(Host) Governor Jim Douglas wants lawmakers to back out of a labor dispute involving the Vermont State Colleges. The state college faculty wants to change a labor board ruling that phases out an early retirement program.
State law gives the Legislature final authority over the labor contract. And earlier this week, the Senate voted to send the issue to binding arbitration.
But Douglas says the union already had its chance before the labor relations board.
(Douglas) “And the board found very strongly in favor of management’s position when the last best offers were submitted. They not only sided with management unanimously, but they concluded that each component of the management’s position was preferable to that of the union. Now I understand that there’s some union members aren’t happ. But this is the process. And for the General Assembly to interfere with something like that is a big mistake.”
(Host) The bill is now in a House-Senate conference committee, and Douglas hopes lawmakers remove the provision.
College faculty and their supporters in the Legislature say it’s fundamentally unfair to take away a retirement benefit that was promised when the teachers were hired.