VSEA Members Urged To Rally With Teachers On June 7
On Wednesday, June 7, Vermont National Education Association (VTNEA) members and supporters are holding rallies in various locations statewide to urge public support for their right to collectively bargain. Supporters from unions across Vermont will be rallying in solidarity with the teachers.
VSEA is urging members who live or work in any of the following towns to please attend a VTNEA June 7 rally if you are able:
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
City Hall Park
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
High & Main Streets
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Main Street & River St.
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Route 4 & West Street
861 Williston Road
Once Again, Senator Pollina Steps Up To Defend Vermont Workers Under Attack
In response to the State’s threat to veto the budget because teachers are justifiably refusing to give up their right to collectively bargain their health care benefits, Senator Anthony Pollina (P-Washington) penned an op-ed this week, titled “Eliminating Local Bargaining Is A Big Deal.”
Here’s an excerpt:
“There is more money for child care, our state colleges and mental health workers; support for small rural towns, commercial loggers and foresters; and a major investment in much-needed affordable housing. And, it got there without raising taxes, just like the [State] asked. It passed the Senate unanimously and in the House got all but one vote.
Looking Again To Fill Open Combined Unit Seat On VSEA Board Of Trustees
The VSEA Board of Trustees is once again casting a net to find members interested in filling the body’s Combined Unit seat. This seat is open to VSEA members working in the Defender General’s Office and at the State Housing Authority.
All full-fledged VSEA members who work for the Defender General’s Office and State Housing Authority are eligible and are encouraged to submit a petition.
National AFL-CIO Releases List Of 13 Ways The Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Would Hurt Workers
The national AFL-CIO this week posted an article to its website that lists the 13 ways the new administration’s proposed federal budget cuts would hurt working Americans.
It will kill nearly 2 million jobs by 2020 through huge budget cuts.
It will waste trillions of dollars on tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthiest 1% and increase the tax incentive for global corporations to send jobs overseas.
It will cause millions of people to lose Medicaid coverage because of its $1.6 trillion in cuts to the program.
It will cut Social Security’s earned benefits by $64 billion, and some workers will be hit with an average of $7,000 in cuts to their initial disability benefits.
It will cut $59 billion in Medicare and undermine financing of the Medicare program.
It will devastate public schools, eliminate after-school programs and much-needed training for teachers, and make it harder for young people to go to college by cutting student loan funding by $143 billion over 10 years.
It will threaten workers’ freedoms by decimating the National Labor Relations Board while increasing funding for union audits and undermining workers’ pension plans.
Safety and Health for
It will eliminate the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s worker safety and health-training program, gut job safety research, wipe out investigations of chemical accident, and weaken OSHA’s ability to inspect workplaces, leading to more workers being injured and killed on the job.
Training for Working People
It will deny training and employment services for nearly 7.7 million adults, displaced workers, seniors, young people and farm workers.
It will harm working women, especially working mothers, by cutting funding for Medicaid, food stamps, and child care assistance and eliminating the only federal agency mandated to represent the needs of wage-earning women.
It will cut federal employees’ retirement benefits by $117 billion and cut their pay by 6% by forcing them to pay more toward their retirement.
Despite its proposed $200 billion infrastructure initiative, it will continue to neglect crumbling infrastructure by cutting $206 billion in existing federal infrastructure programs, including Amtrak, rail, transit, superfund cleanup, public housing repair, water and other programs.
Immigrant Working People
Immigrant workers, who are a positive part of our communities, and unions face attacks because of increases in funding for programs to arrest, detain and deport them.
VSEA Invites Female Members To Sign Up For 2017 Northeast Regional Summer School For Union Women
VSEA is inviting members interested in attending the 42nd UALE Northeast Regional Summer School For Union Women to contact your union today. This year’s school is being held July 22-26 on the campus of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Amherst, Ma. VSEA is sponsoring 10 members who want to attend, and two have already signed up to go.
The UALE Summer School includes classes and workshops on a variety of union-related topics. Women from all over the country and beyond learn the skills and knowledge needed to play leadership roles in their unions. Visitors from unions in other countries frequently participate. One of the most valuable aspects of the schools is the chance to meet and network with other union women from around the region and beyond.
The deadline for interested members to let VSEA know that you would like to attend this event is the close of business, Tuesday, June 20! Email a letter of interest and your contact information to VSEA Clerk Katelyn Chase at email@example.com.
VSEA Board Endorses Member Participation In 2017 “Vermont LGBTQIA Solidarity March”
At its meeting this morning in Montpelier, the VSEA Board of Trustees voted to endorse VSEA member participation in the 2017 “Vermont LGBTQIA Solidarity March” in Montpelier. The Montpelier march is just one of many being held across the nation on Saturday, June 10, to coincide with a main rally and march in Washington D.C.
