Connecticut Unions Prefer Layoffs to Pay Freeze

Here is yet another example of the unrealistic, self-defeating obstinacy of rank-and-file public union workers: In Connecticut, AFSCME and other public unions voted down a proposal negotiated over many months that contained a “no layoff” clause for 4 years in return for a pay freeze for 2 years.

That was an amazingly generous offer. The state was silly to offer it. Nonetheless, Union Deal Shot Down; Malloy Pledges To Cut Close To 7,500 State Workers

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday that he was moving “full steam ahead” with plans to lay off 7,500 state employees, as leaders of the AFSCME union announced that their members had officially rejected a savings and concession deal that would have given them layoff protection for four years.

The administration has ruled out a renegotiation with the unions because the multi-faceted agreement took months of intense negotiations and compromises to complete. Malloy said he and his budget team intend to release layoff notices “as soon as possible” to balance the budget.

“I have a big job to do, and we’re going to do it,” Malloy told reporters Friday. “Listen, I don’t want to be laying off 7,500 people or more. I think it’s bad for the economy. I think it’s bad public policy.”

Reflections on Good Public Policy

Malloy was elected governor primarily on the back of votes from labor unions. That explains the sweetheart deal offer. Union stupidity explains why the deal was rejected.

A good deal for taxpayers in Connecticut would be to get rid of unions, not guarantee no layoffs for 4 years.

Malloy says “Listen, I don’t want to be laying off 7,500 people or more. I think it’s bad for the economy. I think it’s bad public policy.”

Mish says laying off 7,500 public union workers is good public policy and good for the economy. Indeed, firing 100% of them would be the ultimate in good public policy.

There is not a damn thing that public unions workers can do cheaper or better than private industry. Taxpayers foot the bill for the difference.

About the author: Mike “Mish” Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management. His top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis offers insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education. Every Thursday he does a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis he contributes to many other websites, including UnionWatch.

2 replies
  1. N. Cat says:

    Yeah, coming from the private sector, I am dumbfounded at the way some rank and file members voted no. I’ve only had this state job in CT for several months, not years, and I expect to be one of the first let go. If I didn’t have to join a union after getting hired, I wouldn’t, but opting out meant instead of dues deducted from my salary I would get the same amount deducted anyway for “administrative costs”. For the record, I voted yes. It was a no-brainer to do so. I’ll find out next week if I still have job. I don’t want your sympathy but I don’t deserved to be vilified either because of guilt by association of what the other members did.

  2. Tough Love says:

    It’s pretty obvious what drove the decision not to accept the wage freeze. You see, most unions are controlled by the most senior long-service workers nearing retirement. All they care about is maximizing THEIR OWN pension. A pay freeze means a smaller pension.

    Throwing their associates “under the bus” is of no concern.

    We’re going to see a LOT more infighting as short and long service actives, and retirees battle for the spoils once it becomes clear there won’t be enough money to meet all promised benefits.

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