As the Vermont legislature works towards addressing the problem of underfunded pensions, the Rutland County Democratic Executive Committee has voted to express its support for Vermont’s state employees and public school teachers and staff.
The pension problem has been growing for decades. We do not need to rush the process. We can afford to slow down until we find a solution that works for everyone. And we should be inviting input from all the stakeholders.
Governor Phil Scott should stop watching from the sidelines. We need bold leadership and solutions. If he can’t provide that, then he needs to get out of the way so that the Democrats can step in and help the people who are counting on us. If Governor Scott thinks that supporting Vermont workers is too radical, then he has no business serving in government office or drawing a salary from our tax dollars.
Historically, Democrats have stood by the working class and many of us are Democrats today for that very reason. We know that Vermont workers were already struggling, even before the pandemic. Workers shouldn’t have to worry about their pensions, especially now. We fear that Vermont will be facing a mass exodus if the underfunded pension problem is not addressed in an equitable way. And this isn’t just an issue of economic justice—it’s a racial justice issue, too, with Black folk, indigenous people, and people of color suffering a disproportionate lack of access to economic resources.
The Rutland County Democratic Executive Committee stands by and supports workers and their right to organize. We support unions. If the Republicans cannot or will not step up and do the right thing, then they should be held accountable for that decision. The vulnerable Vermonters who are relying on us demand our utmost fidelity.
Vermont workers have paid their dues. It’s time that we pay them back.