Montpelier marchers are meeting at 10:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Department of Labor, located at 5 Green Mountain Drive. The march begins from there at 10:30 a.m., and there is a rally on the State House steps, beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Small Corrections To Supervisory Unit Bargaining Team Contact Info
Earlier this week, the VSEA Supervisory Bargaining Team sent an email to Unit members, soliciting ideas from them to include in upcoming negotiations and listing current contact information for each Team member. The email listing contained a couple of errors, and Supervisory Unit members are urged to amend with the following correct information:
Newport Chapter Holding Employee Appreciation Day Event On June 9
The VSEA Newport Chapter is hosting an Employee Appreciation Day event on Friday, June 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 250 of the Emory Hebard Building at 100 Main Street in Newport.
Stop by during your lunch break for treats and VSEA giveaway items. VSEA staff and member leaders will be on hand to provide Newport Chapter members with updates on the issues and challenges facing state employees and learn more from you about how your service is functioning and what your needs are.
Come share your ideas about how to build a stronger VSEA and also hear what your colleagues think. Bring your lunch, your co-workers, and your concerns.
VSEA Member Scores Vehicle Discount Thanks To VSEA Advantage Program Discount
One week after WIA announced that Paquin Motors had added its name to the growing list of vendors participating in your union’s Advantage Discount Program, VDH member Colleen Bedard wrote VSEA to say how happy she is with the money the program saved her this week at the dealership.
“The transaction was incredibly smooth at Paquin Motors,” says Bedard (pictured here with new vehicle). “My salesman, Jeff Devoid, let me in on a little secret that as a member of the VSEA I was eligible for a nice discount on my 2017 Dodge Ram. Unbelievable savings. Thank you VSEA!”
The June 1 Harvard Political Review includes a story titled ‘Right-to-Work is Wronging Workers” that takes a comprehensive look at the adverse impact so-called right-to-work laws are, or will, have on America’s workers. The story educates about all that is wrong with legislation introduced at the federal level to make the entire nation right to work. It also warns about the U.S. Supreme Court taking up the issue of agency fee again now that the U.S. Supreme Court is fully constituted. VSEA members will remember that the Court was unable to break a 4-4 tie on a previous agency-fee lawsuit after Justice Scalia passed away unexpectedly.
The story ends ominously with a quote from one of the story’s authors, saying, “There needs to be a broad recognition amongst the public of what’s at stake. This is not just an attack on unions but an attack on democracy itself.”
VSEA’s Communications Department is happy to disseminate any and all communications the leadership, Chapters, Units, and others request, however, the lists the Department currently pull from are provided to the union by the State of Vermont. VSEA’s Communications Department has found the lists to be dated, incomplete and sometimes lacking key information that was entered by a VSEA staff person but later overwritten or deleted during a State data dump.
To help VSEA more effectively reach active members—and really all those members who want to know what’s going on in their union—VSEA will be working hard in the coming months to collect members’ emails on its own and begin to build contact lists that cannot be altered by a State download.
You can help us get started by clicking here and signing up for the VSEA communications you are interested in receiving.
Thank you in advance for subscribing. Please urge your colleagues to do the same.
Need To Update Your Contact Information With VSEA?
Newport Chapter Employee Appreciation Day Event
Hebard State Office Building
100 Main St.
Organizer’s Monthly Meeting – Brattleboro
State Office Building
232 Main St.
LGBTQIA Solidarity March
Department of Labor Parking Lot
5 Green Mountain Drive
10:00 a.m. – Congregate
10:30 a.m. – March
Read Contracts Online At VSEA.org
VSEA members belonging to the Non-Management, Corrections, Judiciary, Defender General and Supervisory Units can click here to view your contract. All these contracts expire on June 30, 2018.
Quote of The Week!
"So, obviously, that would have a huge impact if you didn’t have someone facilitating that and you don’t have your child with you. It’s a real consequence for real people."
Alaskan state worker Alicia Hughes-Skandjis, telling KTVA the impact a July 1 government shutdown would have on her clients, who are mainly parents seeking to reunite with their child. Lawmakers are locked in a budget stalemate, so the State of Alaska began sending 18,000 layoff notices to workers this week.
VSEA Officer Candidate Petitions Due July 11!
The deadline to submit a petition to run for one of four VSEA Officer posts is 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 11. Members simply download a petition, collect the required signatures and then submit their petition to VSEA to place their name into nomination for one of the five union officer positions up for election in 2017. The positions are:
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Note: VSEA candidates for all positions are required to submit a petition bearing no fewer than 25 VSEA members’ names, signatures and employee number.
VSEA Member Only Benefits: Your VSEA Money Saving Advantage!
See What Discounts Are Being Offered Today!
Did you know the average VSEA member can save hundreds of dollars a year by taking advantage of some of the Members Only benefits offered through their union?
