Berkshire Bank Foundation awards $5,000 to Burr & Burton Academy

first_imgBerkshire Bank,Berkshire Bank Foundation announced that it has awarded Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont, a $5,000 grant to purchase equipment for low-income students so that they can participate in programs at the schoolâ s new Mountain Campus.  Burr and Burton Academy, an independent school that serves as the public high school for eleven towns in southern Vermontâ s mission is to educate students intellectually and morally for a life of responsibility, integrity and service. The Mountain Campus program which will launch in September 2012, will engage a small group of motivated students in a semester-long study of the mountain landscape: the earth and climate, plants and animals, people, history and culture. Students will receive credits in English, social studies, science, physical education and service learning.     The place-based, interdisciplinary curriculum includes active, field-based learning, adapted to fit with modern research findings on adolescent neurology, attention and memory.  The curriculum also includes real work, developing professional skills and building a strong community based on interaction with each other on site and outreach to the greater community around us.  Wilderness expeditions are also part of the program.  During these trips, the emphasis will be on learning wilderness skills, risk management, emergency medicine, team building and leadership, while exploring natural history, reading, journaling, and of course, having fun. The grant funds will be used to purchase the necessary equipment (boots, backpacks, waders, outdoor clothing, snow shoes) for students to participate in the program regardless of their ability to purchase the equipment.  Peter J. Lafayette, Executive Director of Berkshire Bank Foundation said â Berkshire Bank Foundation has a long history of support of Burr & Burton Academy. This grant award will help students that otherwise could not afford to participate in this new and innovative educational program. This experience will help these students learn valuable skillsets that will help them succeed in college and life. We are excited to continue our commitment to Burr & Burton Academy.â   While Berkshire Bank Foundationâ s priorities are education and community/economic development projects, it also donates to youth, cultural and human service organizations.  A complete list of Berkshire Bank Foundation supported organizations in 2012 can be found by visiting www.berkshirebank.com/foundation(link is external).In addition to financial support, the Foundation also administers the bankâ s growing Employee Volunteer Program that carries out group community service projects benefiting schools, nonprofit organizations and communities within the bankâ s service area. In 2011, Berkshire Bank employees completed 67 volunteer projects in which over 50% of the bankâ s employees participated donating over 26,000 hours of service through both company-sponsored and individual volunteer efforts to help their local communities. Berkshire Bank received National Recognition from the American Banker Association for its community service efforts through the Employee Volunteer Program this past February.   PITTSFIELD, MASS, June 28, 2012 ‘Berkshire Bank Foundationlast_img read more

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Institute for Sustainable Communities launches ‘Resilient Vermont’

first_imgAlmost a year out from Tropical Storm Irene, Vermonters are coming to terms with the fact that extreme weather events are not a once-in-a-lifetime happening, and they wish to be better prepared for future challenges. In the face of a changing climate and increasing instances of severe weather, the Institute for Sustainable Communities is launching Resilient Vermont to enhance Vermontâ s ability to build on the lessons learned from last yearâ s disasters and increase the stateâ s ability to adapt. The Montpelier-based nonprofit is partnering with the Shumlin Administration and a number of state agencies and local organizations on an 18-month project to identify the key strategies for helping Vermont become more resilient. The Resilient Vermont project will produce several key resources: a comprehensive map of ongoing efforts to bolster resilience; a common definition of resilience for Vermont; and an action agenda including policy, infrastructure and governance improvements. Over the course of the project, ISC will plan several peer-learning workshops designed to showcase promising practices from around the United States and provide key technical information to local government and nonprofit leaders. To ensure that this project has a long-term impact and builds on the excellent work already being done, ISC will partner with key stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. ISC has raised the funds needed to implement the project from private foundations, including the High Meadows Fund, the WaterWheel Foundation and Janeâ s Trust. Governor Peter Shumlin strongly supports the project. â Tropical Storm Irene was the most powerful storm of this century ‘but we know it will not be the last. The Resilient Vermont project will accelerate Vermontâ s ability to respond to extreme weather events ‘and come back stronger. I am pleased to partner with ISC on this critical  effort,’said the Governor, noting that he has directed Irene Recovery Officer Sue Minter and other members of his Administration to work with ISC on implementing Resilient Vermont. For ISC President George Hamilton, the opportunity for ISC to bring its work home brings a new urgency. â All over the world, communities are tackling the very real challenges of climate disruption ‘and ISC has been working on that effort. We are very proud to have the opportunity to do this work here in Vermont, to help our state become truly sustainable. To do that, we must take full measure of the challenges we face, and work together to find ways to increase our resilience.â  July 10, 2102 ‘Montpelier, VT â   Institute for Sustainable CommunitiesThe Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), founded in 1991 by former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin, partners with communities around the world t to develop the tools and skills needed to inspire active citizenship, protect the environment, and take on climate change. ISC has led 80 projects in 24 countries and is currently working in various regions of the United States, Serbia, China, and India to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas reduction and help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change. www.iscvt.org(link is external)last_img read more

