from a press release:
House Republican Leader Cafero Blasts Union ‘Giveaways’ as Absurd
Calls for Full Audit of Deal to Find Cost Savings
HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., today blasted the overly generous deal Gov. Malloy negotiated with state unions as a slap to taxpayers and predicted private sector workers will be outraged when they learn the details.
“Union leaders took Gov. Malloy and taxpayers who must pay for government employees’ salaries and benefits to the cleaners,’’ Cafero said. “Ironclad four-year guaranteed employment, extending the gold-plated health and pension plan for five more years and a minimum of nine percent pay hikes are no concessions. There is not even a wage freeze because no furlough days were included in this deal.’’
Cafero said it is still unclear what savings will be achieved and predicted the $1.6 billion Gov. Malloy claims the deal achieves will not materialize and that budget he signed May 4 is still not balanced. He said he believes that savings were arbitrarily built in to satisfy union leadership.
“And the whole deal was consummated just in time for the Democrats’ biggest fundraising event of the year,’’ Cafero said of the Democratic ball in Hartford Monday night.
Cafero said a complete audit by non-partisan experts is necessary to determine how much money might be saved in order to balance the budget. Cafero said at the very least an additional $400 million must be cut to comply with the constitutional requirements to have a balanced budget.
Among the remaining unanswered questions are how much savings are expected from the potential retirement of state workers this year? The elimination of current furlough plan means that state workers will receive a $24 million boost in pay immediately.
“We still have 9 percent unemployment in Connecticut and companies are hurting and Gov. Malloy agrees to a four-year no layoff provision and not even a single furlough day,’’ Cafero said. “Where are the savings coming from?’’
The agreement also allows labor to control future benefits and compensation and workplace conditions through a labor-management committee that will be established.
Democrats, including Malloy, have harshly criticized the deal former Gov. Rowland struck with labor over pensions and health care that won’t even expire for another six years and Malloy actually extended it for another five years beyond that.
“They made a bad deal that Connecticut taxpayers already cannot afford and made things much worse,’’ Cafero said.
The agreement also includes a Value Based Health System that will require state employees to get annual physicals or pay $100 per month more in premiums.