Stalled Bargaining Forces VSEA Judiciary Unit To File ULP Against Court Administrator

January 6, 2020

In what VSEA Judiciary Unit Bargaining Team members say is an all-too-familiar pattern of stalling by the Court Administrator when it comes to discussing wages and benefits at the bargaining table, VSEA’s Judiciary Unit filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) this afternoon with the Vermont Labor Relations Board (VLRB), charging the Court Administrator with “failing and refusing to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages and other compensation.” The ULP adds that the Court Administrator is “further engaging in surface bargaining by delaying substantive negotiations over compensation, refusing to respond to proposals relating to compensation, and by otherwise refusing to engage in good-faith negotiations with the intent of reaching an agreement over compensation, all with the intent of imposing terms negotiated by the Executive Branch, all in violation of 3 VSA 1026(5) and 1036(e).”

“Since the Judicial Branch unionized 20 years ago, this has been the pattern,” explains VSEA Judiciary Unit Chair Margaret Crowley. “The Court Administrator attempts to delay discussions about wages and benefits until the legislative session has already begun. It’s because he or she hopes to just impose whatever the Executive Branch negotiated, but we contend that we’re a separate branch of government with separate and distinct employee wage and compensation needs, and we deserve to be heard—and today, not in January.”

The VSEA Judiciary Unit’s ULP includes a request for the VLRB to “schedule this matter for consideration on an expedited basis.”

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