At University of Vermont
Local 267 Secures
Decent Wage Increases
Local 267 negotiating committee, standing from left to right: Tom
Stout, Jacques Vaillencourt, Greg Godbout, Kathy Miles, Carmyn Stanko;
seated: Norma Sprague, and Lester Gockley, Vice President. Not pictured:
Usually the only time that UE Local 267 members find
themselves in the Presidential Hall of Waterman (the administration building
at the University of Vermont) is when they are cleaning or maintaining the
building. On July 26, however, union members got a whole other view. Fifty
workers, accompanied by three news cameras, crammed into the hallway and
demanded that the new university president take petitions signed by hundreds
of members and community supporters demanding a contract with fair wage
When the president couldn’t be found, the provost had to
come out, face the cameras and the members and take the petitions. The best he
could muster is that "he wouldn’t bargain in the hallway."
As Local 267 President Tom Stout said, "This was a
great way to get our message across that we needed a fair increase. Everyone
was talking. It felt good to make the administration come out and have to
stand there and face us."
'THE BEST PART OF THE CONTRACT ...'
a rally for a livable wage prior the beginning of contract
negotiations, Tom Stout, UE Local 267 president addresses members and
supporters about the need to win a livable wage for all UVM employees.
At the next negotiating session the local successfully secured
a fair contract. According to committee member, Carmyn Stanko,
"The best part of the contract is that everyone got a good wage increase
and we were able to improve our benefit package."
Each worker received an increase of three and half percent
plus an additional $.12 per hour. Also, some skilled trades classifications
saw an additional increase of $.34 per hour. The union was also able to
negotiate a new health insurance scale that meant many members will pay a
lower percentage of the premium. Other improved benefits include the ability
to use sick leave to care for family members who don’t live with the
employee and the ability to take bereavement leave for more family members.
In order to continue to build the local, the union won some
significant contract provisions. Now, when new employees attend the university’s
orientation, the union president will have up to an hour to talk with new
employees about the union. Also, as the local has a significant number of
members who speak Vietnamese and Serbo-Croatian as their first language, the
union was able to win a provision that the university would have the contract
translated into those languages.
With the good wage increases, the local looked at several ways
of increasing the dues to $20 per month. Members voted unanimously to accept a
proposal that sets dues at 2 hours’ pay per month, with a minimum of $17 per
month and a maximum of $22 per month, because it was based on members’
ability to pay, but didn’t increase the dues too much for the highest paid
The UE Local 267 Negotiating Committee consisted of Tom Stout,
president, Lester Gockley, vice president, Norma Sprague, chief
steward, Greg Godbout, corresponding and recording secretary, Kathy
Miles, financial secretary, and Carmyn Stanko, Jacques Vaillencourt,
and David Ploof, stewards. The local was assisted by Field Org. Heather
UE News - 11/01