Howard Center and AFSCME Reach Tentative Agreement

Howard Center and Local 1674 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) jointly announce that on Monday, January 24, 2022, their respective negotiating teams reached a tentative agreement on a three-year renewal to their collective bargaining agreement which expired June 30, 2021. Details of the agreement will not be released until they are ratified by the Union’s membership and the Howard Center Board of Trustees.

“It is gratifying to see more than nine months of negotiations result in a successful end,” said Bob Bick, Howard Center Chief Executive Officer. “Both teams persisted through long and at times difficult negotiations to reflect our commitment to our staff during this especially difficult time and with our mission always at the forefront to provide the people we serve with critical community-based services.”

Bargaining for this new agreement began in April of 2021. Negotiations continued through the summer, fall, and winter and were recently assisted by Federal Mediator Annie Rutsky of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Katherine Harris Local 1674 president said, “I am incredibly proud of the tireless hard work and determination of our bargaining team on behalf of our membership and I look forward to ratifying our agreement.

Howard Center employs over 1,600 staff who provide a range of community-based services to more than 19,000 Vermonters each year. Approximately 629 employees are represented by the Union.

ABOUT HOWARD CENTER: Howard Center has a long and rich history as a trusted provider in the community. With a legacy spanning more than 150 years, we have been providing progressive, compassionate, high-quality care and supports to those in need. Today, we offer an array of exemplary mental health, substance use, and developmental services across the lifespan. As Vermont’s largest social service organization, our 1,600 staff help more than 19,000 people each year in over 60 locations throughout Vermont in collaboration with hundreds of community partners. Howard Center’s 24/7/365 crisis service, First Call for Chittenden County, is available to meet the needs of Chittenden County children, adults, and families in crisis by calling 802-488-7777. Help is here. A United Way of Northwest Vermont Funded Agency.