By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s chief labor negotiator says he’s optimistic an agreement can be reached with state employee leaders next week over how to find $2 billion in labor savings over the next two years to help balance Connecticut’s deficit-plagued budget.

Mark Ojakian said Friday that he’s “hoping to have something solid” next week. He said both sides are moving closer to an agreement every day.

Malloy’s administration is expected to begin sending out layoff notices to state employees around May 6, planning for the possibility that a savings deal cannot reached with organized labor. Even if an agreement is reached with union leadership, rank-and-file members will still have up to several weeks to vote on any concessions.

Closed-door talks are continuing on Friday and through the weekend.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  1. Cap says:

    Ok he is Hopeful…. As a state employee in a union we need to VOTE
    Hopeful he may be but do not forget your contractual obligations and our right to

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