An interesting Courant article indicates that the state and SEBAC, the state unions bargaining unit are close to a deal in principal for roughly $732.2 million over three years (this year and the two years of the next budget).
The wage concessions would total more than $225 million over two years and would include a “hard freeze” that means no increases or bonuses for the first year. Unionized employees would take one furlough day in the current fiscal year and three days in each of the next two years for overall savings of nearly $70 million, according to the documents.
[The current agreement that expires in 2017] sets the prescription co-pays for generic drugs at $3, but the documents say the co-pays would be increased to $5 for generic, $10 for preferred/formulary brand name and $25 for other brand names. The savings would be $19 million in each of the next two years. In addition, premium cost-sharing concessions would save nearly $43 million over two years.
The [retirement incentive] program would be available to state employees who are at least 55 years old by May 31 and who have at least 10 years of service in the state system. The incentive is that up to three years would be added to their service, thus increasing their pensions. The plan would save more than $200 million, including $11 million in the current fiscal year.
State troopers and prison guards would not need to be at least 55 before retiring, but would need “a minimum of … 20 years of actual, credited hazardous-duty state service.”
The article cites anonymous sources as saying that the two sides are about a year apart on a no-layoff period, and implies that the period is the last remaining major difference between the sides. Go read the whole article, it’s all interesting, including an introduction (by the authors) of Larry Cafero as not knowing about the inner workings of the negotiations, preceding two paragraphs of his thoughts about the inner workings of the negotiations! Fun!