Governor Peter Shumlin and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) International President Lee Saunders today signed the first contract for Vermont’s homecare workers’ union, AFSCME Local 4802, Council 93, representing significant advances in standards for homecare providers in Vermont. The contract allows for a new floor for homecare workers of $10.80 an hour, and a 2.5 percent raise for those currently making over that amount. Respite providers currently earning $116 per day will earn $150 per day, and a 2.5 percent raise for those currently earning above that rate.
“This is a new day for homecare in Vermont,” Shumlin said. “These hard working women and men provide vital services to some of Vermont’s most vulnerable residents. This contract gives a voice to these providers and respects their work with a fair wage and protections to allow them to focus on the important work they provide across the Green Mountain State.”
“The State minimum wage does not apply to homecare workers in Vermont, so some providers will move from $7.25 an hour to $10.80 on July 1st,” said Mary Warren, an Orange County homecare provider. “This contract will change our lives.”
“The contract that’s being signed today will have an immediate impact on families,” Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME, told workers and allies present at the signing. “It not only enables the homecare workers to have better, more secure lives. The contract also underscores the value of solidarity and of coming together through a union to have a voice.”
During the 2013 legislative session, Vermont lawmakers passed legislation allowing for homecare workers to form a union. Following months of organizing, Vermont Homecare United, AFSCME Local 4802 became the exclusive bargaining representative for homecare workers in Vermont.
“AFSCME has been providing high-quality union representation to Vermont workers for more than fifty years,” said Frank Moroney, Executive Director AFSCME Council 93. “With this first contract, we have laid the groundwork for a brighter and more secure future for the newest members of the AFSCME family. “
Source: Shumlin's office 6.12.2014