United Academics has gone a long way to try to work with the University of Vermont administration as they attempt to meet new accounting standards in which the future cost of retiree healthcare benefits must be reported as a liability, creating a distorted picture of UVM's financial health. Our bargaining team has brought to the table several proposals that would address the accounting concerns while also safeguarding crucial health benefits for retired workers. Yet the administration has been reluctant to consider any solution except to eliminate retiree healthcare benefits for all future hires. The administration's proposal will not have the effect of alleviating any short-term budget woes for UVM. The effect this proposal will have is to create two tiers of faculty: those who receive this substantial benefit of retiree health coverage and those who are denied it. We, the undersigned, are University of Vermont faculty who stand with United Academics in opposing the administration's plan to eliminate retiree healthcare benefits for future employees and who call on the administration to find a solution that maintains meaningful support for retiree health care for the next generation. In addition to it being the right thing to do to stand up for retiree health benefits, it will also keep our union strong by demonstrating to new faculty that we will not sacrifice their interests by protecting those of us hired before them.
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