VSEA Statement On Governor’s Additional 320 Proposed Job Cuts

“I don’t know how any Vermonter could, in good conscience, support the Governor’s plan, knowing the severe damage it will inflict on Vermont’s neediest populations,” said Kraus. 

Douglas Administration Issues New List of Proposed Position Cuts
 
Vermont State Employees Association Warns of Proposal’s Huge Adverse Impact
 
            The Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) is warning that if the State’s plan to achieve $45 million in savings by cutting 320 more employees is adopted, it won’t take long for all Vermonters to realize how badly the services many of them depend upon have been decimated.
            “The State’s list includes very deep cuts to essential programs like home schooling, meat and dairy inspection, solid waste program certification, Reach Up, no public oversight commission…the list goes on and on,” warned VSEA Director Jes Kraus. “Not to mention, the closure of yet another Vermont prison in favor of shipping more Vermonters—and Vermont jobs and income—to out-of-state, private, for-profit prisons in Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma and other states. VSEA believes the plan announced today by the Douglas Administration is simply a further demonstration of this Governor’s strong desire to use Vermont’s budget crisis as a tool to impose his ideology of smaller government. Unfortunately, as a result, Vermonters, not the Governor, are the ones who stand to lose the most.”   
            Kraus added that VSEA is far more supportive of the Democratic leadership’s recently announced budget deficit reduction plan, which included the full VSEA cost-savings proposal and additional savings achieved through a reduction in the number of private contractors the State employs and a reduction in exempt employee costs.
            “The proposal put forward by the Democratic leadership acknowledges the great sacrifice VSEA members were willing to make in order to preserve Vermont’s quality public services,” said Kraus. “Coupled with the additional savings the Speaker and Pro Tem outlined, their proposal would achieve the savings needed; possibly without one more state employee losing his or her job.”
            Kraus said VSEA will be urging Vermont legislators to reject outright the Douglas Administration’s 320 job cuts.
            “I don’t know how any Vermonter could, in good conscience, support the Governor’s plan, knowing the severe damage it will inflict on Vermont’s neediest populations,” said Kraus. 
            Kraus also reminded that putting more Vermonters on the state’s unemployment rolls is the exact opposite of what the Douglas Administration should be doing in these tough, economic times.
            “How the Governor can knowingly propose to cut 320 more Vermont jobs in this terrible economy makes absolutely no sense to VSEA members or—from what we’re hearing—the public at large,” said Kraus.
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