Vermont State College employees are demanding a liveable wage.
They gathered outside the statehouse Monday rallying for what they call a fair contract. The union and chancellor's office are at an impasse in contract negotiations. VSEA was joined by supporters, who spoke out against cuts to retirement and other issues they say are unfair.
"We have 60 percent of them on public assistance or they qualify for public assistance so we would like to have them earn their own livable wage and be able to support their families," said Janis Henderson, the VSC Faculty Federation Unit Chair.
Union members says one way to increase wages is for the state to take those public assistance dollars that currently go directly to employees and give it to the colleges instead. The schools would then apply that money to wages. Mediation between the VSC union and the Chancellor's office continues September 30th.
VSC officials in statement this afternoon said:
"This union represents some of our most valued and productive employees. The joint declaration of impasse is a disappointment. Nonetheless, we have confidence in the process established in Vermont labor law and do not intend to negotiate through the media. As we proceed with mediation, and if necessary, fact--finding and arbitration, we will continue to come to the table in good faith to pursue an agreement that is financially responsible for the colleges and fair for our employees."