Judiciary Bargaining Unit Team Meeting
Quote Of The Week!
“We can control health costs while standing up for working Americans. By repealing the cadillac tax, we can prevent certain employer-provided health plans from being taxed.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who this week joined Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to introduce legislation to repeal an excise tax on millions of Americans’ health care plans.
VtSHARES Welcomes New Program to its Roster of Charitable Organizations: Girls/Boyz FIRST Mentoring Program
This piece was submitted to WIA by Doug Kievit-Kylar (VSEA & Sustainability Committee Member/Mentor with the Girls/Boyz FIRST Mentoring Program
The season of giving will soon be upon us once again as VtSHARES rolls out again this autumn. This is the time of year when we all invest in our fellow Vermonters by donating to charitable organizations designed to help those in need. Every year Vermont state employees demonstrate remarkable generosity of spirit through their donations to VtSHARES – and VSEA members have, and can continue to play an important role in supporting charitable organizations of their choice.
VtSHARES was established in 1977 as the State Employees’ Combined Charitable Appeal (SECCA) to allow an annual, coordinated campaign to permit payroll deduction, thereby encouraging financial support from Vermont State employees for local charitable organizations providing services to Vermonters. The campaign allows employees to spread contributions over an entire year or to make a one-time gift through payroll deductions.
This is the first year that the Girls/Boyz FIRST Mentoring Program is included in the roster of charitable organizations that State employees may elect to support with a donation. As a mentor for nearly two decades in this program myself I urge you to learn what you can about mentoring, about this important program, and consider making a donation to support young Vermonters.
The economy and environment have continued to be hard on many Vermonters, and supporting those in need has always been a trademark of state employees and VSEA members. I urge you to take part in VtSHARES and choose to make a difference.
"Right-Size Government" Is Code For Service/Job Cuts!
VSEA is advising members to keep an ear open for the phrase "right-size government" in the coming months. It’s code for service and job cuts.
If you hear this phrase, remember what "right-sizing" government means to frontline state workers, which is:
Adding 52-84 new positions in Corrections, which a study said was needed, primarily for safety reasons;
Adding 40-60 (or more…) new DCF social worker positions, to try to prevent another tragedy;
Adding much-needed positions at the Green Mountain Psychiatric Care Facility, where one or two wings are currently closed due to a lack of staff and Vermont is in a mental health crisis;
Adding Dispatcher positions to help alleviate the workload issues caused by the ill-advised recent closure of two Vermont PSAPs; and
You tell VSEA. Send an email to email@example.com and write “Positions Needed!” in the subject line. Tell us what you do, where you work and why more employees are needed.
Please help VSEA ensure Vermonters understand the message. Thanks!
Discounted 2015 Great Escape Tickets Still Available!
Park open on weekends through October!
2015 Regular Day Tickets are $33 each! (That’s $25 in savings!)
Discount tickets are available to purchase online by clicking here,
In order to access VSEA’s Great Escape discount code, you must be a registered “member-only” VSEA website user (you can sign up here). Please note that there is a service charge for purchasing online.
You can also purchase tickets for pick-up at VSEA HQ by contacting Doug Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org
VSEA is pleased to share this video that was shown to members attending Annual Meeting at the Jay Peak Resort in Jay on September 12, 2015.
VSEA Establishes Fund To Assist Lara Sobel’s Daughters
VSEA is pleased to announce that an online page is now live for members and others to donate to the “VSEA Fund for the Children of Lara Sobel.”
“We’ve had requests from members and other Vermonters who were looking for a way to help, so VSEA was pleased to work with the Sobel family to establish this special fund,” explains VSEA Communications Director Doug Gibson.
Vermont Senator Introduces Bill To Kill Health Care Excise Tax
In early July, WIA reported that representatives of nearly all VSEA’s Bargaining Teams were at the Best Western in Waterbury to meet with each other and representatives of the State and Vermont’s congressional delegation to discuss the ramifications of the federal Affordable Care Act’s (a.k.a. Obamacare) proposed excise tax on “high-cost” health care plans, which is being imposed in 2018. At the meeting, VSEA and the State mutually agreed there were real concerns about the tax’s adverse impact to some 60% of Vermonters who have health care plans deemed to be "too rich with benefits." This group includes VSEA members, teachers and other Vermont union members, as well as a large number of Vermonters working in the private sector. To help avert damage from the tax, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced this week that is teaming with allies from across the aisle to introducing legislation to repeal it. Sanders’ bill would impose a surtax on the wealthiest Americans to make up for an anticipated shortfall if the excise tax is repealed.
