Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6803

June 30 Special Session, Special Act No. 03-1

AN ACT CONCERNING STATE EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall offer to modify the pension agreement between the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and the state, within seven days of the effective date of this section, in the following ways: (1) To incorporate the changes made by public act 03-2 and special act 03-2, provided nothing in such incorporation shall affect any grievance or arbitration challenging privatization occurring as a result of the state's decision, as reflected in such acts, to offer an Early Retirement Incentive Program; (2) notwithstanding any other provision, in order to refill positions that are vacant due to ERIP, or for any other reason, the secretary may authorize the hiring of up to 2300 employees in fiscal year 2004; (3) members of the Alternate Retirement Program retiring within two months of the acceptance by SEBAC of the provisions of this section, who would have been eligible for the ERIP if they had been SERS members, shall receive an additional twelve per cent of their Final Average Earnings, as defined under the SERS, paid out as three equal annual employer contributions to the employee's retirement account, on the dates indicated in subsection (b) of section 6 of public act 03-2, if such is allowable pursuant to applicable law and regulation, or as five equal annual lump sum payments, at the employee's discretion; (4) notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of section 6 of public act 03-2, members of the Teachers' Retirement System retiring during the ERIP period, including the extension of the ERIP under this section, shall not be required to use their credit towards age, rather than years of service, when such use is not otherwise required to meet the minimum retirement standards of the Teachers' Retirement System. Members of the Teachers' Retirement System and the Alternate Retirement Program shall have two months following the acceptance by SEBAC of the provisions of this section to retire under the ERIP. Members of the Teachers' Retirement System who retired prior to June 1, 2003, in order to comply with the ERIP prior to the effective date of this section, shall be deemed to have completed a full year of employment as of their retirement date; (5) the Health Care provisions of the Pension Agreement between SEBAC and the state shall be modified so that active employees and future retirees, but not including any retirees leaving as a result of the ERIP, are covered by a pharmacy copay plan that shall be identical to the current plan, except that the copay for generics shall be five dollars, for preferred brand names shall be ten dollars, and for all other prescriptions shall be fifteen dollars. The list of preferred brands shall be preapproved by the Healthcare Cost Containment Committee. All healthcare provisions shall be further modified to allow the self-insurance of pharmacy coverage; (6) the Health Care provisions of the Pension Agreement between SEBAC and the state shall be modified so that employees first hired on or after July 1, 2003, shall not have access to the Preferred POS plan. New enrollment in the preferred plan for current employees shall end no earlier than July 1, 2004, provided enrollment shall not end until the Comptroller certifies that access to out-of-network providers for employees with life threatening illnesses will be provided through the POS standard plan in a manner substantially equivalent to that currently available under the Preferred POS plan. The provisions of this subdivision shall not affect access to the Preferred POS plan for retirees; (7) employees first hired on or after July 1, 2003, shall pay five dollars more for a visit to a doctor than the amounts established as of July 1, 2003, under SEBAC 5A; (8) the employer's contribution to the unfunded accrued pension liability shall be reduced for the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, by $ 25,000,000 and for the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, by $ 25,000,000. Such reduction shall not be reflected in any actuarially determined amount required for payment into the State Employees Retirement Fund prior to the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, and shall be repaid in equal increments over the remaining period of amortization; (9) any employee laid off after December 1, 2002, who takes the Early Retirement Incentive Program under public act 03-2 and special act 03-2, as amended by this section, shall be deemed to have transitioned directly into retirement for purposes of all benefits accorded retiring employees; (10) the acceptance by SEBAC of the provisions of this subsection shall require the withdrawal as plaintiffs by SEBAC and its constituent unions of State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, et al. v. John G. Rowland, et al. , United States District Court, District of Connecticut, Civil No. 3: 03CV221 (AWT).

(b) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall ensure compliance by the Commissioner of Administrative Services with the provisions of section 5-248c of the general statutes.

