Vermont Press Releases

Vermont-NEA on Governor’s Teacher Health Plan Proposal

News Release — Vermont-NEA
May 17, 2017

Darren Allen
802.224.2403 (office)
802.839.8618 (mobile)

Not So Fast: VEHI Has NOT Confirmed Economic Effects of Governor’s Plan to Gut Collective Bargaining and Upend Local Control

Analysis cited this morning by governor’s office has not been reviewed by a VEHI co-trust administrator and once again was done without consulting the organization representing 40,000 insured Vermonters

MONTPELIER – Contrary to a statement issued by Gov. Phil Scott’s office this morning, the economic effects of his plan to gut collective bargaining and wrest control from local school boards has not been confirmed by the Vermont Education Health Initiative.

The analysis cited by the governor has yet to be shared with or reviewed by one of the two VEHI co-trust administrators. It is yet another instance where the governor and the Vermont School Boards Association have declined to discuss the effects of his scheme with Vermont-NEA, the organization that represents most of the 40,000 Vermonters who are insured through VEHI.

“We really wish the governor and VSBA would spend a little more time doing their homework,” said Martha Allen, a K-12 librarian from Canaan who serves as the president of the 14,000-member Vermont-NEA. “From the very beginning, they have worked together to dump their scheme on us rather than having a substantive discussion about what is really best for Vermont’s communities, schools, educators, and students.”

The governor and VSBA doubled down on their assertions that gutting collective bargaining and taking away power from local school boards will hold educators harmless. They have yet to prove that assertion. “All along, the governor and VSBA have peddled a plan that is designed to do only one thing: take control from local school boards and weaken the relationship between local educators and local school boards,” Allen said.

Vermont-NEA is seeking to review whatever analysis the governor and VSBA are relying on to make their assertions. In addition, both the Joint Fiscal Office and the Office of Legislative Counsel have raised questions about the economic and legal assumptions the governor and VSBA have made while peddling their plan.

Vermont-NEA continues to oppose the governor’s plan to take away the ability of local educators and local school boards to negotiate directly with one another.

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