WIA will keep members updated on any developments around Sen. Sanders’ legislation to repeal the excise tax on health care plans.
Correction: Brattleboro Chapter Meeting Is Monday, September 28!
A recent email message from VSEA Brattleboro Chapter President Robin Rieske to Chapter members contained an incorrect date for the Chapter’s meeting next week. The meeting is Monday, September 28, not Wednesday. It begins at 4:45 p.m. At the Marina Restaurant.
Rieske apologizes for any inconvenience the error might cause.
VSEA Board Of Trustees’ Corrections Seat Open To Interested DOC Members!
For years, VSEA’s Corrections Unit has been represented admirably on the VSEA Board of Trustees by Dave Bellini, who was recently elected VSEA President. Bellini’s new post creates an opening on the Board, and VSEA is accepting petitions from interested workers who belong to the Corrections Unit.
If you’re a VSEA DOC member who is interested in running to fill the Corrections Board seat, you must obtain 25 signatures or more on a petition and submit it to headquarters by 4:00 p.m., Friday, October 9, 2015.
Have You Signed The VSEA 2015 Contract: Respect & Dignity Petition?
As official contract bargaining on successor agreements begins, VSEA is reminding members to sign your union’s “2015 Contract: Respect & Dignity” petition, which calls for good-faith bargaining, an end to cuts, cuts and more cuts and for lawmakers to stay out of the collective bargaining process (language prompted by a letter from the Chairs of two powerful House committees with their suggestions for what and how to bargain with state employees). To date, VSEA has collected nearly 900 signatures on the petition, but we need more!
One of the VSEA members honored at this year’s Annual Meeting by then-President Martin was longtime VSEA activist Alton “Tony” Smith; a retired DCF worker. Tony reached out to WIA to include this short statement from him.
“Thanks to all involved in my Presidents Award at annual meeting,” wrote Smith. “The applause and chant of my name was great.”
“You are welcome Tony,” responds Martin. “You are beloved throughout our VSEA family, and the recognition is deserved.”
Deadline For Discount Sugarbush Ski Passes Is September 30!
For the ninth straight year, VSEA is pleased to inform you that the VSEA Advantage Discount Program is once again offering discounted Sugarbush all‐mountain (& other) ski passes for the 2015‐2016 season. This year, Sugarbush is once again using an online sign‐up feature, which went live on September 1. This year’s rate will be (15+ VSEA sign‐ups) $899 + tax. Offer is available only to full-fledged VSEA members, meaning those who pay full dues. VSEA will be confirming names and status with Sugarbush representative. All-Mountain youth ($479), child ($30) and “20s” ($349) passes can also be purchased from the link.
Discounted Bolton Valley Season Passes Now Available To VSEA Members
For the third year in a row, the VSEA Advantage Discount Program is pleased to offer discounted season passes to the Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Bolton, Vt. VSEA members who order a pass before October 31, 2015, will receive a $70 discount off the regular $569 season pass price, making it just $499. Like last year, this offer is available only to VSEA members who are currently paying full dues to their union.
The sign-up process is pretty straightforward, but, like last year, in order for a member to view the special VSEA discount promo code (which can be found by clicking here), you must be a registered user of the VSEA website, which also requires you to be a full dues-paying member. If you want to register for member-only status, please click here. To sign up to become a full, dues-paying member, please click here.
After acquiring the special VSEA promo code, VSEA members can go here to place your season pass order.
Follow these instructions to make your purchase:
Click on “Buy Online” and select pass products, accepting or declining pass protection and adding each product to your cart.
In the Cart view, click on “Add/Change Guest” to set the pass holder’s name and information to each pass product, then click “Proceed to Checkout.”
Enter your Promo Code in the box where it asks for your promo code then click “Apply Code.” The cart should be refreshed and show the discounted corporate pricing.
A 2015-16 Bolton Valley All Access Season Pass includes:
Unlimited alpine skiing and riding;
100km of Nordic and backcountry skiing;
A 20% discount on rentals, retail shop purchases, group ski and ride lessons, and lodging (includes condos, suites, or hotel rooms); and
Sports Center Membership including access to an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and sauna.
BV pricing allows you to build your own family pass. Adult passes are just $499 and passes for youth 17 and under are just $159 when purchased with a parent’s pass.