For Immediate Release
February 20, 2019
Contact: Doug Gibson, email@example.com
VSEA President Sends Letter To Governor, Demanding He Bargain With The Union On New Policy To Allow Infants In The Workplace
Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) President Dave Bellini sent a letter this week to Governor Phil Scott, demanding the State suspend its recent policy to allow state employees to bring infants to work and immediately bargain with the union, labeling Scott’s policy a “significant change in [state employees’] working conditions.”
“VSEA’s demand has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual policy itself. Our issue is with the way the Governor’s office rolled it out, without ever once consulting with the union or its members about its impact,” explains Bellini. “In fact, VSEA only learned about the policy about an hour before the Governor’s office put out a formal press release publicly announcing it. In response, the VSEA Board met recently and voted unanimously to direct me to contact the Governor to demand that he bargain this policy with, because it clearly warrants negotiationswith the union. This is why I sent the letter this week."
Here is Bellini’s letter to Gov. Scott, dated February 19, 2019:
Dear Governor Scott:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the nearly 6,200 members of the VSEA, I am writing to demand that you immediately suspend your administration’s newly launched program allowing infants in the workplace for only some employees, and bargain with the VSEA over this significant change in working conditions.
State employees all over Vermont have weighed in with their union to express a variety of concerns, including the impact of this program on their ability to work. Many employees have expressed concern about the inequity of your proposal. Too many hard working state employees who have children from six weeks to six months old will not have the ability to participate under your program. Nurses, state troopers, law enforcement officers, AOT maintenance workers, corrections officers, social workers, and many other employees who risk their lives on behalf of Vermonters are being left out by your administration. This is unfair and wrong.
The members of the VSEA deserve more respect. Launching a policy that changes working conditions without bargaining in good faith with the VSEA demonstrates a lack of respect and understanding for those who will be impacted by this new policy. Seeking feedback, opinions, and ideas from bargaining unit employees and their union prior to the creation and implementation of this policy should have been the first step. The VSEA would certainly have provided this valuable insight from its members. Suspend your imposed policy and negotiate with the VSEA.
I eagerly await your response.
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