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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.170

Introduced by Representatives Atkins of Winooski, Larocque of Barnet and Pillsbury of Brattleboro

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; UVM retirees; labor relations

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to ensure that postretirement benefits for retirees of the University of Vermont and their eligible dependents are equivalent in scope and coverage to those of active employees in their respective employment groups.

AN ACT RELATING TO RETIREES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  PURPOSE

By this act, the general assembly intends to ensure that:

(1)  Postretirement benefits for retirees of the University of Vermont and their eligible dependents are equivalent in scope and coverage to those of active employees in their respective employment groups.

(2)  Premiums which retirees will pay for their coverage and that of their eligible dependents will be no greater when combined with mandatory Medicare premiums than the premiums paid by active employees.

(3)  In no instance will enhanced benefit coverage or lower premiums conveyed to a retiree in the form of an individual contract, an early retirement plan, a voluntary separation agreement, or any other form of legal agreement be revised or eliminated by the university.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 902(5) is amended to read:

(5)  “State employee” means any individual employed on a permanent or limited status basis by the state of Vermont, the Vermont state colleges or the University of Vermont, including permanent part-time employees, and an individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with, any current labor dispute or because of any unfair labor practice; or a retiree who has qualified for postretirement benefits from the University of Vermont, but excluding an individual:

* * *

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 904(a) is amended to read:

(a)  All matters relating to the relationship relationships between the employer and employees or the relationships between the employer and retirees of the University of Vermont pertaining to postretirement benefits and other forms of deferred compensation earned prior to retirement shall be the subject of collective bargaining except those matters which are prescribed or controlled by statute.  Such matters appropriate for collective bargaining to the extent they are not prescribed or controlled by statute include but are not limited to:

(1)  Wages, salaries, benefits, including postretirement health insurance and other forms of compensation earned by University of Vermont employees prior to retirement, and reimbursement practices relating to necessary expenses and the limits of reimbursable expenses;

* * *

Sec. 4.  3 V.S.A. § 926 is amended to read:

§ 926.  GRIEVANCES

The board shall hear and make final determination on the grievances of all employees and retirees of the University of Vermont in relation to postretirement benefits and other compensation earned prior to retirement who are eligible to appeal grievances to the board.  Grievance hearings at the board level shall be conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the board.  The right to institute grievance proceedings extends to individual employees, groups of employees, and collective bargaining units.


Sec. 5.  3 V.S.A. § 927(d) is added to read:

(d)  Postretirement benefits for retirees of the University of Vermont may be bargained for by an appropriate bargaining unit; however, the retirees shall not be included as part of the appropriate unit.

Sec. 6.  LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON RETIREES OF THE

             UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

(a)  There is created a legislative committee to study the labor relations between the retirees and the administration of the University of Vermont.

(b)  The committee shall consist of three members of the senate appointed by the committee on committees and three members of the house appointed by the speaker of the house, one member appointed by the state labor relations board, two members appointed by the board of trustees of the University of Vermont, and two retirees of the University of Vermont appointed by the executive committee of the retired faculty and administrative officers.  The committee shall elect a chair from among its members.

(c)  The committee shall document the full range of benefits currently provided by the State Employees Labor Relations Act to University of Vermont retirees and the impact that these benefits have on retirees and their beneficiaries; and consider at what level change is needed so that the increased needs of the retirees of the University of Vermont can be met.

(d)   The committee may meet up to eight times.

(e)  Support shall be provided by the legislative council and the state labor relations board.

(f)  The committee shall submit to the general assembly a report that details its analysis, findings, and recommendations, including recommended appropriations, by January 15, 2008.

(g)  Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement for travel expenses as provided in section 406 of Title 2.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us