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Amid Budget Crisis, Bridgeport Workers Get $1.2 Million in “Thank You” Raises

February 21, 2017 By Staff
Amid Budget Crisis, Bridgeport Workers Get $1.2 Million in “Thank You” Raises

Even though Bridgeport had a $20 million budget deficit in 2016, the city handed out $1.2 million in "thank you" longevity bonuses at the end of the year.

The CT Post had some shocking details on Monday about $1.2 million in “thank you” longevity bonuses given to 800-plus city employees in 2016:

The city shelled out nearly $1.2 million at the end of last year to over 800 public employees as a “thank you” for sticking with their jobs.

…But in tough fiscal times this public sector perk — dare it even be called a tradition — has come under fire as no longer practical or affordable.

Longevity was eliminated for state managers a few years ago. And many state government unions agreed to phase it out as part of new contracts.

Indeed, an October 2016 report on Bridgeport’s budget revealed the city was $20 million in deficit for fiscal year 2016, before Mayor Joe Ganim (D-Bridgeport) balanced the budget.

The CT Post report notes that other “big cities” in Connecticut, like New Haven and the struggling Hartford, also dole out “longevity” bonuses.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, these bonuses end up counting for double, in a way, because they also factor in to public employee pensions.

Among the beneficiaries? Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, whose 12 years as mayor from 1991 to 2003 — which he ended up going to prison for — are counted in his “longevity” bonus calculation.