members through some tough changes, and ultimately rallying their members. Now, it’s up to the legislature to do their part and approve this agreement. We will continue to be available to meet with any legislator who may have questions about the value and significance of this agreement.

“Again, I offer my thanks to state employees for their affirmative adoption of these new agreements, and I commend the SEBAC leadership for the countless hours working in partnership with the Office of Labor Relations. Discussions were not always easy, but both sides worked through it and Connecticut will be better off for their effort.”

Lt. Governor Wyman said, “I want to thank our state employees and union leaders for their trust and their partnership. Connecticut has very difficult budget decisions to make, but their willingness to make concessions for the greater good of the state and its people puts us in a better position than we were, and reaffirms our mutual respect. State workers are the engine of state government, and we appreciate their commitment to Connecticut.”