VOTE for Your Bargaining Committee UPDATE

Your election committee counted votes on Friday, November 22, 2013.  SEE BELOW for Bargaining Committee members and alternates.

What is The Bargaining Committee?
The Bargaining Committee will be made up of 20 elected homecare providers, equally dispersed across Vermont. Each county will elect representatives with each Bargaining Committee member representing about 500 providers in their county. Once elected, Bargaining Committee members will be trained in contract negotiation and will be part of the team that negotiates for improved working conditions with the State of Vermont.

What Is the Contract Action Team?
There are other ways to support the negotiation process without running for a spot on the Bargaining Committee. Contract Action Team members will be asked to communicate with providers in your area to keep them updated on contract negotiations and other important events happening as we bargain for a contract with the State of Vermont.

Bargaining Committee biographical sketch

REGION ONE  (Alphabetical by County)

Janelle Blake - Chittenden

Janelle Blake – Chittenden

Janelle Blake – Chittenden (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I met many providers in the northern counties when the campaign was new.  This allowed me to talk to my fellow providers about the issues that are important to you and to the clients whom you serve.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have provided care for more than ten years.   I have helped some of my consumers to learn to talk, to read and to laugh. These experiences will help me to work with providers  and for consumers to help make a better Vermont for us all. I will work well alongside my fellow bargaining committee members to ensure that we get our contract. Please vote for Janelle Blake from Essex in Chittenden County.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Volunteer member organizer with Vermont Homecare United
  • Attended Solidarity school
  • Spoke at the budget hearings before the campaign began
  • Spoke to the politicians in Montpelier
  • Attended the 2013 AFSCME Women’s conference
  • Attended the Stakeholder meeting on furthering education for providers.
  • I met with members of the Vermont Labor Relations Board
  • I phone banked senators to invite them to picnics
Jairo Dechtiar - Chittenden

Jairo Dechtiar – Chittenden

Jairo Dechtiar – Chittenden (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to help represent homecare to improve our work environment,  like better pay and benefits.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I helped organize a union at City Market and am still a member (United Electric, Local 203). I was also a steward and treasurer from my local. I have experience in participating in conference and rallies.  I’ve been doing homecare for over 8 years.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Used to be a teacher and belonged to a union for 3 years in Massachusetts.

 

Tina McGrath – Chittenden (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to secure more funding to make sure we have better pay and benefits.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have degrees in accounting and family law and a good understanding of contract laws. I have been in homecare for over 10 years and have a good understanding of how funding works at the state level.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Use to work for homecare agency and was responsible for negotiating contracts.
  • Volunteer work for nonprofits negotiating contracts.

 

Louise Beaudoin - Franklin

Louise Beaudoin – Franklin

Louise Beaudoin – Franklin (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to represent my peers at contract negotiations because we work so hard and deserve better.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have been an advocate for elders and individuals with disabilities for over 25 years.  I know how to negotiate and get things done.

Other relevant experiences:

  • I’ve worked on the AFSCME campaign.
  • I’ve held team and OC meetings.

 

 

Audra Rondeau - Franklin

Audra Rondeau – Franklin

Audra L. Rondeau – Franklin (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I’ve been providing for over 5 years and know the issues that we face as providers.  I also know the issues and challenges that our client’s face on the day to day basis.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

While working with AFSCME, I have spoken to about 400 providers about our needs and what we want to see in our first contract.  Over the last 27 years I have worked closely with the Department of Children and Families and NCSS in negotiating the needs for the children I have raised and provided a quality home for.  I’ve also owned my business for over 15 years and I understand labor laws and contracts.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Worked with AFSCME for 2 years on the campaign.
  • Local business owner.
  • Understand labor contracts.

  

Johenry Nunes - Grand Isle

Johenry Nunes – Grand Isle

Johenry Nunes – Grand Isle (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I strongly believe in unions and I want to make sure we have a higher standard of living for us and for our clients.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I helped negotiate contracts for Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC).  I was also a shop steward for at least 5 years as a corrections officer with the Vermont State Employees’ Union (VSEA).

Other relevant experiences:

  • Foster parent for over 25 years.
  • Vermont National Guard for 25 years.

 

Darlene Bushway - Lamoille

Darlene Bushway – Lamoille

Darlene Bushway – Lamoille (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to represent providers at contract negotiations because I want to make sure that everything we need is at the table for negotiations.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

The experiences I can bring to the negotiation process is 15-years-worth of knowledge from providing for all types of clients who had different issues.  I’ve also worked closely with the foster care system in the state of Vermont, in which I adopted 3 children I had to care for.  I’ve also organized meetings with ALONON.

Other relevant experiences:

  • VP of the Foster Parent group of Lamoille County
  • Organized trainings with parents who had issues with their foster children.
  • Involved with organizing committee meetings for AFSCME.

