Troopers Headed To Arbitration
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration and the Connecticut State Police Union are at an impasse in negotiations over state police contracts, according to a statement by the governor’s director of Labor Relations.
State troopers have been working without a contract since July. Labor Relations Director Linda Yelmini said the current impasse in negotiations means the two sides are headed to arbitration.
“While the administration negotiated in good faith with the union, we are currently at an impasse,” Yelmini said. “Despite our best efforts, there remain fundamental differences in the positions of the two parties.”
The Malloy administration remains committed to negotiating a contract that ensures public safety but also reflects cost saving initiatives already adopted in most other states, she said.
“While it’s regrettable that this matter will be resolved by an arbitrator, at least we are one step closer to resolution,” Yelmini said.
The administration and the union have clashed over staffing levels and efforts to consolidate dispatch centers as well as to “civilianize” certain positions within the agency. In June, the union voted no confidence in Public Safety Commissioner Reuben Bradford and state police Col. Danny Stebbins over the issues.
The union also took the administration to court over the state’s failure to enforce a minimum staffing level statute. After a Superior Court judge sided with the union and denied the state’s motion to dismiss the case, Malloy proposed a bill eliminating the statute, which has since been passed into law. The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to hear argument in the lawsuit.
Even in light of those conflicts, State Police Union President Andrew Matthews said the negotiations have been “very respectful with some good dialogue.”
“We understand this is a step in the process of negotiation. We’re going to keep working through. We’re not done negotiating,” Matthews said on Wednesday.
Matthews said it was important for Connecticut residents to know that state troopers continue to keep their safety a top priority.