FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Conor Casey, VDP Executive Director
Vermont House and Senate Democrats
Protect Collective Bargaining, Lower Property Taxes
May 11, 2017
Montpelier, VT - Today House and Senate Democratic Leadership reached a budget compromise that protects collective bargaining rights for teachers while reducing property taxes by $13 million. The proposal rejects the Governor’s plan to strip the rights of teachers and other school personnel to bargain for health care with their employer, the local school district. The Governor’s proposal, which was floated over the waning days of the session, would take away local control by requiring unions to negotiate with the State of Vermont.
“Governor Scott has joined the ranks of Scott Walker and John Kasich in declaring war on collective bargaining,” said VDP Chair Faisal Gill. “For someone who ran as a moderate in the 2016 election, his recommendations cannot be construed as anything but a direct attack on working Vermonters, 80% of whom, in this case, are women. Our legislative leadership is right to reject this horrific plan.”
The House and Senate achieved an unprecedented level of bipartisanship, with the chambers advancing versions of the budget 143-1 and 30-0 respectively. “The Legislature is in the final stages of passing a fiscally responsible appropriations bill,” said Gill. “It’s time to adjourn. The Governor must stop moving the goalposts and holding state government hostage by taking this draconian position.”
The Vermont Democratic Party’s platform unequivocally states that “employees have the right to organize a union, bargain collectively, and to work free from discrimination in a safe, healthy and fair environment.”
“We will not bend on this issue,” said Gill. “Americans fought and died for the right to organize and bargain with their employer. If we give that up then our platform isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
Paid for by the Vermont Democratic Party and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.