 

Jason Mills - Lamoille

Jason Mills – Lamoille

Jason Mills – Lamoille (Alternate)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to represent Vermont homecare providers at contract negotiations because I understand the importance of the needs for providers and their clients. I have a good working knowledge of labor and what’s currently happening with the homecare union.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

As a homecare provider I understand and know what needs to be negotiated for us as providers. I’ve also worked on the campaign and talked with about 300 providers about the different issues we all have.  I’ve also attended many legislative and organizing committee meetings as well as coordinated the organizing committee meetings for Lamoille County.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Former EMT worker.
  • Worked with AFSCME for 2 years.

 

Krista Grout - Washington

Krista Grout – Washington

Krista Grout – Washington (Alternate)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I am a homecare provider and this is an excellent cause to represent.  I want to help people to have a better, stronger voice.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

With a year of experience working with a physically and mentally handicapped individual, I’ve learned patience and understanding in dealing with this person and others with disabilities. I learned to cope with and want to change ARIS payment ways.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Takes care of disabled son, who is 8 years old.

 

Tanager Kastner - Washington

Tanager Kastner – Washington

Tanager Kastner – Washington (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to represent you at contract negotiations because I believe homecare providers need a voice in the state of Vermont. We need proper recognition of the hard work we do and better representation for ourselves and our clients as well as better working conditions.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have been a homecare provider for 25 years. I have also been a part of AmeriCorps for 2 years where I saw the need for representation for the elderly and disabled community in Vermont. That is where I was an advocate and did many organizing programs and events. I will be proud to advocate for both healthcare workers and clients in the state of Vermont.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Worked on the AFSCME Vermont Homecare United campaign.
  • Participated in AFSCME/Washington County organizing committee meetings.

 

Cynthia Marsh - Washington

Cynthia Marsh – Washington

Cynthia Marsha – Washington (Alternate)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I know I have a great start at understanding what we need as workers, but even better than that I am ready and available to listen. I also pledge to represent the needs of the workers, not my personal agenda.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have been in the healthcare field for over 23 years, working in the private sector for the last 12. I have held positions in many different areas of the field and have much varied experience. I currently live and work in Central Vermont and have been in this area all my life. I am ready to get to work and look forward to the next phase of the process!

Other relevant experiences:

  • I was a union steward for healthcare workers for 2 years in a large geriatric facility.
Danielle Warner – Washington (Alternate)

(No biography submitted)

 

Mary (Montgomery) Warren - Washington

Mary (Montgomery) Warren – Washington

Mary (Montgomery) Warren – Washington (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

With 22 years as a homecare provider, I have experienced the struggle first hand of working as a homecare provider.  I want to be involved in make the change for the better.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

As a homecare provider, I have negotiated with ARIS, doctors on behalf of my clients, and also with the state.  As many of you may know, there’s always negotiating going on to make sure that we provide the best care for our clients. I am very passionate and persistent in achieving goals.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Helped lobby and talked with state official and testified at the state house.
  • Received organizing training from AFSCME.
  • Hypnotist using NLP and Master Reiki worker.

 

REGION TWO (Alphabetical by County)

Lottie Allen – Caledonia (Alternate)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I’ve been doing this for about 14 years with a variety of different clients, and I see multiple perspectives.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process?

I have years of homecare experience, and I’ve had a variety of different clients with varying capabilities. I know the difficulty of finding decent help and keeping it around because of low wages, no benefits, and the working conditions.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Foster parent with adopted children.
  • Para educator for children with disabilities.

 

Ryan Millet - Caledonia

Ryan Millet – Caledonia (Alternate)Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I’m dedicated to providing the best care and I want to make sure that we have the best environment to provide that care.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I’ve been in the direct care field for over 10 years.  I have a lot of experience with direct care and dealing with management or service negotiations.  I try to understand all aspects of homecare negotiations from all perspectives.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Involved with Special Olympics for over 20 years.

 

Cheri Weber - Caledonia

Cheri Weber – Caledonia

Cheri Weber – Caledonia (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I feel that homecare providers need a voice and I want equality for providers in the work field.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have been a homecare provider for 5 years.  For the past year, I have been speaking with providers like yourself, while helping to organize our union. We as providers struggle daily with many of the same challenges.  Together I believe we can shed light on some of these issues and improve our workforce.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Lobbied for homecare to get the bill passed to form our union.

 

Joanne Gilbert - Orleans

Joanne Gilbert – Orleans

Joanne Gilbert – Orleans (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to help myself and other homecare providers get fair pay, hours, and the things we deserve.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have 4 years of experience as a homecare provider. I have also worked with a lot of people with different types of illnesses, so I am familiar with caring for different situations.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Been a part of Juvenile Court division.
  • Been a member of a board for my town back in New Hampshire.