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Analysis: More jobs, clustered in low-wage sectors

first_imgAs during much of 2013, Vermont’s November employment numbers released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics provide a mixed message. The unemployment rate inched down to 4.4 percent, mainly because fewer Vermonters are looking for work. At the same time, employers reported 2,200 more Vermonters on the job than in October, with most of those newcomers in traditionally low-wage service sectors.‘ Private sector: Waning gainsIn 2009, in the depths of the recession, Vermont’s private sector created 20,000 new jobs and shed 30,000’a net loss of 10,000. During the 12 months that ended in March 2012, Vermont saw a net gain of almost 5,000 private sector jobs. In the year ending March 2013, job growth slowed again. The private sector created nearly 22,300 jobs, but lost almost 20,000 during the same period through business closings or layoffs.So many applicants, so few jobsFewer jobs mean more competition for job-seekers. In the fall of 2007, there were about nine unemployed workers for every five job openings in the Northeast. In October 2013, the competition was nearly twice as fierce’17 job-seekers per five openings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep job opening data on individual states. The Northeast region includes the New England states, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.Source: Public Assetts Institute, Montpelier. 12.20.2013http://publicassets.org/library/publications/monthly-jobs-report/dec-20-…(link is external)last_img read more

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Best time to buy gas in Vermont is on the weekend

first_imgA GasBuddy analysis released this week tracked trends over the last four years showing what day of the week saw the cheapest gasoline price. The analysis also provided a conclusion for what day of the week offers the lowest price, showing a wide variation of the cheapest day to get gas, but not every day was well-represented.Meanwhile, gasoline prices in Vermont continue to fall and are now under $3.50 a gallon average.‘Surprisingly, many states see the lowest gasoline prices for the week during the weekend, which may come as a surprise to many motorists,’ said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com.According to the analysis, 65% of states saw lower prices during the weekend than the week, which included Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. GasBuddy’s data also found that very few states sawTuesday or Wednesday as the best day to fuel up. The complete listing is included below.GasBuddy’s analysis concludes that generally late-week or weekend fueling can result in the best savings for a majority of motorists. It should be noted that few states saw consistency year to year in the day that featured the best prices, with just Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, and South Dakota seeing the lowest prices on the same day for three out of the four years the study looked at.GasBuddy tracks gasoline prices at over 140,000 gas stations in all fifty states and offers a free smartphone app which has been downloaded by millions of motorists to help find the lowest gasoline prices in their area. In addition, participating GasBuddy members have a chance to win $100 a day in free gasoline.last_img read more

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Ben & Jerry’s launches its newest line: Cookie Cores

