On May 29, 2024
Local News

After 36 years Killington road foreman steps down; highway department signs petition to unionize 

By Andrew Gieda- Lawn signs pictured above have been placed throughout town thanking Bowen for his service.

By Polly Mikula

Ricky Bowen, foreman for the town of Killington highways and facilities, stepped away from that post on May 15 after 36 years of service. 

“The town will not publicly comment further because of respect for the process and because this is a personnel matter,” wrote Town Manager Michael Ramsey. “However, during the pendency of this matter, the town and its staff will remain committed to continuing to provide the high level of service that the residents and visitors of Killington deserve and expect.”

Signs have popped up across town this week recognizing Bowen’s 36 years of services. 

Also on May 15, five employees on the highway department signed a petition to unionize. The town received notice on May 21.

“Ricky submitted his resignation at 9 p.m. the same day the highway guys signed the petition to unionize,” Selectman Jim Haff explained.

Ramsey confirmed that “the town received notice from AFSCME Council 93 that it had filed a Petition for Election of Collective Bargaining Representative for the five non-management workers in the town’s Highway & Facilities department.”

While it is not uncommon for departments of municipalities to unionize in Vermont, it changes the dynamics and logistics of compensation.

The next step is for the Select Board to officially accept the petition to unionize. The next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, May 29. While the topic is not on the agenda, it may be brought up in executive session as a personnel matter. 

The board must decide whether to accept the petition as is, or put it to an anonymous vote. The latter would ensure that the majority of the highway dept. employees want to move in that direction. If they do, lawyers will negotiate terms between the town and the union.

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