State workers began voting Tuesday on a concessions deal brokered in May by Governor Dannel Malloy and state union leaders.
The deal would freeze wages for the next two fiscal years, but shield most state employees from layoffs. It would also extend the current benefits package for state workers an extra five years, to 2027.
While union leaders are urging workers to vote for the deal, ratification is not a given, according to Keith Phanuef, who writes about the state budget for The Connecticut Mirror.
“Let's keep in mind that they've been asked, with somewhat increasing frequency, to sacrifice,” Phaneuf said. “Then when you look into the fact that labor unions have been some of the most vocal advocates for developing a more progressive income tax system in Connecticut -- and what they're seeing, for the most part, is a strong push to shield the rich this time around, not to raise income tax rates. When they look at all of these taken together, I expect that a lot of the rank-and-file will say no, Connecticut needs to look in other places.”
The deal is expected to save the state $1.5 billion over the next two years, but Republican lawmakers and moderate Democrats in the General Assembly are opposed to it, and may vote to reject the deal if it is ratified.
Union voting is expected to be completed by Monday.