Early Educators Push For Collective Bargaining Rights

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(Host) Early educators hoping to win collective bargaining rights were out in force at the Vermont Statehouse on Tuesday, lobbying on behalf of a bill that would recognize child care providers as state employees.

More than 100 people from around the state descended on a hearing room ahead of a committee meeting at which supporters and opponents alike testified.

They heard from Gov. Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith and two other lawmakers who support the bill, which would permit early educators to negotiate with the state over subsidy rates, health care benefits and licensing issues.

Opponents say the bill, if approved, could cost the state a lot of money at a time when it’s facing a $176 million budget gap.

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