first_imgOnly days into 2015 and it’s clear that the team of Flavor Gurus at Ben & Jerry’s have been hard at work. The ice cream maker unveiled its latest addition to the legendary line up of flavors – a collection of three decadent Cookie Cores that will leave fans of ice cream, cookies and cookie butters clamoring for more. The Cookie Core line utilizes the same design as Ben & Jerry’s popular 2014 Core flavors but instead of jam, fudge or caramel running directly through the middle of the pint, the Flavor Gurus have added cookie butters. The crunchy, swirly inclusion of spoonable cookies right down the center of each pint is a taste that must be eaten to be experienced. The Cookie Cores tie in favorites such as chocolate cookies, peanut butter cookies, and speculoos cookies (a cinnamon spice cookie) at their respective centers, and let fans customize the way they eat each and every pint.The combinations include:Boom Chocolatta! Cookie Core: Mocha & Caramel Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookies, Fudge Flakes & a Chocolate Cookie Core.Peanut Buttah Cookie Core: Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Crunchy Peanut Butter Sugar Bits, Peanut Butter Cookies & a Peanut Butter Cookie CoreSpectacular Speculoos Cookie Core: Dark Caramel & Vanilla Ice Cream with Speculoos Cookies & Speculoos Cookie Butter Core“I think our Flavor Gurus nailed it,” said CEO Jostein Solheim. “Along with the work to utilize Fairtrade and non-GMO ingredients they managed to prove their artisan hand at making something creative, indulgent and delicious,” added Solheim the honorary top taste-tester at the Vermont headquarters, who chooses Spectacular Speculoos as his favorite.The Cookie Cores tested off the charts in early trials, leading Ben & Jerry’s to believe they found a new and exciting way for their fans to experience cookies and ice cream together. “These flavors are over the top, classic Ben & Jerry’s decadence with incredible flavor combinations and textures. They deliver the promise on a truly remarkable ice cream eating experience. These are cookies you’ll want to spoon!” added Solheim.About Ben & Jerry’s®As an aspiring social justice company, Ben & Jerry’s believes in a greater calling than simply making a profit for selling its goods. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream, yogurt and sorbet using high-quality ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices in a number of ways including a focus on values-led sourcing. In 2014 the company plans to complete its transition to using entirely non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients by source as well as to fully Fairtrade-certified ingredients wherever possible, which benefits farmers in developing countries. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry’s became a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation) in 2012. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation’s employee-led grant programs totaled $2.5MM in 2013 to support economic and social justice, environmental restoration, and peace through understanding. For the inside scoop on Ben & Jerry’s visit www.benjerry.com(link is external).BURLINGTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–1.13.2015last_img read more

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Regulators reinstate some of St Johnsbury hospital’s requested budget

first_imgby Erin Mansfield VTDigger.org(link is external) The state’s health care regulatory board decided Wednesday to increase the upcoming year’s budget for the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. The Green Mountain Care Board decided in a 4-1 vote to reinstate some of the St. Johnsbury hospital’s proposed 2016 fiscal year budget. The vote comes one month after it approved $2.3 billion(link is external) in budgets among Vermont’s 14 nonprofit hospitals.The majority of the hospital money approved for disbursement in September went to the UVM Medical Center and Central Vermont Medical Center, but four hospitals had their proposed budgets decreased by the board. The Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital’s total approved was $67.7 million, about $784,000 less than the hospital had requested.Members of the Green Mountain Care Board (from left): Betty Rambur, Allan Ramsay, Al Gobeille, Karen Hein and Con Hogan. Photo by Morgan True/VTDiggerIn percentage terms, the Green Mountain Care Board had asked that Vermont’s 14 private hospitals submit budgets with an aggregate 3.6 percent increase. The board ended up cutting four budgets until the increase was 3.5 percent across all hospitals(link is external). Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital asked for a 5.2-percent increase and received a 3.2-percent increase.A week after the board’s decision, representatives for the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital sent a letter to the Green Mountain Care Board asking for more money.The hospital’s chief financial officer, Bob Hersey, wrote Sept. 18 that the hospital needed its full requested budget to fund an orthopedic surgeon, a part-time urologist, a primary care physician and an expansion of its pain management program.“The ability of an adequate number of primary care and specialists is closely linked to our mission, which is to improve the health of our community,” Hersey wrote. “Adequate access to appropriate primary and speciality services also improves the patient’s experience, lowers their cost of health care services and helps them better manage their health status.”Hersey wrote that, before the September decision, the Green Mountain Care Board didn’t believe the hospital would get as much revenue from patients if it didn’t hire additional emergency room doctors by Oct. 1. However, he said the additional budget it requested this year had nothing to do with the emergency department, but was part of a multi-year, strategic plan to help the hospital better serve the community.“We would argue that all of the (additional budgeted money) that NVRH will realize (in fiscal year 2016) by adding providers to meet community need would otherwise migrate to (New Hampshire) facilities,” the letter said. “We strongly believe that where practicable, Vermont health care dollars should stay in Vermont, which preserves jobs here and bolsters the economy.”Hersey said on Wednesday that fulfilling Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital’s full budget meant the hospital might come in under budget next year.In a Wednesday afternoon vote at a special meeting, the board decided 4-1 to reinstate the hospital’s budget increase from the approved 3.2 percent rate to the hospital’s proposed 5.2 percent rate. Betty Rambur, a board member and nurse practitioner, was the only dissenting vote.“This is a great example of why a multiyear process is a good idea going forward,” said Jessica Holmes, an economist who sits on the Green Mountain Care Board.Con Hogan, another board member, said, “I hope we don’t wake up next year with four or six hospitals requesting the same thing.”Northwestern Vermont Medical Center in St. Albans, whose proposed fiscal year 2016 budget was cut from $96.1 million to $94.6 million in September, will make a presentation to the board Thursday to ask for more money.last_img read more

