An economy that works for all Vermonters.
When Vermont’s families thrive, Vermont’s communities thrive. To thrive, all workers need dignified wages, good benefits, and strong legal protections. Right now, this is still not the case for many Vermonters – and women, immigrants, and BIPOC residents are particularly impacted. We also need to ensure that when it comes to taxes and funding the public services that enable our communities to thrive, wealthy individuals and corporations pay what they owe.
In 2016, Rights & Democracy was part of the coalition that won paid sick days, and in 2020, with Raise Up Vermont, we won legislation that increased the minimum wage to $12.55 an hour. But as the COVID pandemic has laid bare the challenges Vermont’s working families face, and the cost of living has spiraled upward, this is not nearly enough.
We’re fighting for comprehensive paid family and medical leave; a dignified minimum wage for all Vermont workers; stronger laws to ensure all working people have the protections they deserve; and an equitable taxation system. Together, we can build a Vermont where we are all able to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
One Fair Wage
Currently, Vermont’s tipped workers receive 50% of the minimum wage – $6.28 an hour. Although we have a wage credit provision requiring employers to top tipped workers up to minimum wage, this system still doesn’t allow for stable income and true wage parity. A direct legacy of slavery, the subminimum wage affects nearly 26,000 tipped workers, and more than 70 percent of these are women. Ending this low-wage carve-out positively impacts an overall restaurant workforce of 18,000 Vermont workers.
Income Tax-Based School Funding
Right now, those at the top are paying the smallest share of their incomes to fund Vermont’s schools, while the rest of us foot the bill. By transitioning to a fully income tax-based funding model, we can make sure that those who can most afford it pay their fair share for fully resourced schools.