According to United Academics, a union that represents University of Vermont faculty, labor contract negotiations are approaching the mediation stage, and a health care premium increase of almost 6 percent is a primary point of contention.
Anyone who has personally witnessed what contract imposition and strikes do to communities, teachers and families knows they are not momentary inconveniences. They bring long-lasting scars and needless animosity as communities polarize into opposing camps.
The Vermont Education Health Initiative has announced that school employees will face monthly premium increases ranging from 6.4 percent to 17.2 percent — in large part due to far-left lawmakers and the NEA’s drastic efforts to kill Governor Scott’s education health care savings plan.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Janus, 5 million government workers — a number of whom are Vermont teachers and state employees — would be able to opt out of union fees and still keep their jobs.
Watching recent teacher contract talks in both Burlington and South Burlington, it’s clear that nothing has changed in the bargaining strategy and tactics of the teachers’ union.
If the former president of the AFL-CIO and AFT Vermont can learn, perhaps there is hope for Vermont politicians.
Does Vermont have too many state workers? Not enough? Vote for Vermont co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview VSEA Executive Director Steve Howard about issues affecting the state employees union.
Local school boards in Vermont are now responsible for negotiating an 80/20 split in payment of health care premiums or finding the savings elsewhere in their budgets.
The reality is just now coming home to the teachers that their Cadillac policies are expiring and can’t be replaced without substantial penalty. Fortunately for the teachers, Gov. Scott has come up with a plan that will fund Health Savings Accounts for them, essentially holding teachers harmless by paying the higher deductibles in the new “non-Cadillac” plans.