|by Guy Page|
The Vermont State Employees Association – the union for state employees – recently reported good news about members’ paychecks and pensions as a result of the actions of the 2021 Legislature. According to a recent VSEA newsletter:
The Pay Act is fully funded. For Executive Branch, Judiciary, State’s Attorneys and Defender General Unit members, this ensures a 2.25% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) beginning this July, two health insurance premium holidays, step movement throughout the year, and the implementation of the paid family leave program.
The state pension plan is fully funded for state employees and teachers. Total cost is $343 million, including $250 million General Fund (14% of total General Fund).
Also, an additional $164 million will be added to the pension funds from the General Fund and Education Fund, once the pension task force completes its work.
The Vermont Judiciary receives $9 million to relieve a caseload backlog by creating dozens of new positions and by enabling more improperly classified temporary employees to be converted to classified employees.
$3.3 million is allocated to the Office of States Attorneys and $2.7 million into Defender General Office to fill vacancies and increase staff to cope with a backlog caused by COVID-19.
More than $87 million is allocated to the Vermont State Colleges to backfill revenue lost due to the pandemic. The funding also increases learning opportunities for high-demand professions, provides bridge-funding for the VSC’s merger into one accredited institution with multiple campuses, and includes a $5 million (16.7%) base-funding increase.