Vermont homecare providers vote for AFSCME, win largest union election in state history

It’s a big win for a small state. After two years of organizing, independent homecare providers in Vermont voted overwhelmingly in favor of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Vermont Homecare United to represent them in collective bargaining with the State of Vermont. With nearly 7,500 eligible voters (about one in every 100 Vermonters), it is the largest union vote and organizing win in the state’s history. In fact, it is the largest organizing win in the nation in 2013.

The Vermont Labor Relations Board (VLRB) announced the results today to an enthusiastic group of homecare providers who gathered in Montpelier to witness the vote count.

“I’m so excited! It makes the hard work worthwhile. I walked through ice and snow to talk with other homecare providers like me because I want AFSCME Vermont Homecare United behind us to improve our jobs so we can give the best to those we care for,” said homecare provider Janelle Blake. “Now we can building our union and get our contract.”

Homecare providers supporting AFSCME helped lead the successful fight for Vermont state legislation allowing homecare providers to organize.  AFSCME supporters gave testimony, attended committee hearings, legislative debates and advocacy events with disability groups to get the bill across the finish line. Act 48 relating to independent direct support providers was signed into law May 24, 2013.

Happy homecare providers at the Vermont Labor Relations Board after hearing the good news: AFSCME Vermont Homecare United is their union!

Happy homecare providers at the Vermont Labor Relations Board after hearing the good news: AFSCME Vermont Homecare United is their union!

AFSCME is working with Vermont caregivers to ensure that homecare services are adequately funded and that personal care attendants are paid for the hours they work. Follow us Facebook Twiter RSS