For Immediate Release
August 3, 2020
Contact: Doug Gibson
At Friday’s VSEA Council meeting (via Zoom), Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) President Dave Bellini began his scheduled remarks to the body with the surprising announcement that he was retiring from state government before the end of the calendar year and was stepping down as the union’s president, effective immediately. Bellini, who was elected to a third term as president in September 2019, told Council members he wanted to leave enough time left on his term to have an election open to all 6,100 members.
“As I told the Council on Friday, even though I am retiring, I am not going anywhere, and I will always be around to support active and retired state employees in current fights and whatever issues that come up—and we all know there’s always more to do,” says Bellini, a long-time Vermont Corrections employee. “I’ve been in state government for 42 years and involved in VSEA since day one. I look forward to supporting VSEA in any way I can.”
He continues, “Wages, working conditions, a good health plan and a pension don’t just happen. They have to be fought for, and the fight never ends. State employees win through collective power. We weathered the Janus decision and rebounded with record membership. We got the arbitration bill passed. The budget is balanced. And the state employees’ health plan is on rock-solid financial footing.”
He adds, “I would like to thank the Department of Corrections for letting me to work the way I wanted to work the past 35 years. I haven’t had to put on long pants in decades. I also want to thank the state of Vermont for always being a good employer and for allowing me the flexibility I needed to be both an effective state employee and an effective union leader.”
Because Bellini is leaving his post with more than a year left in his term, VSEA will soon be conducting a special election to determine the union’s next president, as mandated by VSEA election rules. Bellini told the Council that VSEA First Vice President Aimee Towne would be serving as interim president until the special election concludes.
“I have worked side-by-side with Dave Bellini for many years, both at the State House and at VSEA headquarters and while I know the entire VSEA family is sad about Dave’s decision to retire, I think we all completely understand, especially given the energy he puts in day in and day out to ensure state employees and retirees are being compensated fairly and treated with dignity and respect while at work,” says VSEA Executive Director Steve Howard. “He has graciously offered his help and expertise, and I know I will be calling him often.”
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