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Vermont DOC Reaches Agreement with Union on "Stability and Sustainability" Plan

Waterbury, VT – Security staff at Vermont’s correctional facilities will soon see a greater work/life balance and enhanced pay and benefits as the result of an agreement reached last week between the Vermont Department of Corrections and the Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) Supervisory and Corrections Bargaining teams.

The agreement supports the Department’s comprehensive “Stability and Sustainability Plan” by providing targeted enhancements to support staff through the transition. The Stability and Sustainability Plan will stabilize facility staffing levels, reduce the need for field staff to cover overtime shifts, increase bonuses, and improve the quality of life for frontline staff. Security staff at facilities will begin the transition from 8-hour to 12-hour shifts on August 28.

The agreement enables the Department to move staff to a 12-hour shift schedule that requires staff to work only seven days, including one three-day weekend, during a 14-day 84-hour pay period. Some facilities may move directly to that schedule, while others will begin the transition using a 12-hour shift schedule requiring five days on/two days off to start, with the ultimate goal of moving to a biweekly schedule as soon as feasible.

The agreement also calls for increases in security staff pay, a new recruitment referral incentive for staff who bring new employees into the Department, and for Vermont DOC to conduct an expanded market factor analysis of corrections security staff pay. The plan builds on efforts started earlier in 2022 to promote staff wellness and improve the workplace for security staff.

“The Stability and Sustainability Plan provides the Department of Corrections with the blueprints from which we can begin to build toward a system with appropriate, consistent, and dependable staffing levels. This agreement on key aspects of our plan is the culmination of good faith and proactive engagement by both the Department and VSEA in the interests of our team,” said Commissioner Nicholas Deml. “In the end, this agreement was reached with one goal in mind: to provide the best possible situation for our staff as we stabilize our facilities and make our system sustainable for the long-term.”

The agreement, when signed, will be effective retroactive to July 3, 2022, and 12-hour shifts will cease in late March 2023.

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