VTDigger posted a story this afternoon about a recent hearing held to address the staffing crisis inside Vermont’s correctional facilities.
From the VTDigger post:
James Baker, interim corrections commissioner, testified late last week before the Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee on steps the department is taking to address the problem, from stepping up recruitment to working for better retention of current employees.
“We’re at a very, very, very dangerous point,” the commissioner told the panel. The committee is made up of a mix of House and Senate members and met in-person at the Statehouse with the session also streamed online.
Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, an oversight committee member, said he hoped to see a bump in salary to help attract people to the job.
“I appreciate the problem. It’s not just with corrections,” Sears said of the staffing shortage. “But that’s a tough job, and hopefully we will consider upgrades to pay and working conditions.”
VSEA Legislative Specialist Tom Abdelnour emailed activists recently with an overview of the newly formed Pension Benefits, Design, and Funding Task Force’s July 7 meeting.
Read Abdelnour’s summary on VSEA.org
The newly formed Pension Benefits, Design, and Funding Task Force met again last week to begin trying to reach a consensus on how best to address the state employee and teacher pension plans’ unfunded liability. The task force is the Legislature’s response to massive pushback from VSEA and NEA members after the State Treasurer introduced several unacceptable proposals to deal with the unfunded liability. VSEA and NEA members also came out strongly against an initial proposal about who would sit on the task force, saying it favored management. The blowback caused the proposal to go away and be replaced with one that leveled the playing field for workers. VSEA has two rank-and-file representatives on the task force, Leona Watt and Eric Davis.
VSEA members and retirees can watch the task force meetings held to date by clicking on the link below. The task force meets next on July 22.
Link To Task Force YouTube Page