VSEA Statement On State’s Counter Offer To Union

Offer Arrived Yesterday, After Close Of Business. State Holding 12:30 Press Conference To Announce Offer And More?

Douglas Administration Makes Cost-Savings Counter Offer To
Vermont State Employees Association
            Vermont State Employees Association Director Jes Kraus is acknowledging the receipt last night of a cost-savings counter offer from the Douglas Administration. The offer is a counter to a VSEA cost-savings proposal made weeks ago.
            “I have shared the Douglas Administration’s proposal with the Unit Chairs representing the five impacted bargaining units, but I am not optimistic the State’s counter will be viewed as viable,” said VSEA Director Jes Kraus.
            VSEA had proposed a cost-savings package that amounted to approximately $20 million in savings ($8 million in General Fund savings), but the Douglas Administration quickly dismissed it as not enough. VSEA proposed to save money through a combination of ideas, including a pay and step freeze and furlough days.
            “VSEA members responded to a call for help, and they agreed to sacrifice $2600 each to help Vermont preserve its quality public services,” explained Kraus. “But that wasn’t enough for the Governor, so now we have this counter offer, which, in my opinion, makes it clear that the Douglas Administration wants either a pound of flesh or a body count.”
            Kraus said the Unit Chairs will review the Administration’s proposal before announcing VSEA’s formal response.