Governor Shumlin’s Statement on VSEA Negotiations

October 14, 2015
Gov. Shumlin Statement on VSEA Negotiations
MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin released the following statement following the decision of the Non-Management Bargaining Unit (NMU) of the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) to walk away from the bargaining table during contract negotiations.  The Corrections and Supervisory Bargaining Units remain engaged in talks with the State.
“I am disappointed in the VSEA’s decision. Negotiation requires both sides to compromise. Unfortunately the NMU has refused to budge from their initial bargaining position regarding pay. That position asks for a 13.4 percent pay increase over two years, which would cost Vermont taxpayers $70.6 million. It’s beyond me how anyone could find that position reasonable. At a time when many Vermonters are not seeing their wages rise, it would be unconscionable to agree to pay increases that are more than quadruple the rate of inflation and would add substantial pressure to an already tight budget. I will not ask Vermonters to pay higher taxes to fund a 13.4 percent raise for state employees.”
A letter from the State’s Chief Negotiator requesting that the NMU return to the table is attached.