Posted on April 24, 2019 by admin
State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) yesterday voted to reject a contract that awards lavish salary increases and bonuses to a small group of unionized state employees working for the Department of Corrections.
The current contract – the fifth such contract for union workers this session – provides a 13% salary increase over the next two years and an additional $2,000 lump sum payout for Deputy Wardens in the Department of Corrections. The contract also stipulates that those union members who currently receive longevity payments – bonuses paid for long-serving state employees – will continue to receive them. With passage of this legislation, their average salaries will increase from $99,602 to $115,256 annually.
“I have concerns that state government continues to spend incredible amounts of money to reward small groups of unionized employees while most citizens of our state struggle to do more with less,” Rep. O’Neill said. “Connecticut’s economy still hasn’t recovered from the recession and the state budget is billions of dollars in deficit once again, yet the majority party in the legislature showed how tone deaf they are to the plight of regular citizens and rewarded a small group of already well-paid employees with $2,000 bonuses and incredible salary increases.”
The five contracts passed this session cover public defenders, Judicial branch employees, Assistant Attorney’s General and department heads, Department of Revenue Services tax attorneys and now, Deputy Wardens in the Department of Corrections. The contracts represent a $7.1 million annual hit to the state budget.
“At the same time the legislature approved spending more than $7 million on these raises and bonuses, the governor’s proposed budget includes tax and fee increases on bike helmets, text books, youth sports, garbage collection and more that total $6.8 million and will negatively affect lower and middle-income families,” Rep. O’Neill said. “Until we get the budget under control it’s wrong to spend millions on bonuses and raises, especially for employees who make six-figure salaries.”