Vermont stands on the cusp of a historic breakthrough in the right to organize! Nearly 10,000 early education and childcare professionals – both center workers and home providers – are prepared to come together as a union and empower themselves to negotiate directly with the state on the policies that effect their profession and the children they care for. This is an industry that our communities depend on, yet has traditionally been work that provides for inadequate wages, benefits and job security. Two bills in the Statehouse now – H.97 and S.29 will change that. These bills lay out the groundwork for early educators and childcare providers to form their own statewide union in Vermont.
The Vermont Workers' Center believes that when this workforce, which is almost entirely women, has a united voice - they will be able to dramatically raise the standards of early education and access to high-quality affordable childcare in Vermont.
But there is work to do. You can help your neighbors secure the right to unionize and be heard in Montpelier by contacting your elected Representatives and Senators in the Statehouse and letting them know you support H.97 and S.29!
Governor Shumlin has indicated his support for this effort, and more than a third of the legislators in both houses have already signed on as co-sponsors, so the momentum is with us - but we know all too well what can happen when workers rights legislation becomes a target. Your calls and emails now could make the difference towards securing a victory if that happens. If you let your legislators know that their constituents support them in passing these bills, we can keep the momentum going, whatever opposition may arise.
Here’s how to help:
* Call the Statehouse and leave a message for your legislator! The Sergeant-At-Arms number is (802) 828-2228. You can leave a message that will be delivered to your Representative or Senator. If you’re not sure who your elected officials are, you can check the directory at the Legislative Web Site at this address: http://leg.state.vt.us/legdir/LegDirMain.cfm
* Send an email! Legislators’ emails can be found on the Leg Website at http://leg.state.vt.us/legdir/LegDirMain.cfm
* Send a letter to the editor! Use the VEEU-AFT online letter to the editor tool to identify the paper in your area and send a letter supporting H.97 and S.29. The LTE tool is at: http://action.aft.org/c/458/letter/?letter_KEY=33
Learn more at the VEEU Media Center: http://kidscountonme.com/kids/?q=node/33
CALL TODAY: House Committee on Human Services:
Ann Pugh of South Burlington, Chair
Sandy Haas of Rochester, Vice Chair
Anne Donahue of Northfield
Lynn Batchelor of Derby
Thomas Burditt of West Rutland
William Frank of Underhill, Clerk
Patricia French of Randolph
Topper McFaun of Barre Town
Michael Mrowicki of Putney
Matthew Trieber of Rockingham
Mark Woodward of Johnson
VEEU leaders speaking at Vermont Workers' Center Membership Assembly Dinner Sept 25, 2010