March 23, 2016
Left: VSEA Past President Ed Stanak. Right: Secretary of the Administration Justin Johnson.
In a VT Press Bureau article yesterday about VSEA and the State now heading to the VLRB because the State wanted to fight instead of negotiate, Secretary of the Administration Justin Johnson says the average Vermonter is not receiving the type of pay increase sought by the VSEA…
Not so fast Mr. Secretary. Read the report from the fact finder, who was mutually agreed to by both parties.
What is relevant is what had occurred over the past
five years with respect to wage growth in the private and
public sector. Jeffrey Carr the State Economist concluded:
… through FY 2009-2015 period, State Government
employees in Vermont experienced wage growth that
roughly matched that of the Private Sector in the
State. On average, Private Sector wages experienced
average annual increases of 2.1 %. State Government
Sector wages increased at the rate of 1.9% per year.
Both Private Sector and State Government wages grew at
a rate that was higher than the 1.6% annual rate of
This conclusion shows that over the past six years,
the parties, in their negotiations, have done a good job in
matching wage increases for State employees with the wage
increases that have occurred for private sector employees
in Vermont. Thus, the notion that State employees should
now receive no increases because they are paid too high, or
that large equity adjustments are warranted to catch up to
wages paid in the private sector, is not based on the
parties’ bargaining history over the past six years.
And on Page 9:
It is true, that the State has a deficit that it must close, but this is not due to the fact that State employees’ wages are too high, but appears to have more to do with unforeseen Medicaid expenses facing the State.
Check your facts Mr. Secretary; the ones provided by the State’s own economist, no less.
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