VEEU POLL FACT SHEET
Vermont Voters Support Bargaining for Early Childhood Educators, Poll Finds
A strong majority of Vermont voters favors allowing early childhood educators to engage in collective bargaining with the state, finds a telephone survey completed by Hart Research Associates, a leading survey research firm that has conducted over 5,000 public opinion surveys.
In a poll conducted among 604 registered voters in Vermont in December 2011, Hart Research found that by 26 percentage points, voters support the bill to allow early childhood educators to engage in collective bargaining with the state on issues that the state controls, such as child care subsidies and professional development (58% favor, 32% unfavorable, 10% unsure). (The margin of error for the survey is + or – 4.1 percentage points.)
The survey found that broad support for the bill exists across the electorate regardless of age, gender or education. Voters in the southern counties of Vermont are particularly supportive (65%). Strong majorities of Democrats (73%) and Independents (59%) support the bill.
Hart Research Associates found that the legislation is popular with voters because it speaks to two important themes in Vermont politics – quality early childhood education and a decent standard of living for all workers.
A strong majority of voters who support the legislation see high quality early childhood as a smart investment in Vermont’s future. It means children begin kindergarten ready to learn and the state saves money down the road. In addition, 69% of voters are convinced that the quality of care and education a child receives is directly related to the adult responsible for the child’s care and education. Voters agree that Vermont must support the profession of early childhood educators in order to raise the standard of quality.
The survey found that making sure that all Vermont children have access to high quality early childhood education and care is important to 83% of voters.
Further, a decent standard of living for all workers is important to Vermont voters. More than nine in 10 (92%) of voters feel that making sure working people in Vermont can earn a decent standard of living is an important goal to them personally. A strong majority of voters who support the legislation are concerned about the low income and lack of benefits experienced by early childhood educators.
Strong Majority of Vermonters Support Early Educators Right to Organize
Montpelier, April 16, 2012: On Tuesday, April 17th, members of Vermont Early Educators United-AFT will come to Montpelier to weigh in on legislation that recognizes their right to organize. The legislation is currently under consideration by Vermont’s Senate and could come up for a vote on Tuesday. Early educators and their supporters will hold a press conference in the Cedar Creek Room of the State House at 1:00 pm.
At the press conference, early childhood educators will address the results of a poll conducted by Hart Research Associates that found that by a margin of 26 percentage points, Vermont voters favor allowing early childhood educators to engage in collective bargaining with the state (58% favorable, 32% unfavorable, 10% unsure). (See the attached fact sheet on the poll.)
Early Educators have been organizing for two years for respect for their profession and to increase public understanding of the importance of their work. The bill that recognizes their right to organize and to collectively bargain with the state passed the House of Representatives last year by an overwhelming majority, 90-54. “In addition, to the strong support of the House, the poll demonstrates that this is a grassroots issue. Vermont voters, along with many other elected officials, support early childhood educators and our right to form a union and negotiate with the state,” said Kay Curtis, an early educator from Brattleboro. Governor Peter Shumlin has repeatedly stated his support for the legislation. The Vermont Democratic Party State Committee passed a unanimous resolution in support of early childhood educators’ right to organize. Nearly every labor union in Vermont signed a solidarity letter in support of the legislation. Recently, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spoke out strongly in support of the providers union, saying, “It is absolutely imperative we see a union for childcare providers.”
Procedural maneuvers have kept the bill from coming to a vote on the Senate floor this session. Early childhood educators are not deterred by the ups and downs of the legislative process. “Some people, when they get tired, give up,” said Cathi Ste. Marie, a registered home provider from North Troy, “Early educators don’t give up. We work harder.” Ste. Marie said she and her colleagues know that building a union is how they will be able to make positive change in the early care and education system in Vermont. “All of the things that we have accomplished, the vision of what we can be collectively and what we can achieve, keeps us going,” she said.
Similar legislation has been passed in 14 other states. Collective bargaining has been shown to expand access to childcare for low and moderate-income parents and to improve wages for providers. The right to collective bargaining is a fundamental right and foundational principle of the Democratic Party. Early Childhood educators are organizing to exercise the same right other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers, enjoy.
Together We Can Create Great Programs:
Sharing resources, ideas and expertise
This conference is a part of our Vermont Early Educator United-AFT sponsored Fall/Winter Professional Development Calendar
Join your statewide colleagues for an inspiring morning with dynamic Vermont trainer Heather Duhamel.
* Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012
* Time: 8:00pm-12:30
* Location:Lyndon State College, Burke Mtn Room, Library Academic Center
* Cost: $10 and includes morning refreshments
* Topics: Care & Curriculum and Listen, Reflect, Relaunch & Inspire. tied together into one 4 hour session
4 Hours of Northern Lights recognized professional development:
Our group will spend the morning talking about approaches to learning both our own and the childrens' to discover meaningful ways to approach play in our programs daily. These related morning session draw from the best of the original three topics. Using a hands-on approach will continue to connect to resources around you, open-ended and handmade. The group will discuss and play with new ways to invite play and create inspiring environments for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. Finally, the group will talk about strategies to inform our work through observation-exploration new and renewed!
An opportunity to begin studying together focusing time on the power of observation, listening and adapting curriculum for all children/all learners.
Connecting to ideas in Part I: Wonder... the group will explore how the environment can support some of this work with children through developing spaces and finding new materials for open-ended exploration.
Something for everyone - home or center, teachers or directors!
for more information, contact Cyndi Miller at email@example.com
BRAND NEW LINK TO Register online here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHl0R084eWI4cVoyaVJ...
the registration form can be found at www.kidscountonme.com
Save the Dates for the other two conferences:
February 4th in Chittenden County--featuring Jeanine Fitzgerald and Jack Russell
& March 31 in Randolph--Details to come
After graduating from the University of Vermont in 2000 with my Bachelors in Early Education, I spent time in the field as a teacher working in California and Vermont. Some of these experiences included teaching Kindergarten in the Mission district of San Francisco; supporting young children and young professionals at the University of Vermont Campus Children's School and working at the Bellwether school integrating a holistic approach to Early Education. The context of each program varied offering valuable experiences also influencing my decision to go back to Graduate School for Leadership Studies at the University of Vermont in 2003.
After graduate school, I began teaching adults through Union Institute and University, Lyndon State and the Community College of Vermont. My Professional Discovery work has spread through New England reaching out to nearly 307 venues and an estimated 2,435 EC providers since 2007. My daily work has varied since 2007 when my son was born. I have found great places to work with flexible schedules so that I could put my children first. I have been a consultant, program director and outreach teacher in order to now be with my two children ages four and one. My husband, has his own Property Maintenance Company in our home where we share an office now. My home and heart.
My professional goal has always been dedicated to connecting with Early Childhood Professionals and Parents to share ideas and rich resources to engage and energize our days with young children.
They all think that the current regulations would be strengthened in the re-write process with meaningful provider input. Do you agree?
Attached is the full Survey results, are you interested in having your voice heard through this process? Join Your Colleagues!
* Learn what your colleagues are saying about the Regulations
* Review the Regulatory Process
* Develop a plan to incorporate the provider voice throughout the process
* Learn how to deliver the provider perspective effectively to the Division
Strengthening the Provider Voice In the Regulatory Process
Contact your local organizer or R&R for a meeting location, date and time near you in October!
Here are a few pictures from the Lobby Day that legislators are still talking about!
Sen Bernie Sanders has joined the growing list of Vermont leaders who endorse our work to secure respect, quality and a seat at the table where policy decisions are made. Here's what he had to say:
Dear Vermont Early Educators:
I would like to congratulate all of the child care providers who have come together to form your union, Vermont Early Educators. I know you have been working hard bringing child care providers from all parts of the state together to speak with a unified voice—and I support you in your efforts.
Hundreds of providers turned out for Tuesday's Lobby Day at the Statehouse. Meetings with legislators happened throughout the day, and we had chance to deliver powerful testimony in a hearing before members of both House Committees that are reviewing H.97, the bill which would enable us to form our non-traditional union.
Virtually all the statewide press was also on hand for a noon press conference which featured not only providers, but supportive comments from Sen. Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden) and Rep. Chis Pearson (P-Burlington).
Literally hundreds of pictures were taken from the event. Keep an eye on this site for samples of those pics when they become available. In the meantime, here's excerpts from Governor Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith offering their support before the assembled providers in the morning.
From the Vermont news website, vtdigger.org:
Editor’s note: This opinion piece is excerpted from testimony offered before the House Human Services Committee by Cathi Ste. Marie, a home child care provider in North Troy.
My name is Cathi Ste. Marie. I own and operate a registered home program in North Troy and have done so for the last decade. I was born in Vermont and have lived in the Northeast Kingdom for 29 years. I stand before you today representing the thousands of women, and a few hundred good men, who are committed to our profession and who are woven deeply into our communities.