The campaign to win ratification of $1.6 billion in concessions and labor savings suffered its first setback Thursday with votes by two AFSCME locals to reject the tentative deal reached a month ago by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and a coalition of state employee unions.
AFSCME Local 749, representing about 1600 non-professional Judicial Department employees and criminal justice employees, rejected their leadership’s recommendation to acccept the tentative deal, becoming the first of 34 bargaining units to vote against ratification.
A labor source Thursday confirmed the rejection by the Judicial employees of Local 749, but the exact vote was unavailable. In another setback for ratification, an AFSCME local that represents a portion of a Corrections Department bargaining unit also voted no.
Local 1565 is one of three autonomous AFSCME locals that comprise NP-4, a bargaining unit representing 4,800 Correction employees, more than 10 percent of the unionized workforce of 45,000. Local 1565 has about 2,500 members.
Local 749 and NP-4 are two of nine bargaining units represented by AFSCME Council 4, one of the 15 unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition that negotiated a tentative deal with the Malloy Administration.
If more than one of the 15 unions votes against ratification, the deal is rejected, leading to mass layoffs of state workers and a return of the General Assembly in special session to craft a revised budget.
As one bargaining unit within AFSCME, the impact of Local 749’s rejection could not be easily assessed, especially since SEBAC is not commenting on results. One of the other two locals that comprise NP-4 is voting today, while the third casts votes next week.
“I’m not confirming any results out of respect for the fact that other correctional union members are voting today and next week,” said Larry Dorman, a spokesman for AFSCME and SEBAC. “Statewide, the completed results thus far show strong support the agreements.”
Five bargaining units spread across three unions have ratified the deal.
“We remain hopeful that the agreement will be ratified,” said Roy Occhiogrosso, the governor’s senior adviser.
An original version of this story only referred to the 600 Judicial employees listed on a SEBAC information sheet, not the 1,600 criminal justice and judicial workers.