New AFSCME Home Care Local Born in Vermont

(First published by AFSCME.org)

Barre, Vt. – Dozens of Vermont home care providers recently launched their new union, AFSCME Vermont Homecare United Local 4802.

Nominees for the bargaining committee of new Local 4802 receive their local’s charter from AFSCME Council 93’s Mark Bernard (far right).

Nominees for the bargaining committee of new Local 4802 receive their local’s charter from AFSCME Council 93’s Mark Bernard (far right).

The founding meeting was the culmination of two years of organizing and hard work, including passage of state legislation recognizing the right of home care providers to join a union. AFSCME led the successful fight for the law signed in May. Local 4802 is the newest AFSCME local in a state where approximately one in every 100 Vermonters is an independent home care provider.

“It makes me feel good to be a part of something so big,” said Christine Connors, a provider from Winooski who attended the founding statewide meeting.

Since that day, home care providers moved quickly to build their union. AFSCME Vermont Homecare United won its union election in October in what was not only the largest organizing victory in the nation this year, but the largest organizing victory in Vermont state history.

The newly charted local is working quickly to elect its bargaining committee to negotiate its first contract.

“It was a good thing to get together and gather notes on what we should be looking for in the new contract,” said Lori Lovell, a provider from Goshen.

Mark Bernard, Council 93’s director of special projects, said, “It gave me goose bumps just being at the founding meeting.”  Bernard and Jim Howell, AFSCME’s Eastern regional director, presented nominees for the new local’s bargaining committee with the charter of AFSCME Local 4802. The local’s number, 4802, is a tribute to the small state’s only area code, 802.