July 23, 2021
Thursday’s meeting of the Task Force began with the six union members setting clear expectations about how they expect the work of the group to proceed moving forward. They got the group to adopt a new process of setting the agenda for the group’s meetings, to make sure that the issues you care about can’t be ignored.
The rest of the first half of the meeting was taken up by a presentation by State Treasurer Beth Pearce, who walked the Task Force through this report. She also highlighted:
- The importance of having public employees on the Task Force;
- The fact that public employees have consistently stepped up when asked to increase their pension contributions;
- The link between high turnover of employees and unfunded pension liabilities;
- The fact that public employees are themselves taxpayers who contribute to the pension funds in that capacity; and
- The growing number of elderly Vermonters in poverty.
In the afternoon, the Task Force heard from the Commissioner of Human Resources, who presented this report on the state workforce. Representatives the Department of Human Resources underscored that the competitive advantage of the State of Vermont as an employer is not competitive pay, but rather good benefits. Mark Hage, of Vermont-NEA, presented on the Vermont teacher workforce.
The afternoon ended with the Labor members of the panel participating in setting the agenda for the next meeting.
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