GET EXCLUSIVE OFFERS, DISCOUNTS & MORE
It’s free, just for being a Vermont State Employees’ Association PerksConnect member!
At the top of the Advantage Program page, click the link that says "Click Here To Log Into The New VSEA Advantage Program". This will redirect you to the new Advantage Program website. Please note this link will not work unless you are logged into your VSEA.org account first.
Select a category and start saving!
Present your VSEA union card, mobile device or printed coupons and offers at participating businesses and receive immediate discounts.
Don’t see what you are looking for?
Request a merchant by filling out the Vendor Information form here. Please note submissions are subject to approval.
If Searching For Child Care, Don’t Forget This Important Resource For State Employees
Longtime VSEA member, now retiree, Dave Clark has served on VSEA’s Child and Elder Care Committee for many years, and he recently asked WIA to remind state employees about an important child-care resource that is currently available to them.
“The Committee has noticed a recent decline in employees’ usage of the valuable child-care resources available to them, so we asked WIA to help us remind VSEA members about what is available,” explains Clark.
In an effort to better educate frontline worksite Stewards about their role in VSEA, as well as provide them with enhancements to their existing skill set, VSEA’s Field Department is hosting a series of “Steward Summits” across Vermont this year.
VSEA Stewards are learning the latest developments relating to contract enforcement and receiving an overview of the budget, safety and health and other challenges that lie ahead for state employees. Stewards attending are being asked to immediately help out by taking some of what they learn back to the worksite to educate their colleagues.
Three, six-hour trainings remain, and every current VSEA Steward is required to attend one session.
Future Steward Summits (all 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) are scheduled for:
August 18 – Best Western, 45 Blush Hill Road, Waterbury
October 20 – Hotel Coolidge, 39 South Main St., White River Junction
November 3 – Holiday Inn, 476 Holiday Drive, Rutland
VSEA Organizer Tim Lenoch is personally conducting informational meetings in set workplaces on set days in four locations. He says the purpose of the meetings is to provide members with an opportunity to “join with their colleagues and VSEA staff for updates and discussion on the issues and challenges facing state employees and the impact on your working conditions and the services they provide.” He adds that members are welcome to “come share their ideas and hear from co-workers on how to build a stronger union and improve public services.”
Snacks and refreshments are provided.
State Office Building
232 Main Street
White River Junction
State Office Building
118 Prospect Street
First Floor Conference Room
State Office Building
100 Mineral Street
AHS Conference Room
State Office Building
63 Professional Dr.
NMU Sick Leave Bank Teetering On Bankruptcy! VSEA Members Urged To Contribute
Donations Being Accepted
April 1 To June 30
VSEA member Dawn Carrillo staffs the Non-Management Unit Sick Leave Bank, and she is again asking WIA to sound the alarm that the bank is nearly depleted of hours. She is also announcing that NMU members can donate a few hours to your Unit’s sick leave bank from April 1 to June 30, 2017.
“Just donating an hour of your time can mean the world to a fellow employee,” reads a new flyer DHR is circulating. It also informs state employees that they can donate any amount of annual- or personal-leave time to the NMU Sick Leave Bank. “Know that you are performing a wonderful service by helping your friends and fellow employees, who, along with their families, are struggling due to serious health issues,” the flyer concludes.
“I want to thank every member for considering a donation to your Unit sick leave bank,” says VSEA President Dave Bellini. “Even if you only donate one hour to the bank, these one-hour donations add up. It’s so worthwhile because your donation is going to help a fellow state employee who is battling a serious illness.”
Last fall, VSEA’s Membership Recruitment Committee launched a “Membership Engagement and Recruitment Initiative” to grow the union’s ranks. The Committee asked members to talk with current agency-fee payers about the benefits of full-fledged membership and why the member should make the switch. If the member decides to upgrade their membership, the recruiting member will have the satisfaction of knowing they helped their union become stronger, but, in addition, the Membership Recruitment Committee will be awarding different levels of prizes to members, based on the number of new VSEA members recruited.
Here are the guidelines to participate and be eligible for a prize:
Whether submitting your recruited member(s) name(s)on a physical recruitment card or online, you must include your name as the recruiter;
Every member who recruits a new member will has his or her name entered into a drawing for the Grand Prize. The winner’s name will be drawn at VSEA’s Annual Meeting in September 2017, and the winner must be present to claim the prize;
Team entries are being accepted. Please register with Membership Recruitment Committee Chair Katelyn Chase by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members who recruit a new member, who then agrees to join your union’s political awareness committee (VTPAC) will receive an additional chance to win the Grand Prize, and
The cut-off date for this competition is August 30, 2017.
Here are the different prize levels:
$10 gift card and a VSEA water bottle (75 prizes awarded)
$25 gift card and a VSEA hat
(40 prizes awarded)
$50 gift card and a VSEA tote bag
(15 prizes awarded)