“The Governor asked frontline employees to make a sacrifice, while at the same time giving significant promotions and raises to a lot of politically appointed, highly-paid exempt employees. It’s a horrible double standard…"
Vermont State Employees Association Blasts News Of Douglas Administration’s Awarding Big Promotions And Pay Increases To Exempt State Employees
Just weeks after thousands of state employees voted to help the Vermont economy by ratifying a new contract that cuts their pay by three percent, members of the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) were extremely angry to learn today in Seven Days that the Douglas Administration is awarding top-level, exempt employees with promotions and pay raises.
“Our membership’s anger is totally justified,” said VSEA Director Jes Kraus. “The Governor asked frontline employees to make a sacrifice, while at the same time giving significant promotions and raises to a lot of politically appointed, highly paid, exempt employees. It’s a horrible double standard which will hopefully open a lot of Vermonters’ eyes about how many of their taxpayer dollars are going to high-level political appointees instead of the direct services they need, like keeping the roads clear, and keeping our communities safe.”
Kraus said VSEA will urge legislators to take a much harder look at how many exempt state employees have been hired since the Douglas Administration took office and how many of exempt positions have been cut to date as a result of Vermont’s economic crisis.
“VSEA has always believed that the hiring ratio of classified employees to exempt employees since the Governor took office has been heavily tilted to the exempt side,” explained Kraus. “But when it comes to cuts, it’s the opposite: very few of these exempt employees were forced to suffer the same fate as hundreds of frontline workers who provide direct services to Vermonters. It’s an issue of fairness and priorities.”
Kraus added that VSEA will also continue to highlight the spike in Vermont’s use of private contractors since Governor Douglas took office.
“The State’s use of private contractors is costing Vermont taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Kraus. “Just a five or ten percent reduction in the State’s use of private contractors could save millions. It would keep Vermonters working and keep more of our tax dollars in Vermont, instead of sending them to places like Tennessee and Connecticut.”