VSEA Director’s Message To Membership Concerning Budget Talks Impasse

"After today’s meeting, it is clear that the parties are too far apart on their proposals to make any further discussion worthwhile."

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Dear VSEA Members,
 
As you are well aware, the VSEA Unit Chairs of the Corrections, Defender General, Non-Management, State Police and Supervisory Units, met with Secretary of Administration,  Neale Lunderville, last Friday to attempt to reach an agreement on cost-savings alternatives to layoffs.  Although the meeting was positive, neither side made much progress, and we agreed to meet again this afternoon to assess whether any further conversations should take place.  After today’s meeting, it is clear that the parties are too far apart on their proposals to make any further discussion worth-while. However, we agreed in concept to discuss a possible collaborative overhaul of the health care plan, much like the process that we used in 1999-2000 which resulted in significant cost-savings to both the state and our members.  We will continue those discussions in the coming months in advance of bargaining.
 
At this point, it is likely that the State will begin the RIF process for the 320 positions that it has targeted for layoff.  Any employee who is formally notified of a RIF, should contact his/her field representative or steward immediately.   If you have questions about the Unit-specific decision that your elected representatives made during this process, please contact your bargaining team members directly.  Their information is available on the VSEA website at www.vsea.org.
 
I know that this has been an extremely difficult time for all of our members.  I hope that you will all support the very complex decisions that your elected leadership had to make on behalf of the very diverse constituency in each of their units. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Jes Kraus,
VSEA Director