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Ski Vermont donates $19K to preserve local dairy farms, promote tourism

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Ski Vermont donated a record breaking $19,050 to the Keep Local Farms Fund(link is external) at Nea-Tocht Farm in Ferrisburgh on Saturday, June 25, 2016. The donation comes from the proceeds of Ski Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport(link is external) program, which enabled nearly 3,000 children to ski and snowboard for free in Vermont during the 2015-16 season. The Keep Local Farms Fund supports the long-term viability of New England’s dairy farms through three strategies: educating New Englanders about dairy farming, promoting purchases of milk and other dairy foods, and raising funds to support the sustainability of New England’s dairy farms. The Fund partners with local nonprofits, all of which hold projects or programs related to the staples of successful of dairy agriculture. Ski Vermont has donated to the Keep Local Farms Fund for the last five years with contributions totaling nearly $65,000. In total, 19 alpine and 29 nordic resorts in the state participate in the Fifth Grade Passport program this past year, accounting for nearly all Vermont resorts.“Ski Vermont is proud to have donated nearly $65,000 to Keep Local Farms over five years and looks forward to continuing this great tradition,” said Ski Vermont’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Sarah Wojcik. “It is wonderful to see these donations come full circle, directly funding the preservation of our local environment and farms, which along with our mountains are key features of the idyllic landscape of Vermont that draws tourists from all over the world.”Sarah Wojcik of Ski Vermont presented a $19,050 check to the Keep Local Farms fund with Sid Vander Wey, a second generation dairy farmer at Nea-Tocht Farm in Ferrisburgh and member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, Laura Hardie of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, and Holland Vander Wey and brother Greyson, the third generation on the Nea-Tocht farm. ABOVE: A young visitor at the Nea-Tocht farm in Ferrisburgh meets a dairy cow. Ski Vermont presented a $19,050 check to the Keep Local Farms fund at Nea-Tocht farm on June 25. Photos by Karen Pike.(link is external)Earlier this year, donations to the Keep Local Farms Fund in Vermont were distributed to Dairy Vision Vermont and the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition. The organizations will use the funds in a variety of ways to help Vermont farmers protect water quality with recommended new practices and technology improvements, as well as provide training on business skills to create successful dairy operations.“Ski Vermont and New England Dairy Farmers share a common goal – to maintain the beauty of the region while sustaining growth in the local economy,” said New England Dairy Promotion Board Public Relations and Communication Specialist Laura Hardie. “Dairy farmers also understand the importance of raising young mountain sport enthusiasts to appreciate the land and locally sourced healthy food.”Ski Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport program is entering its seventeenth year, enabling over 20,000 children to ski free at Vermont resorts and inspiring them to connect with the Vermont landscape. Passports are available for the 2016-17 season for a just $10 processing fee. The proceeds from this fee will be donated to Keep Local Farms in 2017. For more information, visit skivermont.com/FGP(link is external).###Photo Caption:#1Sarah Wojcik of Ski Vermont presented a $19,050 check to the Keep Local Farms fund with Sid Vander Wey, a second generation dairy farmer at Nea-Tocht Farm in Ferrisburgh and member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, Laura Hardie of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, and Holland Vander Wey and brother Greyson, the third generation on the Nea-Tocht farm.#2A young visitor at the Nea-Tocht farm in Ferrisburgh meets a dairy cow. Ski Vermont presented a $19,050 check to the Keep Local Farms fund at Nea-Tocht farm on June 25. More photos available upon request. Photos by Karen Pike.(link is external)last_img read more

