Impasse in State Trooper Labor Talks
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s labor director said Tuesday night that talks with the Connecticut State Police Union have reached an impasse and are headed for arbitration.
“Despite our best efforts, there remain fundamental differences in the positions of the two parties,” Linda Yelmini, director of the Office of Labor Relations, said in a statement.
“The Administration is committed to a contract that both preserves public safety and builds on the cost saving initiatives that have been started here and adopted successfully in nearly every other state. While it’s regrettable that this matter will be resolved by an arbitrator, at least we are one step closer to resolution,” Yelmini said.
CSPU President Andrew Matthews declined to comment Tuesday night until he could consult with a union executive committee.
A key disagreement between the Malloy administration and the union has been over staffing.
The union opposes cutbacks and consolidations it says compromise public safety and in June voted it had no confidence in state police leaders. Malloy has said the changes are needed to lower costs and put more troopers on patrol.
The union sued the state last year because it wasn’t adhering to a 1998 law requiring a minimum of 1,248 troopers, a number the governor has said is arbitrary. The state has about 1,000 troopers. The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear the state’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit.
Lawmakers suspended the 1998 requirement until next year to determine how many troopers are needed. Matthews has said the 1998 staffing law was meant to prevent the governor and lawmakers from cutting trooper positions to help make up for budget deficits and it makes more sense to determine how many troopers are needed first.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)