Nov. 14, 2012
BURLINGTON – Non-unionized University of Vermont workers rejected
forming a union after participating in the largest union election ever
conducted by the Vermont Labor Relations Board.
The decision was disappointing to University Staff Union-NEA, the
group that filed for the election after more than a year on campus.
“We’re sorry our brothers and sisters made this decision,” said
Michele Patenaude, a University Staff Union-NEA leader who works in
the Bailey Howell Library on campus. “We remain the only group of
workers on campus without the protections and benefits of a union.”
Nearly 800 people were eligible to vote in this week’s election.
Another group of about 800 people – who, unlike those who voted today
and yesterday, are not eligible for overtime pay – is working with
USU-NEA in an attempt to file for their own election.
University Staff Union-NEA is prepared to continue its work, Patenaude
said. “No union has won on the first go-round, and we will continue
our work here,” Patenaude said. “While tonight’s results are extremely
disappointing, we still believe that having a union is better than
going it alone and working at the whim of university administrators.”
The unions representing the faculty and the maintenance workers
endorsed University Staff Union-NEA earlier this month, and urged
staffers to vote for union representation.