College instructors vote not to unionize

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(Host) Instructors at the Community College of Vermont have voted by an almost 2-1 margin not to unionize.

In an 87% turnout of eligible voters, the teachers opted not to join the United Professions of Vermont and American federation of Teachers.

The union represents faculty at the other schools in Vermont’s State College system. CCV, which has 12 locations around Vermont, is the only college in that system whose instructors are not unionized.

It’s also unique in having only part-time faculty.

CCV Writing Instructor Tyrone Shaw says that’s part of the reason he voted against the union.

(Shaw) “I think CCV has been the most effective antipoverty program the state’s ever seen. I think in its conception it was a radical progressive idea of bringing higher education to people throughout Vermont wherever they were, relying on part-time faculty who were working in whatever fields they were teaching in. And that mission has remained constant.”

(Host) Shaw says keeping the Community College affordable is critical to Vermont. He says many part-time faculty take that into consideration.

Union organizers say education improves when faculty have job security, access to resources and benefits, and input into course planning.

Union advocate Heather Luden says the two-year campaign wasn’t wasted.

(Luden) “We know that our colleagues at the Vermont state colleges, it took three tries to make this happen. We’re up against a lot and this may be our first try. Issues have been raised, conscisounesses have been raised, the infrastructure is now there, we’ll try again.”

(Host) Organizers claim the college used unfair persuasion and educations funds to fight the union – a charge administrators deny.

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