Hartford, Conn. (WTNH) - That huge concession deal being brokered between the unions and the Malloy administration may be on the verge of collapse.
The first of 15 unions has shot down the labor savings and concessions needed to balance the $40.1 billion budget.
Voting on the concession deal began at the Enfield/Somers State Prison complex Wednesday, and it appears the fate of the entire deal depends on their votes.
This is the only group that rejected the concession deal with the Rell Administration two years ago, and other parts of this unit have already voted to reject the Malloy deal. On Tuesday, a unit made up of about 4,000 social service workers rejected the deal by a narrow margin. It makes rejection of the entire deal likely.
"Thousands of employees still have voting to do between now and the end of the day Friday," said Larry Dorman from the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition. When asked if he would admit that the prospect of passing the concession deal doesn't look very good, Dorman said, "Thousands of employees still have to vote. We have to respect, and we want to respect, and we will respect that process."
As of Wednesday, six unions have approved the deal, while one has rejected it. Fourteen of the fifteen unions must approve it, or the Governor says his layoff plans and other budget cuts will have to be implemented.
The Governor has said that if the deal with the unions falls through there would be an initial wave of 4,700 layoffs, leading to at least 7,500 over the next 24 months.
The Governor was in Washington on Wednesday, but Roy Occhiogrosso, his top adviser, said they are ready if the deal falls through. There will be no second chances.
"If the agreement doesn't pass, then the Governor will present the legislature with a plan to close what, at that point will be a deficit of somewhere between $700 and $800 million, and that is just for the first year. If the deal loses by a large margin in the voting at the prisons, the whole thing may be doomed.
Vote counting isn't expected to be completed until sometime Thursday night. After workers on the late shift have cast their ballots.
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