VSEA drafted and championed the legislation in response to the State—prior to the last round of bargaining—appointing someone with a strong management background to a “neutral” seat on the Vermont Labor Relations Board (VLRB), or the body that, until today, had been charged with resolving contract disputes. Now, both VSEA and the State will mutually agree on an arbitrator to make a decision.
“The last round of bargaining with the State left a bad taste in the mouths of VSEA members statewide, knowing the deck had been stacked against us with the appointment of Karen O’Neill to the VLRB,” explains VSEA President Dave Bellini. “We are very happy lawmakers heard us, and that the Governor signed the bill. It’s a shame it had to come to this, given the decades of civil and productive bargaining that preceded VSEA needing to take the action we did. With a new round of bargaining with the State coming up soon, hopefully this bill won’t even come into play and we’ll be able to reach a contract agreement without having to use an arbitrator.”