The difference between the two proposals is that the union asks that the cuts be for the moment, the governor asks that they be permanent...(From a Vermont Tiger article.)
What we have now is not sustainable and if left intact would present a ruinous situation two years hence when the stimulus money fades to a trickle...
This is exactly the crux of the matter:
The governor is using this crisis as an excuse for the right-wing agenda of slashing state government in order to conserve their own wealth and power. He says in effect that the crisis itself is permanent - how sadly lacking in leadership.
The union on the other hand, showing great leadership, sees this as the historic crisis it is - a problem to be overcome, not merely adjusted to and settled for.