UVM workers reached tentative contract agreement

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(Host) The University of Vermont has reached a tentative contract agreement with the union that represents custodial and maintenance workers.

Mid-term contract negotiations began in May and were settled by a mediator on Monday. Details of the contract are not public, but both sides say they are happy with the compromise.

Negotiations centered on the workers’ demands for minimum starting wages of ten dollars an hour. Heather Reimer is a field organizer for UE Local 267. She says union members were frustrated by salary increases given to top administrators at the University:

(Reimer) “When people are struggling to get by, it’s very difficult to know that administrators are getting these kind of increases, and they’re being told – here’s a few more cents, here’s a few more cents.”

(Host) University spokesman Enrique Corredera says that some administrators’ salaries have been increased to be nationally competitive. But he says that UVM places a high priority on fairly compensating all employees through wages and benefits.

Union members will vote on the contract on August 20.

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