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Unions Approve Retirement Incentives; Next Up, Council

The town's unions all accepted the mayor's proposed retirement incentive package but the Legislative Council won't until at least Monday.

 

Today is the deadline for the last of the town unions employees to decide whether to accept Mayor Scott Jackson's proposed retirement incentive -- even though the Legislative Council hasn't approved the package yet.

For most of the unions, the deadline was Wednesday, but for one -- the Town Hall workers -- the deadline to notify the town of their intention to retire is today after they met Wednesday and approved the package.

In all, more than two dozen employees are expected to leave under the incentive, Jackson said Thursday.

"I would expect about 25 people will end up taking it, maybe up to 30," he said.

Some, but not all, of those positions will be filled, he said.

"We need to save $1.2 million," he said. "Some will probably have to be refilled at a lower level, but many of them will not."

The agreement allows retiring employees to take a lump sum payment for sick and vacation time or buy years of service to go towards their pension calculations. If more opt to buy years of service, the account allocated for the payments will likely have a remaining balance that will go toward the $1.2 million deficit, Jackson said.

"We may not spend all in that budget line and some of that can help," he said. 

But the program still needs the approval of the council, which met in executive session to discuss it last Monday and will again this Monday. 

"They wanted to take a little time to think about it," Jackson said. "I don't want to seem like I'm pressing one way or another or expecting them to vote one way or another."

As things look now, it doesn't appear that layoffs will be needed, Jackson said. But the bottom line is that $1.2 million hole needs to plugged, he said, and until the package is approved by the council and accepted by the employees, nothing can be said definitively.

"I don't think layoffs will be needed, but let me be clear, this is not yet passed by the Legislative Council," he said.

Were the council not approve the package, "we would have to come up with alternative methods to come up with that $1.2 million -- we would have to take action, you can't start the fiscal year with your budget in the hole."

In that case, "layoffs would have to become part of the matrix -- we don't buy pens and paper anymore, we buy people's labor and we couldn't pull $1.2 million out without impacting people."

marc s ruby August 03, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I just hope Hamdens Legislative Council - will finally do the Fiscally responsible thing come Monday's L.C. meeting. Realizing they are there to do whats best for the Town and Residents. If the Figures don't line up to plug this $ 1.2 million dollar shortfall then all 'Options' have to go back on the table. One option that should not go back on the table is further 'Tax Increases' for its Residents !!! I personally think Management downsizing should have been explored more ( no Union involvement). If layoffs/downsizing is required -so be it-its happening to the Private sector 'Big Time' accross America .Why should 'Town Employee's be any different ??? Many Towns and Cities in California are simply declaring 'Bankruptcy' and starting all over again with new 'austere' contracts...
Thomas Alegi August 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM
After reading Charles Baltayan Letter to the Editor, this week, I wondered, could this retirement incentive package be a “political corrupt way” to take care of the few before the word bankruptcy is possibility considered as a financial fix all for Hamden.
Some Peoples Children August 03, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Mayor Jackson says, "you can't start the fiscal year with your budget in the hole." Umm...isn't that what you did? It's 8/3/12...the FY started on 7/1/12, j/s
Charles Baltayan August 03, 2012 at 04:38 PM
As Mr. Alegi infers, Mr. Jackson is lying about the incentive package relating to closing a 1.2 million dollar budget gap. Neither Ms. Kozak of the LC or Mr. Jackson is willing to show the math. The Mayor is certainly ot looking after the town or the taxpayer. Betraying the public trust is supposed to be illegal but Hamden is way to corrupt to worry about being held accountable.... Shameful and disgusting!
Linda C August 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
It's obviously an incentive that benefits the workers and NOT THE TOWN, otherwise the UNION would never have signed off on something that ISN'T EVEN ON PAPER!! I'd say Kudos to the UNION for getting their workers such a good buyout! However I truly think the union should reimburse the workers their Union Dues retro since Jackson has been in office. Their Job COULDN'T have been any easier, when dealing with a Mayor who does the work for you! How about we sell the Mayor's contract to AFSME - CHEAP! Let's hope the BOARD gets the OBVIOUS! An incentive ONLY in DRAFT (so he says), is APPROVED by the UNION. Workers are already signing up for it, (it being a proposal that doesn't exist). No promise of NOT FILLING the VACANCIES, and NO verification that the DEBT will be totally COVERED by this move. So one of two things are occurring, it's a backdoor deal with the union for future layoffs (which would be a horrible thing if a union sold its workers out)! Or someone has some unemployed friends or family that can be ready at a moments notice to fill the up and coming vacant positions! ???????? - WELL!
Marty August 03, 2012 at 05:35 PM
It's ridiculous that the council has taken so long to approve this. It should have been done long ago. At least last Monday. They shouldn't be leaving the employees hanging like this.
Angela August 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Hmmmm isn't that what the President has been doing ,without a budget for as long as he has been in office??????
Thomas Alegi August 03, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Charles thanks for your comment. If I may change the subject for a moment, I find it interesting that a former mayor of Hamden who has claimed to be a good communicator in the past and who is seeking the office of Probate Judge has reverted to using Robot calls to communicate to Democrat primary voters. One large part of being a Judge of Probate is good communication skills; show the primary voters your communication skills Mr. Henrici, stop using robot calls.
Dan Garrett August 03, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Thomas Alegi, Charles and Linda, the three of you sound like total downers, are you depressed? have nothing better to do than bash our fine town. Most choose to live in Hamden because it is a great place to live. The three of you are so negative, just go away, it's getting old.
Charles Baltayan August 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Mr.Garrett, Open your eyes and listen to what we have said. The Mayor is doing things that are unconscionable and you are complaining about the people that are trying to save you. Disgusted, not depressed.
Thomas Alegi August 04, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Dan, it looks as if you have been reading the HamdenPatch for some time now. It is heartening that you have finally expressed your sentiments. An active mind like yours Dan needs to be expressive; it would be unfortunate if you bottled up your sentiments inside you due to your sensitivity. Dan you do know all the residents of Hamden love Hamden as a town in some way, but not all Hamden residents care for Mayor Jackson or for a few of Hamden’s L/C members, which is a normal situation for town resident to be in when their local political leaders have no leadership skills. Therefore, with that said I do not believe any reader of the HamdenPatch would ever tell you “just to go away“ due to the fact that you are expressing your freedom to express yourself in writing. Dan this is the fourth estate were all sentiments are analyzed and debated openly. We all thank you for posting your commit, do it more often.
Dan Garrett August 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Linda, Charles and Thomas, I do apologize for the comment just go away.
Ted B August 04, 2012 at 04:41 AM
I think the beauty of this site is it gives everyone on both sides the opportunity to vent. There's room for everyone here. Dan that is very big of you to apologize. And there could be a bit less negativity in some of the posts. But there are a lot of people in town who are very frustrated at the direction the town is headed and feel very helpless.

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