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



Crafting a deal on labor savings

How hard is it going to be for the Douglas administration and the Vermont State Employees Association to reach a deal on $7.4 million in labor saving and avoid several hundred layoffs?

They have all the makings of the compromise. Both sides have found ways to save the money through a combination of furlough days and a reduction in the number of paid holidays, tapping some medical plan savings, eliminating a wellness program and tuition reimbursement. They each put offers on the table with this stuff. Seemingly they agree.

What the hangup? Some strings the administration wants to attach to this deal that relate to the two-year contract also under negotiation.

What else could make it difficult? Rhetoric.

See what you think about the most recent letters the two sides exchanged.

You can download the Thursday letter from Secretary of Administration Neale Lunderville at this link http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/PDF/091809_Krausletter.pdf

You can download the Friday letter from VSEA Director Jes Kraus back to Lunderville at this link http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/PDF/091809_VSEAletter.pdf

-- Nancy Remsen

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Today is the day. Gov. Douglas can accept VSEA offer or decide to layoff hundreds more state workers. Which will he choose?
Of course if VSEA says no, then they will be accused of laying off the workers. Put blame where it belongs, on the backs of the adminastration.
Jim Douglas has one mission - to decimate state workers and their union before he leaves office.

Jim Douglas ' true self - the arrogant, conservative one is beginning to emerge - now that he does not have to answer to voters.

He has fooled the voters for years!
"Today is the day. Gov. Douglas can accept VSEA offer or decide to layoff hundreds more state workers. Which will he choose?"

Hope he chooses to lay off the workers. State gov't isn't an employment agency. Guess you didn't get the memo. It came out during the Clinton Administration.
"He has fooled the voters for years!"

So, when the supposedly very highly educated and informed Vermont voters choose a Republican governor, it's because they are being fooled. But when they choose a Dem. majority legislature, it's because they know exactly what they are doing???

Nice try.

The same voters who went into the ballot box in 2008 and voted for Douglas also chose Obama and Welch and a Dem. majority Vt. legislature. They were not being "fooled." They knew exactly what they were doing. They did not want an ultraliberal gov. (Symington or Pollina) in charge.

Eat that.
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