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Vermont PCAs Rally for Union Representation

June 5, 2013

Vermont personal care attendants (PCAs) gathered outside the Vermont statehouse on May 29, just days after Governor Peter Shumlin (D) signed a law allowing them to unionize.

The gathering, which comprised an estimated 75 PCAs, was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of two big labor unions that are interested in representing the newly unionized workforce.

The workers delivered a petition showing that more than 4,000 PCAs in the state favor unionization.

Vermont’s PCA workforce, which is estimated to be around 6,000 workers, will hold a formal vote on unionization later this summer.

If the PCAs vote in favor of joining a union, it is expected that either AFSCME or Service Employees Union International (SEIU) will represent them in their efforts to collectively bargain with the state for better wages and benefits.

The bill allowing PCAs to unionize passed through both houses of the Vermont legislature with huge majorities. Shumlin signed it into law on May 24.

— by Matthew Ozga

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