VSEA Political Organizer’s Action Alert On Spaulding Letter To Legislators

Spaulding Commission Head’s Letter Tries To Downplay Hiring Of Union Busting Law Firm To Advise On Retirement/Pension Issues 

Dear VSEA Members and Retirees,
Treasurer Jeb Spaulding who chairs the Retirement Commission sent a letter to ALL legislators, defending the Commission’s choice to hire Ice Miller, LLP for legal advice.
Because of your good work, we shined a spotlight on the fact that Ice Miller, LLP is a union-busting law firm and Treasurer Spaulding has responded by intimating in his letter that VSEA members made false statements about the law firm’s activities regarding unions.  Frankly, we’re appalledthat Treasurer Spaulding would use his position to attack YOUR credibility in this manner.
Opening line of letter calling into question YOUR credibility:
“I suspect you may have been told that the Retirement Commission created by this past General Assembly hired an out-of-state “anti-union” law firm to advise us on how to cut retirement benefits for state employees and teachers.  This absolutely is not true.” 
In 4th paragraph, he admits the activities of firm:
“It turns out that one of their other practice areas does counsel businesses how to stay “union free.”  Though I was not aware of this when we selected the firm to work with us, it does not surprise me considering the size of the firm, and does not diminish, in my view, the capabilities or appropriateness of the firm’s Employee Benefits Group selection to advise us.”
We need you to set the record straight with your legislators. Don’t let TreasurerSpaulding have the final word. It’s important that your legislators are informed of the truth and that you believe the recommendations of this Commission are tainted by the use of this firm.  
EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY!  Below are tips on what to include:
  1. Please be respectful. Let them know you’re a VSEA member.
  1. Tell legislators that the law firm does in fact help employers maintain a “union-free” workplace and touts representing employers “aggressively” when employees pursue to unionize.
NOTE: This information is easily accessible on the website, just 1 and 2 clicks away from the homepage. One would hope that research on an unfamiliar, out-of-state firm hired with taxpayer money would have been given the due diligence warranted. 
  1. Remind them that thousands of VSEA members are also taxpayers and even thousands more taxpaying Vermonters belong to unions. This is not how Vermonters’ money should be spent.
  1. Tell them that the Commission’s recommendations are tainted with the legal advice of a union-busting law firm and you’re dismayed that the Commission has gone this far in creating its recommendations.
Find your Senators:
Or, contact me to find out who your legislators are at rmaguire@vsea.org
Please let me know you’ve emailed your legislators by sending me a quick email at rmaguire@vsea.org. This will help us keep track of which legislators hear from VSEA members.
IMPORTANT: The Retirement Commission’s next meeting is tomorrow at the state house from 8am-12:45pm in RM 11. I will attend and provide you with a report. Also, it may hold a public hearing in early December. A date has not been set, but we will let you know ASAP.
In solidarity,
Robyn Maguire
Political Organizer