(c) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, within seven days of the effective date of this section, offer the following contractual terms and conditions to all collective bargaining units: (1) There shall be no general wage increase or annual increment in fiscal year 2004; (2) those units which have not yet accepted a wage freeze, and have settled wages for fiscal year 2004, but have not settled wages for fiscal year 2005, shall receive the following offer: The fiscal year 2005 wage increase shall be the amount currently scheduled for fiscal year 2004; (3) those units which have not yet accepted a wage freeze, and with settled wages for fiscal years 2004 and 2005, but not 2006, shall receive the following offer: (A) The fiscal year 2005 wage increase shall be the amount currently scheduled for fiscal year 2004; (B) the fiscal year 2006 raise shall be the amount currently scheduled for fiscal year 2005; (4) those units which have not yet accepted a wage freeze, and with settled wages for fiscal years 2004, 2005 and 2006, shall receive the following offer: (A) The fiscal year 2005 wage increase shall be the amount currently scheduled for fiscal year 2004; (B) the fiscal year 2006 raise shall be the amount currently scheduled for fiscal year 2005; (C) the fiscal year 2007 raise shall be the amount currently scheduled for fiscal year 2006; (5) unless otherwise provided for in this subsection, increment-based units shall receive annual increments at the usual time; (6) any unit with a scheduled fiscal year 2004 increase which has taken effect when the offer required by this section is transmitted may choose to retain such increase, while otherwise accepting this offer, except as modified by subdivision (7) of this subsection; (7) any unit retaining a fiscal year 2004 increase under subdivision (6) of this subsection shall forfeit the comparable increase that otherwise would have occurred in fiscal year 2005; (8) any arbitration award pending before the General Assembly as of the time an offer is made pursuant to this section, shall be deemed to be a settled contract for purposes of this section only; (9) for purposes of this section, "layoff" shall not include (A) separations occurring as a result of the termination of grant funded or durational positions, (B) the failure to renew appointments for performance reasons, or (C) the denial of tenure for performance reasons. "Layoff" shall include demotions for reasons not related to performance; (10) each employee laid off on or after December 1, 2002, shall be offered the opportunity to return to state employment on or before September 1, 2003. Such employee shall be offered the position the employee held immediately prior to being laid off unless that position was eliminated due to the closing of a facility, or the legislative elimination of a program, or as a result of the abolition of an entire classification, or their original position is occupied by another person as the consequence of such an elimination of another position. Otherwise, each laid off employee shall be offered a substantially equivalent position in the same collective bargaining unit for which the laid off employee is qualified. If no such position exists, such laid off employee shall be offered the choice of a lesser paid position in the unit for which the laid off employee is qualified, or an equivalent position in unionized state service for which the laid off employee is qualified. If no such positions exist, laid off employees shall be trained and placed by the Placement and Training Committee. The cost of such retraining assessed to the Replacement and Training Fund shall not exceed five million dollars. The choice of a laid off employee to retire shall not prevent such employee from being offered employment pursuant to this section, provided such employee rescinds his or her retirement within thirty days of any agreement entered into pursuant to this section becoming final and binding. Nothing in this section shall affect any existing contractual seniority; (11) time on layoff shall be considered continuous state service for all purposes. Any laid off employee who returns to state service pursuant to this section may buy back vacation or personal leave time cashed out as a result of his or her layoff; (12) until returned to state employment, those employees separated from state service as a result of the document issued November 27, 2002, by the director of the Office of Labor Relations within the Office of Policy and Management, shall be placed on a preferential hiring list, with all relevant contractual, statutory and SEBAC rights, pending the return of all laid off workers, and prior to the hiring of any new employees in theirs or related job titles; (13) there shall be no layoffs in fiscal year 2004 or fiscal year 2005 unless specifically identified in the biennial budget act as originally enacted for said fiscal years; (14) there shall be no layoffs in fiscal year 2006 or fiscal year 2007.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) (a) On or before October 1, 2003, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall certify the amount of any savings to the General Fund in the fiscal year in progress resulting from the concessions identified in section 1 of this act. Said savings shall not include savings associated with personal services appropriations included in the budget for such fiscal year.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12-704c of the general statutes, for taxable years commencing on or after January 1, 2003, the tax liability of taxpayers under chapter 229 of the general statutes shall be adjusted to reflect an increase in the maximum property tax credit allowed taxpayers under said section 12-704c, which increase shall be an additional ten dollars of credit for each ten million dollars of the savings certified under subsection (a) of this section provided the adjusted maximum credit shall not exceed four hundred fifty dollars.

Vetoed August 8, 2003