VSEA’s Week In Action Newsletter: September 6, 2018
Early Edition! Due to tomorrow’s important, all-day Council meeting, WIA is publishing today. We’ll return to Friday publishing next week. Thanks.
See You Saturday At The 2018 VSEA Annual Meeting
More than 150 VSEA members and retirees have registered to attend this year’s VSEA Annual Meeting, which is being held Saturday at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier.
By now, all VSEA members and retirees should have received a link to the 2018 VSEA Annual Meeting WARN, and VSEA is requesting that all members and retirees attending this year’s Annual Meeting please print out this publication and bring it with you to the meeting. VSEA will have a limited number of publications on hand but, if you are able, please print it out on your end. Thanks in advance!
The deadline to register to attend VSEA’s 74th Annual Meeting was August 28, but no worries. If you failed to register by the deadline, you are still welcome to walk in to Annual Meeting on September 8 to attend the meeting portion, provided you are a member in good standing, meaning a full dues-paying VSEA member.
Be advised that if you walk in to the meeting on Saturday, September 8, VSEA will be unable to provide you with a meal at the Annual Meeting luncheon, as food had to be pre-ordered.
Time Is Now To Self-Nominate For Election
To A VSEA
VSEA Council December, 2017
The terms for all VSEA Departmental Council members expire at the end of September 2018. If you are interested in serving as a Departmental Council member, please email your self-nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your self-nomination must be received no later than 4:00 PM Friday, September 14, 2018.
VSEA Bylaw 3, Section 4 requires that if more members are interested in the position(s) than there are seats available, an election will be held no less than 30 days following Annual Meeting.
It is important to note that if you currently hold a VSEA Council seat—and want to retain your seat—you need to complete the self-nomination process.
The Council self-nomination email should include the following information.
If you have any questions about the nomination process please call Ayla Hudson at 802-223-5247 or email her at email@example.com.
Tomorrow’s VSEA Council meeting will feature a retirement presentation from State Treasurer Beth Pearce, where she will be discussing the status of the state employee pension system, and educating Council members on how VSEA members and retirees can help her continue to strongly fight back against attacks on your retirement security.
VSEA President Dave Bellini, quoted in a September 4 VTDigger story, openly questioning the State of Vermont’s decision to cap the number of accrued sick days state employees can use when they’re out because of a serious injury or illness. VSEA won a legal victory this week to eliminate the cap.
State Can No Longer Cap Sick Leave At Six Weeks A Year For VSEA Members Who Have Serious Illnesses Or Injuries
In case you missed it, VSEA sent the following update to members on Friday, August 31:
VSEA learned today that the Vermont Supreme Court has confirmed that the State has been violating contractual language when it caps sick leave at 6 weeks a year for VSEA members who have serious illnesses or injuries. The Court affirmed the decision of the VLRB that the state has misinterpreted the so-called “cascade” provisions of the Parental and Family Leave Article of the three Executive Branch contracts.
The Court and the Board both found that the State and VSEA negotiated the current Parental and Family Leave Article in 1999 with the explicit intention to protect sick leave and other benefits found elsewhere in the contract. The State honored that agreement for almost 15 years and then began to apply the so-called cascade to cap the use of sick leave at 6 weeks.
While this decision only directly affects the individual grievant, VSEA has filed class-action grievances to force the State to comply with the decision for dozens if not hundreds of other state workers who have been forced to use annual or other leave to cover illnesses over the past several years. VSEA expects the State to apply the decision to those pendingcases, but will continue to litigate if the state continues to violate the contract.
NOTABLE PASSAGE FROM
THE RULING: “The state’s position moreover has the strange result that the right of the employee to use their sick leave credits is more restricted when they are suffering from a serious illness, when they may need to use their sick leave the most, than
a minor one.”
VSEA Posts Fourth In Short Video Series, Titled “I’m Sticking With
"There is organizing to be done. But it is engagement with your fellow workers, engagement with activists in the union. Find out what’s happening. Find out what you can do to help. Make your life better by becoming active in the union."
-VSEA Retired Member, Goldie Watson
At the direction of the Board of Trustees, VSEA’s Communications Department is providing a new visual education piece for members and retirees to share with anyone who is on the fence about their union, post-Janus ruling. The fourth installment of the “I’m Sticking With My Union” video clips features retired Vermont State Hospital Employee Goldie Watson, sharing why members need to stick with VSEA like she is sticking with her union, even in retirement. Additional clips will post soon.
Any VSEA member interested in appearing in a future video can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and write “I’m Sticking With My Union” in the subject line. And if you decide you want to sit down for a few minutes to share your thoughts with your union brothers and sisters, VSEA thanks you in advance.
VSEA Announces November Bus Trip To Foxwoods Casino!
The VSEA Membership Recruitment Committee is pleased to announce a November Foxwoods Casino trip with a two-night stay.
November 30 to December 2, 2018
$68 per person Bus will depart from Waterbury at 12:00 p.m. and a location to be determined at 1:00 p.m.
(Two Nights/Two Trees Inn):
$138 per person/double occupancy
$122 per person/triple occupancy
(2) $10 food credit or full Festival Buffet;
$5 food credit or full Breakfast Buffet; and
$20 slot play.
To Register Or If You Have Questions:
Please contact VSEA Union Rep Bob South (email@example.com) or Administrative Assistant Sue DeVoid (firstname.lastname@example.org). Each can be reached by phone at 802-223-5247.
Payment must be received within one week of registering or you will lose your spot. Cash, check and credit card payments accepted. To pay, please contact VSEA Union Representative Bob South by email (email@example.com) or phone 802-223-5247. Thank You!
“To determine where Americans work the hardest, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 10 key indicators. They range from average workweek hours to share of workers with multiple jobs to annual volunteer hours per resident.”
VSEA members continue to inquire to headquarters about the status of the new NMU, Supervisory and Corrections’ contracts and where they can find them online to review and understand.
To date, the contract the VLRB ruled in favor of has not been printed or posted because, as many VSEA members and retirees know, VSEA and the State just completed VLRB-requested mediation last week. But now that mediation has concluded, and an agreement has been reached and the VLRB has approved it, it should pave the way for the new contracts to be printed and posted soon.
What You Should Know About The Anti-Worker Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
If you haven’t already, begin educating yourself today about what the Janus decision means—or supplement what you know already. Please also inform your co-workers about this Janus page and talk with them about what you learned and remind them of the importance of a union in their everyday life. You could make a difference. Every study shows that nothing is more effective than member-to-member communication.
Thanks in advance for visiting VSEA’s Janus webpage to ensure you are an informed union member.
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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.