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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



VSEA-administration hit impasse

The Douglas administration will begin the process of laying off 320 state workers Tuesday after contract negotiations with the union failed Monday afternoon.

- Terri Hallenbeck

I hope the Legislature intervenes and doesn't let the Douglas Administration get away with dismantling of state government.
Gay marriage was a slam dunk compared to trying to fix this train wreck.
Jim = Jobs. NOT!
Jim Douglas is a train wreck for VT.

He wants a body count - cutting emplooyees who are 100% federal funded makes no sense.

And he is shifting all of his communicators into "new" positions and giving them a pay raise while cutting front line workers.

Jim Douglas wants to make the Vt Economy even worse.
The legislature, led by Shumlin & Smith, have on the table- increased income taxes, increased estate taxes, increased state spending by $84.5 million, increased workers compensation premiums, increased unemployment insurance that ONLY business fund, by 50%- and you criticize Douglas for not attracting business and jobs!
A new legislature is needed badly.
BTW- we cannot lay state employees off- only the private businesses are allowed to lay employees off- for their own survival.
Jim Douglas has wanted to do away with the union since he became Governor.

Using the economy as an excuse he has cleverly tried to divide the union members so they could not agree.

1) Announced 660 state worker layoffs

2) Announced that Corrections and State Police would not be affected

3) Announced which positions would be eliminated

4) Using intimidation, and fear to create low morale

5) All of the above has created a situation where the union is divided over what to do - paralyzing negotiations.

6) The State Police and Corrections will not agree to anything more because the Governor has said they are protected.

7) Those employees NOT on the layoff list are agreeing with the job cuts because they are not affected.

Jim Douglas should be ashamed of the his way of doing business. He speaks about the private sector a lot - but most private sector companies do not operate this way.

Union members should be working together for the greater good of both their jobs and the state's constituents.

Jim Douglas should be willing to work with the union to reach a mutually agreeable compromise - unfortunately Jim Douglas' way of compromise is "his way or no way."
Unfortunately NEK - you are badly mistaken on some of this.

Specifically the governor wanted to increase Worker's Comp premiums and the legislature softened the impact.

Like wise, the Governor wanted to increase Unemployment Tax on businesses and the legislature softened the impact.

Frankly, it was Shumlin and Smith that said we can't allow the Governor's plan to go into effect.

Make sure you get your facts straight!
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