Local 2704 Ratifies Contract, Ends Strike

From IAM District 4 on 10/7/19 [Link]:

Members of Local Lodge 2704 in Williston, Vermont, ratified a new contract with employer Velan Valve after a five day strike and returned to duty on Monday, October 7th.
The strike and subsequent negotiations, led by District 4 Business Representatives (BR) Jay Wadleigh and Dan Loudermilk, ended in a new two-year contract with numerous improvements including guaranteed wage increases of two percent each year, pension increases each year, and members successfully held the line to eliminate the contentious new language regarding temporary workers.

Continue reading “Local 2704 Ratifies Contract, Ends Strike”

Burlington: UE Local 203 reaches TA with City Market

From Local 203’s Facebook page [Link]:

Last night around 2:30 am, we reached a tentative agreement for our next contract! The Bargaining Team extends their gratitude for all members who joined our sessions and helped create added accountability to management. Further, we extend as a local our sincere thanks for all members of our co-op, Union, and Burlington communities who stood behind us! Our success is in large part to your continued solidarity. There’s power in a Union 

Williston: IAM Local Lodge 2704 on strike

From the International Association of Machinists, District 4, on Monday (9/30/19):

Seventy-seven members of LL 2704, employed by Velan Valve in Williston, Vermont, went on strike effective September 29th at midnight.
The members are highly skilled machinists, manufacturing high precision valves for customers such as the U.S. Navy and nuclear facilities.
District 4 Business Representatives (BR) Jay Wadleigh and Dan Loudermilk joined the negotiating committee comprised of the Local President David Littlefield, Vice President Gordon Davis, and the Recording Secretary Mark Thompson at the bargaining table.
The members rejected the company’s final offer in a ratification vote on Saturday, September 28th and the company has not returned to the tables since the downvote, despite the involvement of a federal mediator and the readiness of the bargaining unit to continue negotiations.
Members spent Monday on the picket line. According to BR Loudermilk, “Spirits are high and everybody is anxious to get back to the table to negotiate a fair contract.”

Solidarity with the UVMMC Nurses

This weekend Howard Center workers marched in solidarity with the UVMMC nurses, recognizing our shared workplace issues including safe staffing and wages that help to retain a reliable workforce.

This morning the Howard Center Union negotiation team meets with management to discuss ground rules going into negotiations. We will be bringing the proposal to management for Open Bargaining Sessions which, similar to the nurses would allow all Howard coworkers to attend and observe. This is a proposal that Howard Center workers voted 93% in favor of!

Solidarity in our struggle towards healthier communities and workforce.

Survey Results for April 2018 are in.

What do the workers at Howard Center think are most important for the upcoming round of negotiations?

Local 1674’s elected negotiating team have recently sent out a survey asking workers what they see as the most important issues in their workplace.  So far over 130 people have responded.

Here are the results so far

Vermont People’s Convention & Just Transition Assembly // Convención del Pueblo en Vermont y Asamblea de Transición Justa


The Vermont People’s Convention and Just Transition Assembly will bring hundreds of people together to imagine solutions and take action for fundamental, systemic change.

Join us at Montpelier High School on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st!

Political Education ~~ Youth Summit ~~ Kids’ Convention ~~ People of Color Caucus ~~ Art & Music ~~ Shared Meals

La educación política ~~ Congreso de los jóvenes ~~ Convención de los niños ~~ Junta de la gente de color ~~ Arte y Música ~~ Comidas compartidas

La crisis económica, climática, la injusticia racial y de género son problemas que tienen raíces comunes. Es por eso que nos estamos reuniendo para imaginar las soluciones que llegan a las raíces— soluciones creadas por nosotros quienes somos los más impactados.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER —> bit.ly/VTPeoplesConvention


The Vermont People’s Convention is being organized by the Vermont Human Rights Council, an alliance of grassroots community and labor organizations in Vermont, and by Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, a national alliance of grassroots groups organizing to build an agenda for power for working and poor people and communities of color.

Members of the Vermont Human Rights Council include 350 Vermont,Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Migrant Justice, Rising Tide Vermont, UE Local 203, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Vermont Interfaith Action, and the Vermont Workers’ Center

Crisis, Power, and Alternatives to Calling the police: Responders and Recipients of Crisis Care in our Neighborhoods

Please mark your calendars Thursday, April 28 at 7 PM  for an intentional public dialogue exploring the different models available to us for responding to crisis in our neighborhoods.

We will hear from folks with experiences both responding and receiving from different models, look at questions of power, ableism and accessibility, and explore our shared roles in moving towards more safety and trust in our neighborhoods.

Folks with direct experiences are invited to come and share.
For questions or with specific interest in being part of event please contact hosts on this Facebook page.


Informational Pickets

AFSCME 1674 held three Informational Pickets on April 2nd and April 9th to protest the lack of a Fair Contract and Livable Wages for all employees after One Year being at the Bargaining Table.
pic3Each picket hosting between 25-40 people, they sent a strong message of solidarity and support across different sectors of the agency and community.

pic2New stories were told of employees struggling to provide care to clients while living off of sub-standard resources.

pic 4Resolve was strengthened as we were reminded that we struggle not just for ourselves but for all of us.

picAnd we’re not backing down!! Stay tuned and get involved as we continue to send a united message to the Agency for quality services, staff retention, livable wages and manageable caseloads, to ensure a stronger community for us all!

***Next up: Rally for Livable Jobs at the Howard Center 6 pm Monday Night, May 18th. ***

“City Councilors Want Livable Wage For Howard Center Employees”

city council

Monday night December 15th, Progressive City Councilors brought the below Resolution to the table; supporting a livable wage, good working conditions, adequate state funding, and retention of employees as a priority for the Howard Center Agency in its important work in the city.
The Resolution was met with both support and criticism from Democratic Councilors who worry that the wording may somehow interfere with the bargaining process. Progressive Councilors maintain their broad support towards encouraging all agencies within this city to provide a livable wage to their employees, including and especially those within the Mental Health, Family, and Developmental Service areas, providing crucial services to the most vulnerable among us.
The Resolution has been tabled to a later meeting date in January.
Please circulate to all at local work-sites and beyond as this important discussion continues.

See news coverage of the Resolution here and here


WHEREAS, the Burlington-based HowardCenter “offer[s] life-saving professional crisis and counseling services to children and adults; supportive services to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities who need help with education, employment, and life maintenance skills; counseling and medical services for those struggling with substance abuse, and intensive interventions for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges;” and

WHEREAS, HowardCenter’s workers provide essential services to Burlington residents and their families, and contribute substantively to public health and safety in our community; and

WHEREAS, HowardCenter employment often requires skills gained through significant experience and/or educational accomplishments, such as masters’ level degrees; and

WHEREAS, state and federal funding for direct service providers and designated agencies is frequently imperiled; and

WHEREAS local non-profit organizations face many significant cost pressures and difficulty in balancing budgets; and

WHEREAS, HowardCenter workers have come forward to express concerns about low wages, with many of them indicating the need for supplemental employment, benefit assistance or use of local services such as the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf; and

WHEREAS, HowardCenter workers and managers report high turnover rates for frontline workers, with over 120 positions currently open for clinicians and other service providers; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Burlington City Council calls for allocations in the State of Vermont’s budget that allow for livable wages and benefits for workers at the HowardCenter and comparable designated agencies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Burlington City Council urges HowardCenter management to make livable wages, working conditions and retention of workers a priority.