OPEN LETTER: To Gov. Shumlin on Women’s Day & Paid Sick Days For All

( – promoted by Sue Prent)

Dear Governor Shumlin,

When you signed equal pay legislation into law last year, you said: “This law continues Vermont’s proud history of demanding equal treatment and basic fairness for all working Vermonters and their families.” We are proud of our government when it supports women’s rights and gender equity – and we expect it to do so. We therefore ask your administration to publicly support Vermont establishing earned sick days for all workers this year.

Women are the majority of workers in the industries and jobs that tend to lack paid sick days. While making up nearly half of the country’s workforce and doing two-thirds of caregiving nationally, about half of women are denied crucial rights at work – rights that would support our dignity, livelihoods, and families. By supporting paid sick days, we support equity and work with dignity for all. All people have the right to care for ourselves or our family members, or deal with the effects of domestic and sexual violence, without risking our livelihoods.

We officially invite you to pledge your support at the Women’s March for Dignity on March 8, 2014 – International Women’s Day – in Montpelier.

Sincerely,

[click the jump to see long list of signers]

Organizations:

350 Vermont

Peace & Justice Center

Rising Tide Vermont

UE Local 255-Unionized Workers of Hunger Mountain Coop

United Academics

Vermont Anti-Racism Action Team

Vermont AFL-CIO

Vermont Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals

Vermont Homecare United-AFSCME

Vermont-NEA: The Union of Vermont Educators

Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Vermont Progressive Party

Vermont Woman Newspaper

Vermont Workers’ Center

Vermont Works for Women

Voices for Vermont’s Children

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom-Central VT

Individuals*

Martha Allen, President, VT-NEA

Tiffany Bluemle, Executive Director of VT Works for Women

Regina Christianson, Rector at Calvary Episcopal Church

Mari Cordes, President, Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals

Representative Johannah Donovan

Eliza Cain, Co-Owner of Red Hen Baking Co.

Representative Michelle Fay

Carlen Finn, Executive Director of Voices for Vermont’s Children

Natalia Fajardo, Immigrant Rights Organizer

Rickey Gard Diamond, Editor of Vermont Woman

Mary Gerisch, President of Vermont Workers’ Center

Stephanie Hainley, President of Burlington Business & Professional Women

Representative Susan Hatch Davis

Representative Helen Head

Carin Hoffman, former Commissioner for VT Commission on Women

Lucy Ijams, Bennington Pastor

Elizabeth Jesdale, President of UE Local 255

Trinka Kerr, Chief Healthcare Advocate at VT Legal Aid

Peter Knowlton, President UE Northeast Region

Representative Jill Krowinski

Karen Lafayette, VT Low Income Advocacy Council

Sarah Launderville, Executive Director of Vermont Center for Independent Living

George Lovell, President of VT AFL-CIO

Eliza Lucozzi, Pastor of North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury

Donna Macomber, Executive Director of Women’s Freedom Center of Brattleboro

Elaine McCrate, UVM Professor of Economics & Gender Studies

Jean McDonald, Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Representative John Moran

Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, Chair of Vermont Progressive Party

Susan Ohlidal, Episcopal Church of Vermont

Marjorie Power, Older Women’s League

Representative Barbara Rachelson

Representative Kesha Ram

Janice Santiago, Employment Advocate at Women Helping Battered Woman

Heather Riemer, AFT Vermont

Stephanie Seguino, Professor of Economics at UVM

Amanda Sheppard, VT Homecare United-AFSCME

Rachel Siegel, Executive Director of Peace & Justice Center & Burlington City Councilor

Naomi Smith, Executive Director, WomenSafe

Representative Tom Stevens

Reverend Auburn Watersong

Representative Suzi Wizowaty

Representative Michael Yantachka

Denise Youngblood, President of United Academics

Senator David Zuckerman

*Organizations listed for identification purposes only

Individuals Who Signed on from Across the State:

Valerie Abrahamsen

Kit Andrews

Laura Austan

Cathy Austrian, UE Local 23

Arlene Averill

Carolyn Baker, CIRCLE

Sheyanne Baker, NALC Branch 521

Beth Barndt

Adam Barnett

Alex Barnett

Colleen Beal

Carol Beatty

Elizabeth Beatty-Owens

George Bennis, Sr.

