A small group of Goddard College staff is ending its nearly monthlong strike today, after the union reached a tentative agreement with the Vermont institution that includes raises.
Danielle Kutner, co-chair of the Goddard College Staff Union, said the union also fought off management’s planned incorporation of a “management rights” clause.
She said that, if that had been included in the contract, the union would have been reduced to bargaining over “how to mitigate impact of [a] policy as opposed to the policy itself.”
“Given the prior experience, it’s really important to Goddard as an institution and the people who choose to work at Goddard that things remain democratic,” said Kutner, who is the college’s student life manager and interim community life coordinator.
The tentative agreement, which union members must now vote on, is for a one-year contract with 5.75 percent raises for those making under $20 an hour and 3 percent raises for those making over that.
“We got everybody close to $20 an hour, if not at $20,” Kutner said. She said the union has 25 to 30 regular dues-paying members.
Goddard president Dan Hocoy said, “We really believe not only in fair wages but a livable wage, especially for those making under $20 an hour. So we’re very happy to provide those salary increases, you know, given that the inflation is at 40-year highs.”
Hocoy also said all college employees are getting an extra week of vacation “in light of all the stress that has been incurred by everyone working so hard at the college, both during the strike and just generally.”
“It was difficult to see our community split like that,” he said. “So I’m quite delighted we were able to come to an agreement with the UAW staff union, and I’m grateful for the collaborative spirit I’ve seen in ratifying this agreement between the college and the union, and I believe we can now work together in a similar collaborative fashion.”