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Yankee Institute Statement on State Employee Pay Raises

A contractual wage increase for unionized state employees — totaling roughly $353 million — officially went into effect today, as Connecticut faces an unprecedented unemployment and budgetary crisis. Governor Lamont and the General Assembly have chosen once again to cower in the face of special interest groups instead of upholding fairness for taxpayers.  

Even as Gov. Lamont closed 36,000 private sector businesses and threw 500,000 people out of work by executive order this spring, he has claimed he lacks any power even to delay the state workforce’s second 5.5% wage increase in two years.  

While businesses deemed “nonessential” were forced to close and their employees filed for unemployment benefits, nonessential employees who work for the state continued to receive pay and benefits. Now they’re getting a raise. 
 
All of this is more evidence of Connecticut’s government unions’ stranglehold over state government.  

Gov. Lamont should have done what’s right and taken the steps that he knows are necessary to put this state on the right path to recovery. Instead, his statements prove state government unions are so powerful – and their perks so ironclad – that no elected leader dares alter them, even in a time of crisis.  

The Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn has imposed enormous financial and social strain on families and businesses. As a result, Connecticut will confront multiple challenges, including much lower tax revenue coupled with massive budget deficits, increased unemployment for those who have been put out of work and increased Medicaid costs to help those in need.

These extensive costs will inevitably fall upon the taxpayers of Connecticut in the future. Ironically, those the governor has forced out of work will pay for the wage increases of state workers. 

All the people of Connecticut – including those working for the government – are in this together and these profoundly uncertain times require shared sacrifice by all, including government.

It is wrong that Connecticut’s elected officials continue to choose powerful special interest over taxpayers. Yankee Institute demands more from those who represent us, and so should you.  Click here to tell your lawmakers that you demand fairness.

Statement attributable to Carol Platt Liebau, President of Yankee Institute

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(11) Comments

  1. Thad Stewart

    July 2, 2020 7:09 pm

    There is one thing we know about unions. They were necessary in the 1920’s and 1930’s. By the 1950’s they were nothing more than a machine of corruption and organized CRIME. The unions need to be dissolved and fair bidding needs to make a comeback. For the people who believed that the unions had their best interests at hand, well, they lined their pockets at your expense and laughed all the way to the bank. It is ridiculous to think that the middle class taxpayer has to be on the hook for promises that were never sustainable from the time the ink was still wet. Beware of the snake oil merchant telling you what you want to hear. Live and learn.

  2. Tommy Hinds

    July 2, 2020 1:56 pm

    I too like to point the finger at other mostly middle income people and not at the systematic issues like insane charge book costs in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities or the incredible lack of support from the federal government.

    Shouldn’t our outrage be placed not at the fact that the government failed at its ability to aid those out of work due to emergency circumstances by a total abandonment of the Keynesian ideas (those very ideas supported by previous leaders like Richard Nixon)? The issue is not the raises but the fact that others are not protected in the same way.

    Maybe we should focus more on what to do to lift the tide of all working and middle class to provide real opportunities and ingenuity instead of bending the knee to the stagnation of people like Carol and her ilk.

  3. Mike

    July 1, 2020 5:07 pm

    DCF Social Workers are the worst. They were placed as Essential Workers because of the situations they have to deal with but believe it or not about 10% of those workers are the ones who do the dirty work such as removals. I do not understand why they cried about increases knowing that they are protected by a big union bully. They cannot be fired even after the screw case after case, and they mandatary get raises. It is ridiculous.

  4. anonymous

    July 1, 2020 12:21 pm

    Taxpayers’ Money Matters. Impeach Governor Lamont!
    If anyone uses Union’s own measure, this increase in salaries will cost the tax payers $10.59 Billion over 30 years. Pension cost alone on this salary increase will be between $5 and $7 bilion. When CT is already drowning in debt, when kids have no computers, when 500,000 people do not have jobs…..

  5. Joan Polo

    July 1, 2020 11:02 am

    You are NOT TELLING THE REAL STORY.. If you READ & SAW what he actually said is: “he wanted to get the Raises Deferred.
    He can NOT Block what the Union decides. GET IT RIGHT.. I’m sick & tired of hearing THE LIES PEOPLE SAY.. then They Print it to Make Him Look Bad.. You in my book need a lesson is Saying it Like It Really Happened…
    If you didn’t hear it from the Persons Mouth… DON’T REPEAT IT!

    • Joan Polo

      July 1, 2020 11:04 am

      bull, I did put my comments & required fields as marked *.. So don’t give me that Bull. I’m going to tell everyone about this. I already have told
      about 10 people.

      • mario

        July 1, 2020 4:56 pm

        I’m telling everyone also. Lamont could have prevented the raise by threatening to fire 5.5% of the state’s (bloated) labor force.

  6. Lou

    July 1, 2020 8:44 am

    Can Lamont be recalled can injunction be filed to overturn these executive order

    • Elizabeth Henderson

      July 1, 2020 12:15 pm

      The state workers, through their union, have a contract, and Lamont does not have the power to override that contract. Is it this kind of raise inappropriate at this point in time? Yes. But the finger should be pointed at the union, who could make concessions if they want to. Don’t blame it on the governor.

  7. Frederick Fritz

    July 1, 2020 8:41 am

    The combination of wages and benefits that State Employees reap over a life time of state employment are way out of proportion to those that typical employees in the private sector obtain over their working careers . Considering the unemployment and budget crisis we are experiencing with thousands of CT employees that have lost their jobs in the private sector with no hope that their job will ever come back, I strongly disagree with this wage increase.

    Again, the strength of special interest groups in this country conquers over fairness to the general tax payer’s needs who in the end pay all these expenses. Is it any wonder that there is civil uprising in this country, and throughout the world, when those in control take care of themselves first rather than what is good for all.

  8. Don fontaine

    July 1, 2020 7:42 am

    Terrible

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