Letters to the Editor: Insurance deal for all teachers merits bipartisan backing

Angelo Lynn’s editorial “$26 million savings is too much for Dems to ignore” in last Thursday’s Addison Independent was spot-on. Gov. Scott’s proposal to create a statewide health insurance contract for teachers and school staff is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that so-called leaders of the Legislature show every sign of passing up.
Saving Vermonters $26 million per year on taxpayer-funded health insurance costs should not be a political issue. Teachers are held harmless: no premium increase, and they keep the same generous coverage they now enjoy. What’s not to love?
The crux of the matter is this: the teachers’ union opposes this, partly because their highly-paid attorneys generally mop the floor with our volunteer elected school boards, when negotiating in dozens, maybe hundreds, of marathon bargaining sessions district-by-district across Vermont. And when the NEA says “jump,” the majority in the Legislature only ask “how high, and when can we come down?” Vapid excuses like “we’re out of time” for this session just aren’t going to cut it with voters. Work another week, Mitzi.
I hope our own state representatives and senators will recognize that if they won’t vote for a win for the taxpayers, a win for the teachers, a win for our elected school boards, and yes, a win for the children, they’re not really representing our interests anymore, are they? They are representing the interests of a corrupt special interest union that is needlessly pushing Vermont’s public education system closer and closer to a point of crisis.
Seth Hopkins

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