About Your Union


VSEA is a member-driven union working to ensure dignified wages, working conditions, benefits, and retirement plans.

Values Statement:

VSEA highly values organized labor, the environment, social justice, and collective bargaining that maintain the core values of our mission. We further value an involved membership as they become active leaders in the work necessary to meet our goals.

VSEA is a non-profit, member-directed labor union representing nearly 6,000 public sector workers in Vermont. VSEA includes employees throughout the Vermont State government including the Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Judiciary, Defender General’s Office, Vermont State Housing Authority, State’s Attorneys’ Offices, as well as State Deputy Sheriffs. VSEA is dedicated to the goal of improving the wages, benefits, and working conditions of Vermont state employees through contract negotiations, contract enforcement, legislative lobbying, membership training and education, and organizing workers to be stronger together. VSEA is an independent organization, not affiliated with any international union – at VSEA, it’s Vermont state employees who control the policies, procedures, and budget of the union.

The membership of VSEA is diverse – comprised of office workers, technicians, environmental experts, highway workers, engineers, law enforcement officers, agricultural specialists, and human service professionals who keep Vermont State government running. Altogether we are public employees in over 1,200 job titles and hundreds of work locations spread throughout every community of Vermont.  

VSEA members do the difficult labor that keeps Vermont’s nationally recognized public services thriving. Collectively, we are the strength and the voice of VSEA. We are what makes Vermont work!

Our History

1944 – VSEA forms, focusing its efforts on advocating for the rights of Vermont state employees in the legislature.

1969 – With the passage of the State Employees’ Labor Relations Act (SELRA), state employees start collectively bargaining contracts with Management with VSEA as their exclusive representative.

1977 – SELRA is amended, enabling state employees to bargain over wages and opening the door to decades of hard-won struggles for the wages, benefits, job security, and retirement packages of Vermont state employees.

1992 – Employees of the Vermont State Colleges working in housekeeping, security, maintenance, libraries, and office support join VSEA as the VSC Staff Federation. 

1994 – The support and maintenance staff of the Vermont State Housing Authority joins VSEA as VSHA Staff Federation. 

1999 – The clerical / support staff of the Vermont Defender General joins VSEA.

2018 – Vermont Supreme Court rules in favor of VSEA, finding that the State was violating contractual language by capping sick leave at 6 weeks a year for VSEA members who have serious illnesses or injuries.

2019 – Employees working in State’s Attorney’s Offices across Vermont vote overwhelmingly to join VSEA.

2022 – Vermont State Deputy Sheriffs vote overwhelmingly to join VSEA.

View a complete Historical Timeline Here!

Our Record 

  • Yearly wage increases totaling more than 45% in cost-of-living and step increases since 1990. 
  • Improved health benefits, comprehensive dental insurance including benefits for domestic partners. 
  • A 30-year/no penalty retirement plan with five-year vesting. 
  • Enhanced mental health benefits. 
  • Double-your-salary life insurance. 
  • More paid holidays than 49 other states. 
  • Time-and-a-half overtime benefits for over 4,600 employees. 
  • Guaranteed maternity/paternity and adoption leave. 
  • A strong grievance procedure to guarantee your rights. 
  • Layoff (RIF) rights. 
  • Protection from polygraph exams and drug testing.

Our strength lies in our numbers and the important work that we perform for the Vermont public. The stronger VSEA is, the more successful we can be in our efforts to win better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Learn More About VSEA!

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Questions About This Page?

Please email vsea@vsea.org.