Jen Berger

Marissa Bieg

Stauch Blaise

Theodore Blodgett

Karrie Bowen

Tina Bradley

Amy Brady

Carolyn Bronz

Tonda Bryant, AWARE

Geraldine Burke

Kimball Butler

Mary Cain

Bill Capasso

Nick Carter, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Jonathan Chapin

Jill Charbonneau, VT State Labor Council AFL-CIO

Peter Chase, Episcopal Priest

Ana Cimino

Mary Claire Carroll

Betty Clark

Cim Clark

Meghann Cline, Parents for Change

Wendy Coe

Selene Colburn, Vice Chair, Vermont Progressive Party

Josie Colt

David Connor

Kristen Connors

Kathleen Cooper

Judy Copa

Donavee Copenhaver

Liza Cowan

Linda Cramer

Karen Cribari, Youth Services of Windham County

John Crowley, VPIRG

Kelly Cummings

Joanne Davidman

Sarah Davis

Melissa Davis-Bourque

Mary Deaett

Corey Decker

Briee Della Rocca

Partice DeMarco

Lindsay DesLauriers

Karol Diamond

Liane Duda

Joan Eckley

Marie Eddy

Cassandra Edson

Dawn Ellis

Laurie Essig

Sylvia Fagin

Marigo Farr

Gus Feldman

Kieran Ficken

Rachael Fields, Vermont Veterans Home

Lois Flanders

Anna Fleishman

Colin Flood

Greg Forcier

Emily Fredette

Naomi Freedner-Maguire

Jessica Fuller

Sandra Gaffney

Joseph Gainza, Vermont Action for Peace

Jamie Garvey

Tara Gauding

Anna Gebhardt

Connie Godin

Pauline Gosselin

Steve Gould

Anna Grady

Rachel Grandon

Dawn Hancy

James Haslam, VT Workers’ Center

Rebecca Haslam

Jeffrey Haslett

Mark Heald

Kathy Heikel

Robert Henderson

Devin Henry

Jennifer Henry

Steve Hingtgen, Small Business Owner

Matthew Hogan

Steven Howard, Legislative Director for VSEA

Tonya Howard

Phyllis Humez, state employee and VSEA member

Daniel Jantos, North Chapel Universalist Society

Rachel Jolly

Annie Jordan

Margaret Joyal

Mary Lou Judas

Kate Kanelstein

Taylor Katz, Free Verse Farm

Renee Kelly, Umbrella

Jon Kennedy

Mary Kirkpatrick, RN of Local 5221

Meg Kuhner

Karen Lafayette, VT Low Income Advocacy Council

Damon Lane

Jennifer Larsen

Amy Leavitt

Amy Lester

Rebecca Lendvay

Alice Leo

Deborah LePore

Lodiza Lepore

Arleen Levinson, Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals

John Lewis

Kiera Lewis

Laura Limoges

Shela Linton

Marcia Liotard

Traven Leyshon, VT AFL-CIO

Brenda Lindemann, VT Alliance of Retired Americans

Vicki Litzinger

Jean Lowell

Majka Luksza

Kris Lukens, Voices Against Violence

John MacLean, IWW

Alicia Maddox

Trevor Madore

Corey Mallon

Darya Marchenkova

David Martin

Autumn Martinez, Chief Steward UE Local 255

Jeri Martinez

Elaine McCrate, UVM Professor of Economics & Gender Studies

Ned McEleney

Matt McGrath

Jordan May

Karoline May

James McGurn

William McMaster

Gina Mangiafico

Stephen McArthur, CIRCLE VT

Wendi McNaughton

Kerby Miller

Mark Montalban

Ryan McDonald

Andrea Mills

Phillip Mixon

Ann Moore

Ashley Moore

Denise & Michael Moore

Representative John Moran

Donald Morrison

Jessica Morrison

FaRied Munarsyah

Major Munson

Rilla Murray

Jennifer Nachbur

Sam Nelis

Joyce Niksic

Adam Norton

Lee Oberg

Erika Osorio

Jean O’Sullivan

Romni Palmer

Krista Panosian

Emma Paradis

