Creigh Deeds (D)

Senate District 11 (Charlottesville)

  1. If elected, will you vote yes on legislation granting all public sector workers, including graduate student workers, in Virginia collective bargaining rights?


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

I will work for legislation granting collective bargaining rights to all public sector employees.

  1. UCW-VA believes 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?


  1. 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?

I will continue to work for increased funding for K-12 and universal pre-K education. I am exploring the introduction of a state version of Senator Tim Kaine’s bill that caps childcare costs as a percentage of income. Additionally, I will support legislation that reaffirms our commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour with an inflation adjustment clause.

  1. 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?

I think $20 is reasonable and a good goal, but remember that we have not been able to raise the minimum wage above $12 per hour.

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

A. I will support raising the minimum wage with an added inflation clause so it doesn’t have to continually be reaffirmed through the political process. B. I will support legislation that allows all public sector employees to buy into the insurance plan and provides paid sick leave for public employees. C. I voted against making the state retirement plan a defined contribution plan because I think a defined benefit plan is a better way to attract employees into public service. I will support restoration of a defined benefit plan and ensure all public employees have access to the retirement system.

  1. 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?

This has been an issue that we have discussed multiple times over the years, and ultimately, as part of a compromise to move the governorship from one term to two terms, I think there should be some movement on his power of appointment, and I would support legislation to provide more checks on the power of appointment. For example, I think it makes sense for the General Assembly to pick half of each class of a board of visitors, allowing the governor to pick the other half. I don’t know that the popular vote option is realistic at this point, but it is worth considering.

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

Look at my record. I have worked to promote the rights of working people throughout my time in the General Assembly, and just this past session, I supported a bill to put a faculty member and a staff person on the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia. I think higher education is indeed a big part of how we build the middle class, so we have to focus on those institutions of higher learning that teach first-generation college students. We also have to provide an environment on our college campuses where necessary work can be done in a safe manner, and the workers need to be fairly compensated and benefited.

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