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Local 1674 is a strong advocate for dignity and respect in the workplace, making sure that employees are provided with a healthy, vibrant, and strong professional environment which is free from all forms of prejudice, discrimination, and harassment. Degrading working conditions undermine employee morale in a way that negatively affects the entire employee/client dynamic.

In order to protect employee’s right to work with dignity, the following job standards must be met: Manageable goals and deadlines, positive supervisor-employee relationships, reasonable grievances procedures, a livable wage, safety standards relevant to employee feedback, client-care standards relevant to employee feedback, and the recognition and respect of the rights of the union to collectively bargain and organize. We are committed to having Union stewards trained and available to advocate for each of these issues respectively, promoting dignity in the workplace by addressing each situation at a time.

As social workers, we recognize that our profession appeals to our sense of compassion, or our capacity to act without self-interest in the performance of our duties. While our union doesn’t measure the meaning of our work in quantitative terms, monetary or otherwise, the poor compensation given to HowardCenter employees reflects a demeaning working environment. Gross income inequality is an issue at the HowardCenter, where the majority of employees receive a barely livable wage. Such negligence of our basic human needs does injury to the very practice of social work, which is to enhance the dignity and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

As a Union, we will continue to collectively advocate for our right to have dignity in the workplace. We realize the importance of treating HowardCenter employees fairly, equally, and individually, which is essential for upholding the integrity of the social services they render to Vermont communities.

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