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November 19th, 2015
What is this country coming to?
According to the news, Black Friday, that day-after-Thanksgiving retail frenzy we have all come to love and fear, is getting scaled back.
This year, some retailers are encouraging people to max out their credit cards over the entire month leading up to Christmas, rather than just on one heady, potentially life-threatening day.
We can’t let this happen.
Recently there has been some controversy over the decision at Porter Medical Center to no longer provide health care benefits to workers, including nurses, who are employed over 20 hours per week, but under 30 hours. The argument at first glance sounds compelling; we in Addison County benefit from having a medical center in Middlebury, and Porter needs to trim extra expenses in order to keep its doors open.
I strongly advocate for the passage of the Healthy Workplace Bill H.187. Passing the bill would give many more workers paid sick days and be a step towards a healthier Vermont for all.
We understand that folks can have preferences over the use of property owned by their neighbors. But facts do matter. In a recent opinion piece (“Solar energy projects should be done properly” Nov. 9, 2015), the Rev. Dr. Stephanie Allen made assertions that are not true about her neighbor’s pursuit of a Community Solar Array.
All Vermonters deserve the right to earn sick time at their jobs. We need to pass the Healthy Workplaces bill, H.187 — and ask that the Senate pass it into law when they return to Montpelier this January.
Our family was directly impacted by my lack of pay during my son’s illness. I went without five weeks of pay over the course of five months while my son spent weeks in the hospital. My lack of income during that time has resulted in significant financial hardship this fall.
I am deeply concerned that Porter Medical Center is withdrawing benefits for part-time employees and pushing these workers to the exchange. Porter Medical Center could be a leader for universal healthcare and should certainly be able to provide quality care to their employees in other, more progressive ways than the model they have chosen.
I am writing in response to Angelo Lynn’s editorial of Nov. 9. The idea that it is necessary to cut healthcare coverage to part-time employees in order to save Porter Medical Center from financial ruin would be believable if this strategy weren’t so obviously a classic union-busting tactic.