• Sat. May 14th, 2022

Support staff at Burlington Community Health Centers vote ‘yes’ to unionization

ByJulie J. Helfer

Apr 26, 2022

Vermont Business Magazine Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) support staff voted yesterday to join Community Health United, part of AFT Vermont. Support staff cited improved wages, fair and consistent pay scales, and safe staffing as key issues driving the organizing drive. According to the AFT, the union and CHCB administration maintained a high degree of respect and collaboration throughout the process, agreeing to a code of conduct agreement that committed both parties to creating an environment free from bullying, coercion or harassment likely to influence the independence of the future vote. Both parties are committed to maintaining continued collaboration and mutual respect in the shared goals of serving our communities with the highest level of care.

The final tally in the election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was 59 to 11.

Community Health Centers CEO Jeff McKee said: “We wholeheartedly share the belief that our people at all levels of the organization have been key to our incredible success over the past fifty years and will continue to do so. be the foundation of the next fifty years. We fully support them by uniting with a collective voice to ensure the highest levels of fairness and transparency across the organization. Together and aligned, we will ensure our ability to fulfill our mission of service to ALL within the community.

“Our ability to work cooperatively in the process leading up to today’s election is incredibly positive for our CHCB staff and the community we serve,” said Andrea Solomon, physician assistant at Riverside Health Center and president of Community Health United. “We look forward to our continued work with our administrative team to jointly make CHCB the best it can be.”

The 153 support staff members include a range of professions, including medical and dental assistants, patient service representatives and referrals, planners, medical assistants and other patient-facing support staff positions. and office. The group joins the other 100 nurses, physician assistants, physicians and social workers from Burlington Community Health Centers who organized with AFT-Vermont in 2019.

The support staff began their advocacy campaign amid the stress of the global pandemic. Brandon Lawson, physician assistant at Riverside Health Center, said: “Quality health care rests not only with doctors and nurses, but also with physician assistants, front desk staff, lab technicians, specialists referrals and many other supporting roles. We are essential to quality patient care and have come together to improve wages, benefits and working conditions.

Burlington Community Health Centers is a federally licensed health center serving more than 32,000 patients with nine practices in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. They provide integrated primary care, psychiatric, mental health and dental care at a variable rate.

AFT Vermont represents more than 6,000 higher education and healthcare professionals at UVM Medical Center, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Porter Medical Center, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Burlington Community Health Centers, University of Vermont, Vermont Community and Vermont State Colleges. University.

Source: Burlington–AFT 04/26/2022