Charles Parent

Amanda Payne

Deborah Peaslee, Resource Specialist at Mary Johnson Child Care Services

Kristin Pepoon

Cindy Perron

Sarah Petrokonis

Gloria-lee Phelan

Heather Pipino

Anna Pirie, AWARE

Avery Pittman

Bethany Pombar

Jo Poquette

Karen Porter

Kate Post

Nancy Potak

Anisa Potvin

David Przepioski

Kelli Prescott

Sharon Racusin

Diane Ravenscroft

John Reese Jr.

Virginia Renfrew

Sheila Reed

Jane Reese

Dottye Ricks

Susan Ritz

Denise Rixie

Michelle Robbins

Jami Robertson

Marianne Robotham

Sharon Rotax, Women Helping Battered Women

Amy Ruddy

Susan Rump

Lee Russ

Gina Ruth, Women Helping Battered Women

Amanda Sanderson

Greg Sands

Sandra Schlosser

Don Schramm

Paula Schramm

David Shiman

Ellen Schwartz

Natalie Seelig

Megan Sheehan

Sophia Shems

Rebecca Sheppard

Patricia Shine, Lyndon State College Professor

Griffin Shumway

Kyle Silliman-Smith

Lindsay Simpson, Vermont Public Health Association

Susan Skolnick

Ivan Smith

Jennifer Smith

Ikey Spear, Women Helping Battered Women

Moise St. Louis, Educator

Carmyn Stanko, UE Local 267

Kevin Stewart

Representative Tom Stevens

Brandon Stroup

Sarah Suscinski

Alison Sylvester

Linda Tarr-Whelan

Mason Taylor

Kimberly Thevenet, Women Helping Battered Women

Catherine Thomas

Nina Thompson

Christina Tran

Karen Tronsgard-Scott

Julie Theoret

Dwight Tuinstra

Judith Unger Murphy

Edwin Wageman

Jessica Walker

Goldie Watson

Reed Webster

Marlene Wein

Joyce Werntgen

K.C. Whiteley

Sue Prent

Paij Wadley-Bailey

Marian Wagner

Michael Walker, Teamsters Local 597 CCTA Bus Driver

Nancy Welch

Susan Werntgen

Willow Wheelock

Bill White

Chris Wilusz

Kellyann Wolfe

Dana Woodruff

Lynn Wurzburg, Umbrella

Barbara Wynroth

Representative Michael Yantachka

Judith Yarnall

Dinah Yessne

One thought on “OPEN LETTER: To Gov. Shumlin on Women’s Day & Paid Sick Days For All

  1. As this letter illustrates, there is a tremendous amount of support for Vermont moving forward with paid sick days. A poll was conducted that found 72% of people support it. As the VT Workers’ Center and coalition partners have canvassed the thousands of people in recent weeks we have found that in every district we go at least 3 out of 4 people we talk to support both moving forward on paid sick days and raising the minimum wage to a livable wage. There is no credible reason why Vermont can’t do both. On one hand you have a small minority of businesses and business groups pushing against this, on the other you have an incredibly broad range of groups (including one of the state’s largest business groups in VBSR), and the vast majority of people who think this is the direction we have to go. Please help let the Governor and Legislators know that raising the minimum wage as close to a livable wage as possible and establishing paid sick days is exactly the direction Vermont needs to go. This is how we can lead our country to get back on track. Please join us in Montpelier on Saturday for the march at noon. http://www.workerscenter.org/c

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