New jobs found for 22 facing layoff at Labor Department

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration reported Thursday that it has placed 22 of the 95 state Department of Labor employees given layoff notices earlier this summer in other, vacant state jobs.

The governor’s budget office also said that another three workers have accepted layoffs. That leaves 70 workers whose final status has yet to be determined.

Malloy, who announced the layoffs in July, citing declining federal funding, has said his administration would seek to place as many of these workers as possible in vacant positions.

“This is the first step in finding placements for workers affected by the federal cuts,” the governor’s budget director, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes, said. “The employees from the Department of Labor have done a great job there, and we are fortunate to be able to bring their talents to other positions.”

The administration added that the state Office of Labor Relations and the Department of Administrative Services are continuing to search for alternative positions for those facing layoff.

The layoffs are part of a larger administration plan to downsize the Labor Department. That plan also contemplates closing five of the 11 regional job centers run by department staff, one of two other job centers run by private contractors, and merging two call centers into one.

Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents most of the affected Labor Department workers, has argued all of these changes would decimate the agency.

“We appreciate the efforts of the administration to find landing spots in other state agencies” for workers facing layoff, Council 4 spokesman Larry Dorman said Thursday. “The bigger problem and the bigger picture is the dismantling of the Department of Labor itself. We are worried about the end product being a dysfunctional Labor Department that is unable to meet its commitment to Connecticut’s workers and to the unemployed as well.”

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