Aresimowicz: NU Decision to Cut 40 Percent of IT Department 'Disgusting'

Northeast Utilities, parent company of the Berlin-based Connecticut Light & Power, announced it would reduce the IT department by 160 positions, drawing the ire of state officials.

Northeast Utilities, parent company of Connecticut Light & Power, could outsource hundreds of IT jobs overseas. (Credit: Northeast Utilities)
Northeast Utilities, parent company of Connecticut Light & Power, could outsource hundreds of IT jobs overseas. (Credit: Northeast Utilities)
Northeast Utilities, parent company of Connecticut Light & Power, has announced it will slash its Information Technologies Department by 40 percent and state officials including House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz remain critical, calling the decision "disgusting."

The Berlin-based company announced Tuesday that it would be slashing a total of 160 jobs, attempting to address most through attrition or voluntary buyouts.

Restructuring will begin in November, with around 200 positions within the department remaining in-house and an additional 40 jobs being outsourced to two global firms.

“I'm disappointed, and quite frankly, disgusted that NU is slashing good-paying Connecticut jobs," said Aresimowicz, D-Southington, Berlin. "I can see it now — this will probably result in top executives receiving bonuses while middle class families suffer. We cannot accept this as business as usual.”

The reasoning behind the move lies in a merger between Northeast Utilities and NSTAR last year, but moves being made are deliberate, calculated and done with the best intentions of the company and its customers and employees in mind, said Northeast Utilities spokesman Al Lara.

Lara said the decision is one that will hopefully help lead to a $780 million cost saving to shareholders and reduce costs to customers.

Aresimowicz and other legislators have attempted to pressure the company, hoping to avoid any outsourcing or layoffs. During a press conference last week, the legislators called the actions "despicable."

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Consumer Counsel have already asked the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to fully review the effect that outsourcing of information technology jobs could have on the company’s major storm outage readiness, response and communication as well as the company’s compliance with the approved merger agreement.

“We remain deeply committed to the terms included in the merger agreement, and we will continue to monitor this situation to ensure that Connecticut is not ultimately disproportionately affected," Jepsen said.

"Additionally, we will work to ensure that anticipated cost savings arising from outsourcing and consolidation are reflected in lower rates to consumers in the 2014 rate case. While the full impact of today’s announcement will likely not be known for several months, these changes make it even more critical that PURA take a close look at NU’s manner of operations in Connecticut,” he said.

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