VSEA Member’s Letter To JFC Members Speaks For Thousands Of State Employees

"Unfortunately, the press release issued today [by the State] shows once again that good faith negotiations are impossible.  It is astonishing that the administration would ignore your clear directions and snub their noses at VSEA’s fair offer to address the FY 2010 budget and deliver the savings that you asked for."
Dear members of the Joint Fiscal Committee;
 
I am a 12 year state employee and an active member of VSEA.  Some of you know me as I have been in your committees at the State House from time to time.
 
Prior to your August 18th meeting I emailed each of you via Theresa Utton to express my hope that you would disapprove the administration’s plan to save $7.4 million by unspecified cuts to my fellow state workers. 
 
For the past two years VSEA and its members have worked hard to meet the administration half way.  Believe me it is not easy to come to the table with offers than one knows will cost your own household thousands of dollars. 
 
Unfortunately, the press release issued today shows once again that good faith negotiations are impossible.  It is astonishing that the administration would ignore your clear directions and snub their noses at VSEA’s fair offer to address the FY 2010 budget and deliver the savings that you asked for.
 
Furthermore, as a citizen of Vermont I can’t let stand the administration’s attempt to hijack VSEA’s contract negotiations for FY 2011/12 by what amounts to blackmail.  VSEA has shown we are more than willing to discuss cost savings in the proper forum and at the appropriate time.
 
The administration has squandered every opportunity to avoid layoffs of more state workers by its rigid adherence to a philosophy that favors privatizing public services over preserving quality public services. 
 
I join thousands of other state workers in imploring you to send a message to the Governor to accept VSEA’s offer.  If hundreds more state workers lose their jobs on Friday, the situation will continue to spiral downwards.
 
A. Hamlin