 

REGION THREE (Alphabetical by County)

Amanda Sheppard - Addison

Amanda Sheppard – Addison

Amanda Sheppard – Addison (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I am very optimistic and sure of my ability to convey workers, clients and program needs. I will encourage the state to allocate more funding to care providers. I have solutions to the holes in communication with Aris and solutions to decreased confusion and unpaid wages.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have enjoyed a lifetime of supporting people during struggles and finding endless solutions and actions we can take to improve our lives.  I have been advocating for choices for care for two years to insure my clients have care providers they are comfortable with and the importance of remaining in your own surroundings.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Representative Payee for disabled clients.
  • Therapeutic Equine Instructor, Coordinator of Equestrian Challenges, and a teacher of Equestrian Partnership for Children.
  • Steering Committee Member for Addison County for the Organizing Committee of Vermont Workers Center.
  • Volunteer at Community Lunch, Community Supper, Charter House founder organizing a shelter  for winters in Middlebury.
  • Honoree of Vermont Works for Woman’s Labor of Love, women who make Vermont work.

 

Laurie Lesperance – Rutland (Alternate)

(No biography submitted)

 

Oscar Newkirk - Rutland

Oscar Newkirk – Rutland

Oscar Newkirk – Rutland (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

There are a lot of things that providers need: pay, benefits, sick time.  A lot of things are not right and we need to be represented collectively.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have been in homecare for 14 years. I understand how things can be better in Vermont from homecare in Massachusetts. From seeing how things can be better, I can bring ideas to the bargaining table.  I want to fight to be treated fairly.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Living in other state and seeing how much better it can be.
  • Traveling with client.

 

Christopher Scotellaro  – Rutland (Alternate)

(No biography submitted.)

 

Barbara Terrien - Rutland

Barbara Terrien – Rutland

Barbara Terrien – Rutland (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I have been with the AFSCME union since January 2013. I have been an LNA and a homecare provider for the past 25 years. I have been actively involved talking to senators and legislators. I have been to every rally that AFSCME has organized.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I am familiar with homecare providers in the Rutland region talking with other home care providers. I believe that I am qualified to be actively involved with the bargaining committee on behalf of homecare providers in the Rutland region. Every homecare provider should fill out the bargaining survey so their voice can be heard through me.

 

 

REGION FOUR

 

Daniel Eckman – Orange (Alternate)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I like to help people and I am a good listener.  I definitely see the need for improvement in our field of work.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I see the need for better funding for our clients and the workers. I’m good at debating and I always try to find a good balance between two parties.

 

Brenda Phillips – Orange (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

We deserve, as providers, to get paid when our clients are hospitalized. We need more stability in our jobs. Sometimes we do the work of nurses and get half the pay. I want to fight to change that.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have 10 years as a care taker. I have experience fighting and negotiating for my client to get equipment, beds and other things, as well as fighting for what’s right with ARIS.  I’m good at speaking up on important issues for my client and I think that will transfer to the negotiating table. I also enjoy debating.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Secretary on School Board Committee in Massachusetts.
  • Softball coach – leadership ability.

 

Diane Packard – Windsor (Alternate)

(No biography submitted.)

 

Kelly Willard - Windsor

Kelly Willard – Windsor

Kelly Willard – Windsor (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

To benefit the whole group of providers and to get a decent wage for the work that we do.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I’ve had to battle with agencies to get important information about clients.  I have worked to try and get more open communication and have been held at fault for trying to make things better. I think my experience with these fights will help me in the negotiating process.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Worked at a lawyer’s office for a year. Filed cases, took information, helped write wills, went through property contract.
  • Worked at hospital for 15 years.

  REGION FIVE

Justin Wilson – Bennington (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I want to represent Bennington so we can get what we need as providers.  We need resources for taking clients out into the community, more hours for clients and better wages was we can afford our cost of living.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

I have been providing for a year. The mother of my client approached me at an event to ask me to provide respite because I have known her son since a baby.  I have been associated with other providers and have a good sense of what is needed to improve work conditions.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Experience speaking to clients and advocating the needs of clients and seeing these needs are met.

 

Logan Rouille - Chittenden

Logan Rouille – Chittenden

Logan Lee Rouille – Windham (Bargaining Committee)

Why I want to represent you at contract negotiations:

I personally understand what it is like to feel invisible and unheard. As a member of the transgender community, I am used to being part of an invisible minority. By representing other providers that feel unheard and unrepresented, I am doing work that I feel passionate about.

What homecare experiences can I bring to the negotiation process:

My experience has demonstrated my loyalty, compassion and empathy towards individuals living a life of limitation. In the negotiation process, I am sensitive to the needs to feel safe, supported and heard. I am committed to ensuring the safety and appropriate training to providers in order to uphold the highest of standards of safety precautions not only providers, but for the individuals we care for as well.

Other relevant experiences:

  • Recruiting and training new providers for my various clients.
  • A strong advocate for the people I currently care for at the state and designated agency level.
  • Past publicity for strong political leaders.
  • Reached more providers than I can count to share my passion and understanding of WHY THIS UNION IS NESSECARY.
  • I never give up.

 

Erika Salem – Windham (Alternate)

(No biography submitted.)

 

 

 

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