February 8, 2016
February 8, 2016
The Vermont Progressive Party passed a resolution last week that supports state employees by calling on the State to come to the bargaining table with fair contract proposals and end the posturing. It reads:
"Whereas Governor Shumlin deliberately pushing toward imposition of contracts with VSEA Executive Branch Units rather than working toward settlement shows serious disrespect for the collective bargaining process; and
Whereas Governor Shumlin deliberately failed to include a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA ) increase for State employees in its 2017 Budget Proposals and is thereby requesting the Legislature not honor nor even acknowledge the position of State workers; and
Whereas Governor Shumlin has been incrementally expanding the size of management while at the same time pushing front line workers to provide the same level of services with fewer resources; and
Whereas some members of the Democratic leadership in the Legislature have already intruded into collective bargaining by instructing the Governor on a set of cost-cutting restrictions in the VSEA contracts; and
Whereas there should be a commitment to revenue resources as put forward by Public Assets, which should both meet the modest request of State workers and at the same time address the unmet human needs of Vermont;
Therefore be it resolved that the Vermont Progressive Party Labor Commission:
— Urges the Governor of Vermont to work quickly within the 20-day time frame to reach contract agreements with the VSEA;
— Urges the General Assembly to fully-fund a Cost-Of-Living Adjustment commensurate with projected inflation and personal income growth, while addressing the sub-standard compensation throughout state government;
— Urges the administration to evaluate the growth of management, temporary employees, tax expenditures and private contracting in state government and if cost-saving cuts must be made, that they be directed in these bloated areas of state government, not programs such as Community High School, the Caledonia Work Camp and Risk Management;
— Urges all Legislators to stay out of the collective bargaining process and allow the Executive Branch and the Employees themselves bargaining for the terms of the contracts; and
— Urges Legislators to adopt Progressive revenue, such as the proposal outlined by Public Assets Institute, as these modest proposals create a more progressive tax structure and preserve all vital State services."
VSEA thanks the Progressive Party for its support!