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Jerry Cross to retire from One Credit Union, oversaw vigorous growth

first_imgVermont Business Magazine After 32 years of faithful service, Jerry Cross, President and CEO of One Credit Union has announced his intent to retire at the end of February. When Jerry joined Bryant Credit Union in 1985, it was a fledgling outfit with just $1.8 million in assets, 1,400 members, and only the most basic checking, savings and loan products. Over the years, Jerry led the expansion to a full service suite of savings and lending solutions, including mortgages, business lending, along with the latest in e-channel technology.Under Cross’s leadership, One CU is now approaching $150 million in assets, boasting over 16,000 members, with six branches across Vermont and NH, and proudly serving members with leading edge technologies like Mobile Banking, and EMV chip card technology to better protect cardholders from fraud, and soon Mobile Payments (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay) too.Jerry Cross, President and CEO of One Credit UnionManaging in the wake of the 2008 national economic downturn, Cross recognized that small credit unions were collapsing under the weight of increased regulatory burdens along with consumers’ unbridled demand for the latest electronic delivery channels. His insight led to the merger with both United Community Credit Union and Champlain Valley Credit Union, with One Credit Union as the surviving entity.Besides the satisfaction of exceeding member expectations, Jerry is proud of the team he has built at One CU that works so hard to provide solutions for members.  From establishing a Senior Management Team to every frontline Retail Associate, Jerry says, “Thirty two years – and it’s all been about people.  Helping people as they come in the door, and working with great people behind the scenes. I’ve been blessed.  It’s been a heck of a ride!”On Thursday, February 23rd, the One CU Springfield Branch will be hosting a “Farewell to Jerry” day which members and well-wishers are welcome to attend.About One Credit UnionOne Credit Union, headquartered in Springfield, VT, is a member owned financial cooperative with branches in Barre, Chester, Essex, Springfield, Vergennes, VT and Claremont, NH.  One CU provides a full range of financial solutions for consumers and small businesses.  Learn more(link is external).Source: Springfield, VT (February 9, 2017) – One Credit Unionlast_img read more

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Burlington School Board, union meet with mediator

