Legislative Priorities 2019

VGEA establishes 2019 legislative priorities

Student loan issues, salary corrections for certain workers, and health insurance credits for retirees will top this legislative year’s agenda for the Virginia Government Employees Association.

The Virginia General Assembly will convene on Jan. 9 next year. The session is scheduled to be a short one: 30 days unless it is extended by a two-thirds vote of both houses.

Look for more information about the VGEA’s 2019 priorities in upcoming issues of eNews, but for now, let your voice be heard on these issues by contacting VGEA legislative team members Rick Fowler at rfowler@vgea.org or Lynwood Butner at lbutner@kv-legal.com.

Legislative Priorities:

  • Retirees
    • Support SB1122/HB2152, which seek to increase annually the amount of the health insurance credit for state retirees who rendered at least 30 years of creditable service in the Virginia Retirement System

  • Current Employees
    • 2019 Protect and ensure the state employees’ 2% raise, effective June 10, 2019; 1% bonus, effective December 1, 2019; and, 2% merit increase for employees with >3 years of service, effective June 10, 2019
      • A 2017 JLARC study shows VA employees make 91% of their private sector colleagues

  • Future Employees
    • Support the Governor’s initiatives to help recruit and retain top talent in the Commonwealth’s workforce with measures that are particularly appealing to the millennial generation, such as:
      • (1) DHRM’s student loan repayment bonus for new hires approved in June, and
      • (2) the new sign-on and retention bonus tool, effective January 1, 2019, that will enable agencies to make contributions to employees’ Virginia529 accounts as an incentive to attract and retain those in critical or high-turnover positions.

Student loan incentives

Like any other business, the Commonwealth is competing for talent among young adults. And, as we know, one of the top issues for Millennial’s is student loan debt.

Your legislative team is working with Virginia’s senators and delegates to find ways to help alleviate that crushing financial burden. On the table for discussion are programs to provide incentives from low-interest loans to remission.

Your legislative team will continue supporting and advocating for student loan assistance programs.

Salary corrections for existing employees

In 2017, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission directed its staff to study the total compensation package provided to Virginia state employees, including cash compensation and benefits.

The study found that salaries lag behind other employers on average of 91 percent, which places the wages at the bottom of what is considered a competitive range. Also, the competitiveness of state compensation varies widely across job roles. For about 25 percent of analyzed job roles, compensation is not competitive.

Specifically, jobs for administrative and office specialists, program administration managers and three health and safety inspector positions were identified lacking competitive compensation. The study found that it is difficult to recruit and retain personnel for these jobs. Our team will work to help bring those employees’ salary and benefits on par with those in the private sector.

Increase the health insurance credit for qualified retirees

The health insurance credit provides a reimbursement to assist with the cost of health insurance premiums for qualified retirees of the Virginia Retirement System.

The credit is set by the General Assembly for each year of service and is added to monthly retirement benefits. The VGEA will work with legislators to enhance that benefit.

 

 

What VGEA Members Are Saying:

  • This organization (VGEA) provides highest quality support for active and retired public employees…

    Dan Moon
  • VGEA is our Voice in Richmond!

    Judy Franklin
  • VGEA is Your Connection that has the strength of numbers and influence to demand that our issues are addressed.

    April Mela
  • I’m impressed with the VGEA’s General Assembly accomplishments, particularly in the last few years.

    Terry Alfred
  • Thank you, VGEA, for all you do for State employees. Your effort and dedication are much appreciated.

    Jayne Fanshaw, Longwood University
  • VGEA is wonderful and has our best interests at heart…it is truly the voice of the people.

    Joan Stromberg, ABC
  • Thank you, (VGEA) you do a great job representing us! 

    Karen Poff
  • The cellphone discounts I’ve gotten through VGEA have probably been enough to pay my association dues for the rest of my life!

    L.F., Department of Corrections
  • “I saved $200 this year just by changing to Liberty Mutual for car insurance. That’s how much the VGEA insurance discount was – twice my dues!”

    J. L. Stone
  • Great organization and I’m proud to be a member. VGEA worked tirelessly to ensure state employees received a 3% raise this year and not tied to revenue projections. VGEA is our voice to state government. I wish more state employees would join, there is strength in numbers.

    Carolyn Bethea

Representing the Commonwealth’s Employees and Retirees

For more than a half century, the VGEA has worked with Virginia General Assembly members and every Governor to protect the interests of the Commonwealth’s employees and retirees and to ensure that their needs are addressed. Learn More

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