The Vermont-NEA will throw its support behind Gov. Peter Shumlin and Progressive candidate for lieutenant governor Dean Corren.
The union, which represents 12,000 teachers in Vermont, made the announcement Thursday. The board of the Vermont-NEA met with all four major candidates for governor and lieutenant governor on Wednesday.
Martha Allen, president of the Vermont-NEA, said in a statement that the union disagrees with Shumlin’s “dangerous rhetoric about school spending that contributed to dozens of budget defeats this year.” But the governor, she said, has earned the right to continue serving the people of Vermont. Union officials say Shumlin was a clear favorite over Scott Milne, the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor.
“His commitment to making our schools the nation’s best, his support for workers and unions, and his efforts to make Vermont the first state with a publicly financed healthcare system available to all residents makes him an obvious choice,” Allen said.
The union supports the governor’s stance on fair share fee payments for non-union members who benefit from labor negotiations.
The Vermont-NEA will back Dean Corren for lieutenant governor because of his staunch support for Green Mountain Care, the state’s single-payer health care reform system.
“Dean’s leadership will be critical in the coming two years if Vermont is to be successful in doing what no other state has ever been able to do,” Allen said.
In June, the union said it would back U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, Treasurer Beth Pearce, Auditor of Accounts Doug Hoffer and Secretary of State Jim Condos. None of the aforementioned candidates have strong challengers in this election cycle.