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Burlington School Board and the Burlington Education Association, which represents unionized teachers, issued the following statement following a meeting Tuesday with a third-part mediator. The two sides signed a one-year agreement last fall after the previous contract expired in August. The agreement avoided a possible teacher strike, but not after bitter negotiations.BEA union members and supporters at an “informational picket” September 27, 2016. BEA photo.Joint Statement: “Today, the Burlington School Board and the Burlington Education Association entered into the mediation process. The parties negotiated for seven hours.”During the day, the mediator met with both parties to review and discuss proposals related to compensation, health care, and operational issues.”Although no definitive agreement was reached today, the mediator assigned both parties the task of developing alternatives to their current positions. These will be taken up on May 31st when mediation will reconvene. The parties also agreed to use the mediator as a fact-finder in the event that agreement is not reached by May 31.”Previous to the start of the mediation, the BEA said in a statement that the proposal that it will be share with the third-party mediator reiterates two critical goals: The teachers seek a contract that ensures District resources are allocated to best meet the educational needs of all students; and promotes working conditions that attract and retain the best faculty for the city’s children.The School Board’s proposal, which has not changed since the January exchange, fails to meet the educational needs of Burlington’s students, according to BEA leaders. The Board has invoked “goals of achieving ‘operational efficiency’ and ‘fiscal sustainability,’ which are no more than euphemisms for deeper cuts to a system that has been eroding essential services to students over the last three budget cycles,” said BEA President Fran Brock.Brock said the teachers hope that a respectful and fair contract can be hammered out without the Board again pushing the parties to the level of crisis experienced last fall.Unresolved issues include class size; educational and programming services for Burlington’s diverse student population; language regarding appropriate and equitable elementary school workplace matters; a compensation package that ensures Burlington will attract and retain quality teachers.“A teacher’s working condition is a child’s learning environment,” said Brock, a Burlington High School history teacher. For its part, the Board said in a statement last week that, “The Board’s proposals and its efforts in mediation continue to be guided by the overall goal of achieving a sustainable contract that will allow the District to focus on a more efficient use of resources  in support of complex student needs.”The Burlington School District notified the BEA March 17 that “a state of impasse exists in contract talks for the 2017-2018 school year.”Since the BEA brought its proposals to the table on January 31, the parties have met approximately ten times in an unsuccessful effort to reach a settlement. The union proposed a total increase in new salary-related dollars of 7.74% (5.74% in direct salary plus an additional 2% salary contribution to a new retirement benefit). The District’s opening salary offer would increase salaries by 0.5%.According to Board Chairperson Mark Porter, “The Board’s opening salary is a starting point that is much closer to the recent 4-year inflation annual trend of 1.1% than the union’s proposal. We’re willing to compromise, but given the gap between the two salary proposals, it’s clear that mediation will be needed to help the parties reach agreement.”In addition to wages, both parties proposed numerous operational changes. The Board’s operational proposals are intended to improve the District’s ability to meet student needs by simplifying outdated and confusing contract language—often decades old—that governs the workday, teaching assignments, and similar areas, without reducing teacher compensation.The union also brought proposals in similar operational areas that include reducing teacher-student instructional time, which the Board does not believe is in the best interest of students.The BEA’s proposals are estimated to increase total costs by $5.3 million dollars. Funding such a proposal would require cuts to student programs, or an additional tax increase of over 9%, the Board said.Vice-Chairperson Stephanie Seguino said before the mediation began, “The Board is very sensitive to the community’s desire that we complete negotiations before school starts in late August. To do this, we need mediation to begin as soon as possible in order to reach a quality agreement.”Source: Burlington School Board, BEA. 4.11.2017last_img read more

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FairPoint buyer settles with Maine, NH; Vermont expected soon

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Regulators in Maine and New Hampshire reached settlements with Consolidated Communications this week that help clear the way for the FairPoint sale to Consolidated. The company is still meeting with regulators in Vermont, and a settlement is expected there soon, according to the IBEW union. FairPoint is Vermont’s largest telecom. Consolidated is expected to acquire FairPoint this quarter. FairPoint agreed to be acquired by Consolidated last December in an all-stock deal valued at about $1.5 billion (includes $887 million in debt).As part of the settlement with Maine’s Public Advocate, Consolidated has agreed to spend $17.4 million per year for calendar years 2018, 2019, and 2020 to grow and maintain the network in Maine.FairPoint sold to Consolidated in all-stock dealvermontbiz.comThe settlement with New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate requires Consolidated to make capital expenditures on the network valued at 13 percent of in-state revenues per year for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020. In addition, in each of those years, they’ll spend an additional $1 million per year to address service quality issues, including high trouble report rates. Thirteen percent of revenues in New Hampshire represents an increase over FairPoint’s typical capital spending level for the past few years.The unions said in a statement that their intervention in the processes in Maine and New Hampshire helped to secure those spending commitments.”We are intervening in the process in Vermont as well, and expect the company will make similar commitments there. We applaud this as a positive step that will be good for both our members and consumers.”That said, we are deeply concerned about the company’s future staffing plans, in part because of its repeated references to “synergies.” In our experience, corporate talk of synergies often presages outsourcing of good local jobs. For now, our contract contains important job protections, and our unions will continue to vigorously defend them.”Our highest priority now is to prepare for bargaining in 2018, when we will fight for good jobs and quality service in Northern New England, just as we did in 2014 and 2015 when FairPoint attempted to outsource our jobs. We hope that Consolidated will choose another path, one of cooperation with and respect for the workers who have built and maintain the critical network that our customers depend on.”The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 represents nearly 1,500 employees at FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents 200 FairPoint employees in the three states.Source: IBEW 5.24.2017last_img read more

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