Eye-Glazing Unless You Read Between the Lines

Norm Leahy calls Jeff Schapiro’s Richmond Times-Dispatch column this morning “eye-glazing.” It’s all about Joan S. Dent, retiring executive director of the Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA).

Maybe, because I’m a state employee myself, I actually found it interesting, especially reading between the lines.

First of all, out of 112,000 state employees, only 18,000 are members of the organization “that lobbies the General Assembly and executive branch on behalf of state workers.”

Second, salary seems to be the only issue for Ms. Dent.

Third, and perhaps most important, kind words from Ms. Dent only seem to go toward Democratic governors.

Two and three contribute mightily to number one, in my estimation, and that’s one big problem with the VGEA.

Sometime in the coming months gubernatorial candidates will address state employee “issues” in a bid to woo the state workforce’s votes. When I get back from vacation, I’m going to make some suggestions about what the candidates should offer taxpayers and state employees. Hint: salary isn’t at the top of list.

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  1. Norman Avatar

    I had something along those same lines in the draft, Will. But I scratched it knowing that a true insider like yourself could speak to these points far better than I ever could.

    I noticed the numbers, too. Bow, bow before the power of Jeff’s sources!

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    I thought maybe you cut it short to get to your excellent “King of the Hill” post, which I commend to everyone.

  3. As someone who until recently relied on state benefits (healthcare and the like)…I agree with Will…

    I work in a medium sized nonprofit now and my benefits are about 10 times better.

  4. Allen from the Union Avatar
    Allen from the Union

    I know of both Union and non-union state employees who cut their medication in half, don’t fill their prescriptions, don’t go to the doctor when they should, because of the deductibles and co-pays. I myself am waiting until July 1st to fill a prescription, because of the high co-pay cost and I want to take advantage of my flexible medical reimbursement account.

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