The Honorable Philip B. Scott
Governor of Vermont
109 State Street, Pavilion Building
Montpelier, VT 05609
To the Honorable Governor Phil Scott:
I am writing to you on behalf of frontline DOC workers, who have worked diligently every day of this pandemic to keep Vermont’s correctional system running. While doing so, Vermont’s state correctional officers have put their personal safety, as well as the safety of their families at risk. We have endured long hours, constantly changing procedures, improper PPE, and many other daily struggles. At the outset of the pandemic, your Administration agreed to a deal to provide us with hazard pay to compensate us for our work and in recognition of the dangers and difficulties we were facing every day. Unfortunately, while none of those dangers or difficulties has subsided, your Administration decided not to extend our hazard pay. This decision is hurtful to us and has had a severe negative impact on morale at all of our already understaffed correctional facilities. For these reasons, I am asking you to re-authorize our previous hazard pay agreement.
In the next few weeks, you will be sent over 200 applications for hazard pay from frontline DOC workers. These applications share employees’ personal stories about how each has been sacrificing for this state. Common themes include taking on additional duties without additional compensation, fear of taking this virus home to family members, complications in caring for family with pre-existing conditions, and a heavy increase in overtime hours.
We hope reading our personal stories will help you come to see how dedicated we are to serving this state and how we deserve additional compensation during this pandemic.
Thank you for your time and your consideration. The VSEA Corrections Unit Bargaining Team is eager to sit down with your administration to collaborate on a renewed hazard-pay agreement.
VSEA Steward and DOC Executive Committee Chair