Bennington, VT – Campus service workers and their Union, SEIU, have been in Contract negotiations since June. The Bennington College administration is attempting to force a high deductible health plan on campus workers. Union workers have now twice voted down tentative contract agreements.
Bennington students became involved upon return to college as they learned that the staff and faculty who have no union were giving very little choice in the changes to medical coverage. The student leaders reached out to the workers and they met to discuss a course of action to help all the staff and faculty secure a better deal on medical insurance.
Students and Union campus workers held a demonstration during the next bargaining session to protest these changes. After the demonstration the students and Union leaders organized a tabling event on parents’ day to educate parents about the health care changes and the impact on the college staff and faculty. The students designed posters and purple tee-shirts that messaged about the health insurance changes and the impact on employees. Just on the first day students secured over 150 signatures from parents in support of the staff and faculty.
UPDATE 10/16: Bennington workers reached a tentative agreement with the college administration. Read about it on the Vermont Public Radio website.