by Kevin Zapf Hanes | May 22, 2014
Burlington, Vt. – Following months of negotiations with the state, home care providers with AFSCME Local 4802 (Council 93) reached a tentative agreement that calls for every home care worker to receive a well-deserved raise.
“As a new member of AFSCME, it was amazing to sit across the table and negotiate on behalf of all home care workers,” said Janelle Blake, a home care worker and member of the Local 4802 bargaining committee. “For the first time, I feel like the work I do is respected and thousands of home care providers will receive a living wage.”
According to the deal, the lowest-paid members will receive a 30-percent raise.
“I was impressed by the resolve of Local 4802’s bargaining committee,” said Mark Bernard, special assistant to Council 93 Exec. Dir. Frank Moroney, who is also an AFSCME International vice president. “They took their responsibility very seriously, gaining fair share, grievance language and a raise for every single provider in Vermont. This is a huge victory for these hard-working women and men, who for too long didn’t get the respect and dignity they deserved.”
Home care providers didn’t stop at their contract victory. Members of the recently formed local also took their message to the state Legislature, urging lawmakers to increase funding in the annual budget to fully fund their contract.
“Again, AFSCME Local 4802 jumped to action,” said Bernard, who also served as lead negotiator for Council 93. “Their rapid response calls to put pressure on the Legislature to fully fund the budget made all the difference. The Legislature was in the final hours of the budget process. This local is a model of how to build a union – big things lie ahead for them and we are glad to have them as part of Council 93.”
The tentative agreement must be ratified. Ratification ballots are out and the final vote count will be held June 2nd.