Union to try to block layoffs

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A union that represents state workers says it’s going to court to stop the layoff of more than 120 people, 100 of whom are to be let go Friday.

The Vermont State Employees Association says it will ask a Washington County judge to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the job cuts. The union says an appropriations measure included in the state budget bars Gov. Jim Douglas from proceeding with layoffs unless they’re approved by the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committee.

But Neale Lunderville, Douglas’ secretary of administration, says the language of the measure violates the separation of powers between the executive branch and legislative branch. He says the language in the budget bill is unconstitutional, and that the union’s claim is groundless.

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