Medicaid is a program intended to help the sick, elderly, disabled and poor, but in Vermont, it is also being used to quietly pad politically friendly unions’ bank accounts.
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.
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.
Gov. Phil Scott wants to reshape how teacher healthcare contracts are negotiated, having them done at the state level rather than the supervisory union level. He says this initiative could save the state $26 million.