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CT House and Senate approve final year of employee union contract

Connecticut State Capitol
Molly Ingram
Connecticut State Capitol

Lawmakers in both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly have approved the final year of a four-year state employee union contract.

The contract affects about 45,000 employees.

The agreement is between the Lamont administration and SEBAC — the State Employee Bargaining Agreement Coalition — that represents 35 labor units across state agencies.

It continues an annual 2.5% pay increase, established in the contract's first three years.

The increase is paid for in the bipartisan budget passed last year, said Democratic Representative Michael D’Agostino, the House chair of the General Law Committee. He argued for the contract's passage in the House.

"The anticipated cost is covered by the reserve for the salary account. This is something we budgeted for. It's something everybody budgeted for and should have expected,” D’Agostino said.

It’s a good deal for the state, said Democratic Senate President Martin Looney, during the floor debate in the Senate.

“Many private sector and even municipal employees are receiving equal or even larger wage increases in their contracts,” Looney said.

Republicans disagreed.

“This increase, long-term, could equal $8 billion in additional pension debt that we have to pay,” said Senate Minority Leader Stephen Harding

The agreement was approved mainly along party lines in the House and the Senate.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.