Why UVM Staff are Organizing for a Voice@Work

Sarah Goodrich and Jennifer Larsen discuss why UVM staff are organizing their union. Assisted by the Vermont State Employees’ Association, staff have petitioned the Vermont Labor Relations Board to schedule an election so the nearly 800 non-teaching personnel at UVM can make needed improvements at UVM through wining union recognition. As union members, staff would have a legally enforceable right to bargain with the administration around key issues like wages, benefits, working conditions, and fair discipline. Staff deserve the right to bargain for a fair contract, to be treated with respect, and to have their expertise valued. While UVM's top administrators are warning faculty and staff to prepare for substantial program cuts and probable layoffs, their own ranks and salaries have been growing far faster than faculty and staff, at rates far outpacing changes in student enrollment.