Members of the Vermont State Employee Association’s (VSEA) Election, Rules and Nominating (ERN) Committee counted ballots at union headquarters today and announced the overwhelming ratification of a new two-year contract by VSEA members belonging to the union’s Judiciary Units.
The new agreement awards Judiciary employees a 2.5 percent wage increase in each contract year, and it improves dental benefits, tuition reimbursement rates and contributions to the workers’ Employee Development Fund. Judiciary workers were also successful in fending off cuts to the amount of “union leave” time currently allocated to Unit leaders and in preventing cuts to the workers’ established progressive discipline process.
“I am so proud of our Judiciary Unit members statewide for the solidarity they provided our bargaining team throughout the negotiating process,” said VSEA Judiciary Bargaining Team member Beth Aiken; a Family Court Case Manager in Barre. “This round of negotiations with the Courts was different because, for the first time ever, the Judiciary team stayed in constant communication with all Judiciary workers about what was happening at the table and what kind of help they could provide to the Team. That made a huge difference because workers were not learning details second-hand, but rather straight from the source.”
VSEA President Shelley Martin also praised today’s vote, saying, “VSEA is extremely pleased that our members belonging to the union’s Judiciary Unit have voted in large numbers to ratify a new contract with the State. This new agreement is the State’s recognition of our Judiciary members’ dedication and the valuable contributions they make to Vermont each and every day.”
VSEA’s Judiciary Unit represents approximately 200 state employees. The Units’ ratification vote comes just a few months after VSEA members belonging to the union’s NMU, Corrections, Supervisory, Defender General and State Colleges’ Units also voted to ratify new contracts with the State.