Amy Laufer (D)

House District 55 (Charlottesville)

1.  Virginia is one of only 9 states in the country that deny state public sector employees their right to bargain collectively. If elected, will you vote yes on legislation granting all public sector workers, including graduate student workers, in Virginia collective bargaining rights?


2. How will you work to ensure that every public employee has full and fair collective bargaining rights?

I am a former math and science teacher and former member of the VEA in Virginia as well as the Teacher’s Union in New York. I support the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain for fair compensation without interference from employers or employer’s representatives. As Delegate, I will support legislation that protects these rights and oppose any bill that infringes on the ability of employees to negotiate on wages and benefits.

3. UCW-VA believe all education, including early childhood education (birth-5), is a right and a public good. UCW-VA believes that childcare and early education centers should be publicly funded and run and offer high-quality care and education and good jobs for employees, including living wages, healthcare, and a retirement plan. Will you champion free, universal access to high-quality, public education for all Virginians?


4. How will you work to ensure access to free, high-quality early childhood education in publicly-funded, publicly-run centers that offer employees living wages and good benefits?

As a former teacher and mother of three children that have attended public schools, I understand that high quality public education is absolutely essential to ensuring the success of our children and families across the Commonwealth. This is a top priority of my campaign and as Delegate I will fight to fully fund our public schools, raise teacher pay, and ensure that educators and all public employees receive living wages and good benefits. I will support legislation that meets these goals and seek committee assignments that allow me to introduce such bills to the General Assembly.

5. Do you support passing legislation to raise employment standards for all public sector employees, including a minimum wage of at least $20 an hour or $40,760 annually, access to quality health insurance, paid sick leave, and a livable retirement plan?


6. How will you raise employment standards for all public sector employees in Virginia?

I know personally what an impact good employment benefits could have on Virginia’s working families. After my second child was born I had to stop working to care for his medical issues. Employment benefits like paid family leave would have made a world of a difference to my family just like it will to so many families all across the Commonwealth dealing with these unfortunately not unique circumstances. If elected I will work with your organization to support legislation that raises employment standards for public sector employees and workers across Virginia.

7. In Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, and Nevada higher education board members are selected by popular vote, as in K-12 governance. Given that higher education in Virginia has been largely deregulated over the last few decades, what measures would you take to give Virginians more control over their public institutions of higher education?

I believe it is vital that workers have a voice in the room where decisions that will affect them are made. I would look to measures taken by other states to find effective ways of making the boards of higher education institutions more democratic. There should be seats on the board that are elected by employees. I would be interested in learning more from your organization about this issue.

8. What else would you like our members to know about your commitment to workers’ rights and public education?

I am committed to supporting the working families of Virginia. If elected to the House of Delegates I will continue to work with labor organizations like yours and advocate for these policies.

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