Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Urges Investigation of Water Company Layoffs That Follow Rate Increase and Defy Promise To Expand Workforce

August 26, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is urging an investigation into the Connecticut Water Company’s (CWC) possible plans to reduce its workforce mere weeks after the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) approved a rate increase to fund higher staffing levels.

            Blumenthal’s office learned about the layoffs through an anonymous employee, and later confirmed with the company that jobs may be cut.

On July 14, the DPUC approved CWC’s application to increase rates -- and increase the number of ratepayer-funded employees, from 226 to 233.

In the company’s own words, as it sought a rate increase, it stated:

These employees are on the front lines of providing service. The Company needs these employees to serve its highly decentralized customer base. The Company has acquired several small systems that require more attention and support than the Company’s larger systems. The Company requires adequate resources to provide quality service to all of its customers in all of its systems, regardless of size. 

            “Shuffling employees out the door after a rate increase -- which we opposed -- would belie the company’s promises used to justify its rate increases,” Blumenthal said. “I urge the DPUC to investigate whether these Connecticut Water Company layoffs break the company’s promise to increase staff, not diminish it.

            “Ratepayers always deserve assurances that service quality will be sustained -- but even more so after a recent 13-percent rate increase.”