Workers rally for benefits

The University’s budget issues are affecting some staff more than others. UVM maintenance workers rallied outside of the Waterman Building Wednesday, Aug. 31 to protest the University’s recent financial decisions. David Hamilton, vice president of UVM’s maintenance union, said he believes UVM is spending their money very poorly. “The administration has been telling us that they don’t have the money to spend on us, and that’s why they are taking away our benefits,” Hamilton said. “But look at this Fogel scandal, that’s going to end up costing a million dollars, so they definitely have the money to spend.” Hamilton said that these spending choices are just another way to keep the administration rich while keeping their lowest-paid employees down. UVM has asked maintenance employees to give up some of their medical benefits in order to deal with the school’s budget issues, creating a stir amongst campus workers. “We have had people working here for 25 years who had these benefits when they came in,” Hamilton said. “Now they are 50-60 years old and they want to take these medical benefits away.” The union and administration will meet with a federal mediator to try to work out these contract issues.