Connecticut paid state employees $17.6 million in longevity payments this month, bonuses based on how long an employee has worked for the state.

More than half the state workforce – 28,584 employees – received the payments for an average of $619, according to data obtained from the Comptroller’s Office.

Most of the employees who received the bonuses are union members, while the 3,151 non-union employees got the largest payouts.

James Blake, executive vice president at Southern Connecticut State University, received the largest bonus overall, $6,768.

This will be the last time non-union employees receive longevity payments. As part of a bipartisan plan to balance the budget passed in December, the $6 million in longevity payments will instead become part of each non-union employee’s salary.

Although part of a budget-cutting plan, the change will cost the state money when these employees receive percentage salary increases.

Carol Williams and Kimberly Chagnon, administrators at Eastern and Central Connecticut State Universities, respectively, received the largest union payout, $4,046.

Longevity payments are made twice a year,

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April and October.

See the data: non-union and union.