Congratulations to the 20 community and workplace leaders who completed Solidarity School 2009, a comprehensive community and workplace organizing training. They developed skills for organizing, planning strategic campaigns, and fighting intersecting oppressions, and building a movement. We look forward to seeing all the great work Solidarity School participants continue to do in their communities. Solidarity School graduates will be recognized at our Annual Membership Assembly and Dinner on June 6th, 2009.
Health horror stories heard at forum
NEAL P. GOSWAMI, Staff Writer
Friday, February 20
BENNINGTON — Erica Rogers, a cancer survivor, thought her worries about health insurance would be over when she was approved for the state's new Catamount Health plan.
"I thought, 'this is going to be great, I finally have health insurance' — until I got the bill," she said Thursday during a forum on health care sponsored by the Vermont Workers' Center.
On February 10th 200 people rallied on the Statehouse steps to stop the Governor's proposed budget cuts to services and jobs--cuts that will hurt the most vulnerable Vermonters. To get involved to stop the cuts, contact the Vermont Workers Center and stay tuned for next steps.
Click here to see the VWC Statement on the Budget Cuts: http://workerscenter.org/node/9
Hundreds of Vermonters gathered in fourteen locations around the state yesterday to send a strong message to the Douglas administration not to cut jobs or services. The vigils were organized by Save Our State, along with the Workers' Center. See the Workers' Center's position on the budget cuts.
Following the vigils, over a dozen Workers' Center members met Governor Douglas at the airport late last night (his plane was late, but in the Channel 5 news you'll see that our wait paid off).
Almost 600 hospital technicians at Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) are organizing to form a union, as the nurses did back in 2002. The techs and nurses are now calling on FAHC Administration to recognize their right to organize and not waste thousands of healthcare dollars on an expensive anti-union campaign. Since they formed a union in 2002 they have improved their working conditions to such a degree that what was a critical nursing shortage virtually disappeared. The union simply made the hospital a better place to work.
No one doubts that we are living through difficult economic times. For many working-class Vermonters, the current economic crisis is simply an intensification of the long crisis that we have been experiencing long before the recent financial meltdown. For the last several decades, there has been a shift in government and public policy towards helping the rich get richer at the expense of working people.
Report from Ordinance Committee:
Burlington - Five hundred people participated in the day-long Ella Baker Human Rights Conference held on Dec 13, 2008. The conference was organized by the Vermont Workers' Center and sponsored by forty-three other organizations. [ Video of the main speakers, and more photos ]
Excerpts of Closing Remarks - James Haslam, Vermont Workers' Center
First off, I just have to say thank you to all the people who worked with us to make this event happen. We are very excited about the incredible broad-range of groups who came together for this event, many of these groups and individuals we have worked with for years, and many new groups and new faces, who we are just now getting to know and build relationships with.
From October 25 - November 2nd the Vermont Workers' Center held seven workshops around the state on Anti-racism & Building A Social Justice Movement with trainers from the Catalyst Project. Participants included high school and college students, teachers, union leaders, state employees, retirees, Americorp volunteers and Vermont non-profit staff. Here's what one participant sent us:
From our allies at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI):
Last night's presidential debate addressed the key issue for health care reform in the United States: do candidates see health care as a right or as a commodity? [ NY Times Coverage ]
"I think it should be a right for every American." This was Senator Obama's answer.