Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Home Care Workers Vote To Unionize

Organizers say a vote to unionize by home care workers marks the largest unionizing effort in Vermont. It’s estimated there are 7,000 home care workers in the state. 

Now, as part of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, they will negotiate with the state over issues like pay, hours and benefits.

Amanda Sheppard is a home care worker in Addison County. Sheppard says she makes under $10 an hour for most of the work she does with disabled Vermonters.  She says she wants better pay, but she would also like state programs expanded so she can work more hours and take better care of her clients.

“We need quality care for these clients. Most of these clients are not delegated enough hours to meet their needs," Sheppard says.  "As a home care provider, if I’m offered more hours in their homes, then they can have a quality life that they deserve.”

In all, about 2,000 of the state’s estimated 7,000 home care workers voted in the union drive.  The unofficial tally shows just over 1,400 voted for a union and 566 voted no.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
Latest Stories