Connecticut to lay off 328 in initial wave of job cuts
HARTFORD - Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s administration will lay off 328 state employees - most of them Department of Correction workers - in a first wave of job cuts aimed at balancing the Connecticut state budget, officials said yesterday.
Roughly 6,500 layoff notices will go out over the coming weeks as part of a plan to close a gap in the state’s two-year, $40.1 billion budget, said Benjamin Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. The jobs are expected to be cut unless a stalled labor concessions deal can be salvaged.
“All agencies that are involved are going to be hard pressed to provide the same level of service after these layoffs have been implemented as they have before,’’ Barnes said.
The first wave includes layoffs since June 1. Barnes said his office will continue issuing hundreds of layoff notices every week until they reached about 6,500 job cuts, the number needed to balance the budget.
Correction is taking the brunt of these first layoffs, losing 222 jobs. Officials said most of those positions come from the Bergin Correctional Institution in Mansfield, which is due to close in August. The Enfield Correctional Institution is also to be shut down in October.
The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is losing 89 jobs. The remaining cuts are from three other agencies.
Union leaders, who represent about 45,000 workers, have been struggling to find a way to avoid the layoffs after the membership rejected a labor savings deal last month that Malloy was relying on to close a $1.6 billion budget shortfall. Legislation passed during a special session gives union leaders until Aug. 31 to ratify an agreement.