President Hooper’s June 8 Press Release!
Vermont State Employees’ Association Applauds Treasurer’s Refusal To Subject His Employees To “Marshal86” Software’s Computer Monitoring Capabilities
Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) President Robert Hooper is applauding a memo penned today by State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, informing the State’s Human Resources and Information Technology commissioners that he would not allow internet usage by employees in his office to be monitored by the State’s newly purchased “Marshal86” software.
“After careful consideration, I have elected to implement the site blocking component office-wide but to limit the site monitoring to my deputy (Beth Pearce) and me,” wrote Spaulding in his memo. “I will not agree to the site monitoring or the establishment of a database with the ability to collect such information about our staff, as I believe it undermines the trust we have developed and is, in fact, counter to the establishment of a productive work environment.”
“VSEA members greatly appreciate the sentiment contained in Treasurer Spaulding’s thoughtful memo, and we applaud his willingness to stand in defense of his employees,” said Hooper. “Unlike some top State officials, Treasurer Spaulding prefers to treat his employees with the respect and dignity he believes they deserve. It’s great that he understands that a majority of his employees use the internet responsibly and don’t need an electronic babysitter to monitor what websites they are visiting. VSEA hopes other state officials will now follow the Treasurer’s lead and be satisfied with exercising the ability to block inappropriate websites but not monitor each employee’s internet visits.”
Hooper added that VSEA continues to question why the State even needed to spend $120,000 to purchase the “Marshal86” software when a similar system to track employee internet usage was just purchased and installed by the State in 2007.
“As VSEA has said often, the money required to buy this new internet spy software could have been used to preserve the positions of two or three employees who serve Vermonters, but the Douglas/Dubie team chose instead to spend the money to further demonstrate its mistrust of state employees. It’s a shame, and it’s why VSEA is so appreciative of the very valid points made in Treasurer Spaulding’s memo.”