The administration of Bennington College has reached a tentative settlement with 51 of the school’s unionized employees, mostly buildings and grounds, maintenance and dining service workers.
The staff union is scheduled to hold a vote on the deal on Friday, Oct. 23 . Kaseem Moultrie of the Service Employees International Union characterized the agreement as "fair."
“We’ve been in bargaining since June, proposals weren’t favorable," he said. "We actually put out two and they were voted down overwhelmingly by the membership so we met ... and reached another tentative agreement. We think it’s something favorable, and we recommend they (the members of the union) support.”
The college released a statement saying administrators are pleased to have reached an agreement with the school’s service employees.
The main issue dividing the college and the service workers was proposed changes to health benefits. The college's earlier proposal would have raised the health insurance deductibles, a move the college’s unionized employees resisted.
If accepted the proposed contract will extend for four years. It does not include the school’s faculty, who are not represented by a union.