Posted on March 28, 2019 by admin
HARTFORD — The legislative majority approved a two-year contract yesterday for newly unionized lawyers working for State Attorney General William Tong that includes raises costing the state an additional $3.3 million starting in the second year. State Representative J.P. Sredzinski (R-112) voted against it.
“At a time when we are facing a multibillion-dollar deficit and proposed middle class tax hikes by the governor, a decision like this just makes Connecticut’s long-term fiscal problems worse. We cannot spend our way out of this problem,” said Rep. Sredzinski. “This contract is not an example of the structural change our governor promised. Connecticut is becoming a more expensive place to live and run a business. Majority leaders had an opportunity to show Connecticut residents that their caucus is willing to make a responsible decision yesterday. Unfortunately, they instead chose to side with the arbitrators, increasing spending by millions more. However, I want to acknowledge that some House Democrats voted with the Republicans in sending a message that Connecticut cannot afford this agreement, which gives me some hope as we get to the intense budget season ahead of us.”
The contract was decided through arbitration earlier this week. Now that it has been approved by the legislature, it will grant base salary increases of up to 5.5 percent each year (totaling 11 percent in two years) to roughly 200 newly unionized attorneys. In addition to a no-layoff agreement, everyone from the Assistant Attorney General to department heads will also receive a $2,000 lump sum bonus. On top of the $2,000 bonus, however department heads will also receive an added bonus of $18,000 over two years. While this group of Assistant Attorneys General have not seen much of a salary increase in the past several years, many felt that this award was simply too generous at this time.
The agreement was approved by votes of 77-67 in the House and 19-17 in the Senate. It covers at least 185 Assistant Attorneys General, including 14 that serve as department heads, whose average annual salaries will be increased to nearly $133,500.