165 state employees laid off on Monday - WFSB 3 Connecticut

165 state employees laid off on Monday

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The governor said that layoffs started on Monday. (WFSB) The governor said that layoffs started on Monday. (WFSB)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced more layoffs on Monday as 165 state employees received pink slips on Monday morning.   

The governor said there could be as many as 2,000 employees laid off as the job-reduction plans for a small number of state agencies have been approved.

"I don't want to cause panic," Malloy said. "But, we're talking about a substantial number of layoffs. "

On Monday, there were layoffs from two Connecticut agencies. In total, there was 165 layoffs from Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Department of Children and Families on Monday.

There were 59 DMHAS workers that received pink slips, which is expected to save $15 million. However, it was a much bigger cut at DCF. There were 106 DCF workers that received pink slips, which is expected to save more than $12 million. The layoffs included union and non-union workers.

"There are a series of programs we are curtailing or reducing effort on within the Department of Children and Families," Ben Barnes, who is Malloy's budget chief, said. "Most of the layoffs are at the juvenile training school."

A supervisor at the training school said "the relationships that our staff have built with the kids is being torn apart and vital services are being disrupted. Once again, it's the poor and middle class who suffer. "

Last week, the Department of Correction commissioner Scott Semple sent a memo to workers that stated as many as 147 workers could lose their jobs due to the budget issues. That number is lower than projected.

The governor and legislative leaders have been struggling to balance a budget and close a projected $900 million deficit. State worker wages, salaries and pensions make up 40 percent of the state budget.

"This is not about punishing state employees, but the reality is our budget is not sustainable. It’s not their fault. This has been going on for many years,” Minority Leader Themis Klarides said. “I don't think there has been a good union negotiation in many years."

The concern is what happens to these workers and the communities they live in. 

"People are getting by. Nobody is getting wealthy on a salary theses days," State Rep. Ed Vargas said. "Expenses are rising, people who have college-aged kids are going through a tough time. If they have aging parents, tough time money goes out the window and if you don't have a job." 

The concern also is that while these state workers may be taken off the state payroll, it will still cost the state money because of unemployment and local businesses will be hurt because people will have less money.

Union leaders have been dealing with these layoffs and so far they have not commented.

For the fact sheet on Executive Branch workforce reductions, click here.

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