The Vermont State Employees Association offered to freeze worker pay, forgo reimbursment
for meals and tuition and take four days off without pay -- to save $8.5 million in General Fund dollars.
The union said it hoped these savings, plus a reduction in the use of private contracts for services, could avert the need for any layoffs.
The Douglas administration proposed 600 layoffs to save $17 million in General Fund dollars. The administration is looking not just for short-term savings to address revenue shortfalls, but long-term savings.
The union proposed most of its concessions last only a year. However, the VSEA
offered to forgo
the cost of living pay increase for two years -- because it's willing to put off contract negotiations for a year.
The union said the way to achieve longer-term savings would be to offer early retirement, with incentives. There are a lot of folks who are or soon will be eligible to retire and some of their positions could be eliminated, union leaders said.
What's missing here is more detail about which private contracts the union would propose eliminating.
If that were on the table, it would be easier to make comparisons about impacts once the administration releases its list of 600 job cuts.
-- Nancy Remsen