Labor Unions, City Councilors, State Legislators, and Students Stand Together to Support Miro for Mayor
Three City Employee Unions Reaffirm their Endorsements of Mayor Weinberger;
Long-time New North End City Councilor & State Representative Kurt Wright Announces Support
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jordan Redell
Burlington, VT – Today labor unions, City Councilors, State Legislators, and students stood with Mayor Miro Weinberger on the front steps of City Hall to show the broad support for his campaign to keep Burlington Moving Forward.
Three of the four unions that negotiate contracts with the City of Burlington – the Burlington Police Officers’ Association (BPOA), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 (IBEW), and the Burlington Fire Fighters Association (BFFA) – reaffirmed their strong support for Mayor Weinberger’s re-election. In the most recent round of collective bargaining, the City reached agreements with all four unions without resorting to an arbitrated settlement for the first time in at least 15 years.
Long-time New North End City Councilor and State Representative Kurt Wright released a statement announcing his support: “While I have many differences with Mayor Weinberger regarding North Avenue and transportation issues in general, and I know and greatly respect Carina Driscoll, I have decided that on that balance, I am endorsing the Mayor on the basis of issues such as fiscal responsibility, growing our economy, renovating the bike path, permit reform, and his unwavering support for the Vermont National Guard and the basing of the F35s.”
Mayor Weinberger has now received the endorsement of 7 of the 12 members of the current City Council. The Mayor’s other Council endorsers are: East District City Councilor Richard Deane, North District City Councilor Dave Hartnett, Ward 5 City Councilor Chip Mason, Ward 6 City Councilor Karen Paul, South District City Councilor Joan Shannon, and Ward 8 City Councilor Adam Roof.
The Plumbers and Pipefitters UA 693, the Vermont Building Trades Council, and the UVM College Democrats also reaffirmed their support for Mayor Weinberger based on his record of securing downtown and public infrastructure investments and his vision for the future.
Members of Burlington’s legislative delegation also announced their support for Mayor Weinberger’s re-election, including Senator Phil Baruth, Representative Joey Donovan, Representative Jill Krowinski, Senator Ginny Lyons, Representative Curt McCormack, Representative Carol Ode, Representative Barbara Rachelson, and Representative Mary Sullivan.
Other current and past public officials who have endorsed Mayor Weinberger’s re-election but were not present include:
- Former Governor Madeleine Kunin
- Former Governor Howard Dean
“I’m grateful and honored to have the support of such a broad coalition, representing so many Burlingtonians and City employees,” said Mayor Weinberger. “The support of many different interests and leaders from across the political spectrum reaffirms that we are going in the right direction, and the need to keep Burlington moving forward.”
Public Employee Union Endorsements of Mayor Weinberger Demonstrate Inaccuracy of Candidate Driscoll’s Claim that “City Workers Unanimously Endorse Change”
Today’s press conference comes the week following mayoral candidate Carina Driscoll’s February 14 press release, falsely claiming in its headline that “city workers unanimously endorse change, support Driscoll.”
This claim is false. The three public employee unions that have endorsed Mayor Weinberger represent approximately 250 City employees in the Police Department, Burlington Electric Department, and Fire Department.
Further, the February 16 Seven Days story “Union Members Dispute Claims of ‘Unanimous Driscoll Endorsement” identifies several questions that surround the one labor union endorsement Driscoll has received and touts in the press release.
“I was extremely concerned when I read Carina’s announcement characterizing her union support as ‘the unanimous endorsement of the city's workers,’ a statement that as you can see here is patently untrue,” said South District City Councilor Joan Shannon. “Having the support of the City’s workers is critically important to doing a good job as Mayor. I am proud to be standing here today with the vast majority of the City’s unions in support of Miro Weinberger for Mayor.”
Jordan Redell, Miro for Mayor campaign manager said, “In a rush to score political points, Ms. Driscoll was loose with the facts. She should acknowledge her false statements so that the citizen dialogue around who will serve as Burlington Mayor can be based on facts, not false or misleading statements.”
Quotes from Endorsing Organizations
“The Burlington Police Officers’ Association can say from experience that we have an effective leader in Mayor Weinberger guiding our City,” said Dan Gilligan, BPOA Interim President. “We endorsed Mayor Weinberger in support of his re-election effort three years ago because of the way he and his team have continued to make themselves available to the BPOA like no other Administration in the past. In the past three years, we have worked hard with the Mayor to reach a number of accomplishments with mutual benefits for the City and rank and file police officers. Most important to us is the Mayor’s leadership in expanding the number of sworn officers to levels not seen in more than 10 years. That’s good for public safety and for the safety of our members. We appreciate being involved in an extensive and well-organized search process for a new Burlington Police Chief, and the successful negotiation of a three-year labor contract without the need for arbitration. The BPOA also appreciates focus on addressing the opioid crisis, and the way in which he has addressed the concerns of the union on many other issues. The interests of management and labor sometimes differ, and we don’t expect to agree with any Mayor on every issue. However, it is very important to have an open dialogue in order to resolve these differences in a fair and responsible way. We look forward to continuing this cooperation between the BPOA and the Mayor, and the BPOA wholeheartedly supports the re-election of Mayor Miro Weinberger.”
“IBEW has endorsed Mayor Weinberger in his past two elections, and we are proud to endorse him for a third term,” said Jeffrey Wimette, Business Manager for IBEW, which represents unionized public employees at the Burlington Electric Department. “Because Mayor Weinberger is a good listener and follows through on his commitments, the Burlington Electric Department employees are now working under a contract negotiated without going to arbitration for the first time in 15 years. That contract took on big challenges, including a successful reform of the City’s retirement system that strengthened it, and reduced the pressure on taxpayers.”
“We are supporting Mayor Weinberger for a third term for the same reasons we supported the bond for the City’s Capital Infrastructure Plan,” said Tim LaBombard, President of the Vermont Building Trades Council, which includes UA 693 and IBEW Local 300. “Investing in the City’s infrastructure is good for construction jobs and good for quality of life in Burlington. Mayor Weinberger is a hard-hat mayor who is getting stuff done, whether it be building new homes or investing in the City’s streets, sidewalks, and water mains. Mayor Weinberger is committed to giving the unions a seat at the table to ensure that we are creating good jobs for Vermonters with good wages and benefits.”
“The Burlington Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 3044 is proud to support Mayor Weinberger as he seeks a third term,” said Sean Ploof, President of BFFA, IAFF Local 3044. “As a long-time Burlington resident, I am proud that recent years have seen investment and improvement in the Department due to the partnership between the Mayor and Burlington’s firefighters. Mayor Weinberger takes the time to understand our issues, and tries to find solutions that include the safety of firefighters, residents, and visitors in our City. We look forward to working closely with Mayor Weinberger over the next three years to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement to address remaining staffing and training challenges.”
“The University of Vermont College Democrats are proud to endorse Miro Weinberger as he seeks a third term as Mayor of Burlington,” said Sam Donnelly, President of the UVM College Democrats. “From now until election day on March 6, the UVM Democrats will work with Mayor Weinberger in support of his re-election by recruiting volunteers from UVM and encouraging students to vote on Town Meeting Day. Mayor Weinberger is committed to issues that students care about, including housing affordability, fiscal stability, and equity. Students are active members of the Burlington community and we care deeply about the future of the city. We appreciate Mayor Weinberger’s focus on addressing the opioid crisis, and his commitment to fighting climate change.”
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