MPEC Talking with Members at 301 Preston

State workers moving back into consistent in-person work in state buildings means our unions resume meeting them where they are to share the benefits of belonging to a union. The Maryland Professional Employees Council (MPEC) had a table in the State Office Building at 301 Preston Street last week where AFT-Maryland and MPEC staff greeted employees and assessed if they were in the MPEC bargaining unit and if they were members. The members cited the reopening as a major concern.

AFT-Maryland at Community Trunk-or-Treat Event

AFT-Maryland’s holiday spirit was on full display at the 2nd annual Trunk-or-Treat event in the parking lot of Baltimore's Arena Players, the oldest continuously performing and historically African-American community theatre in the United States. Just as last year, community groups and activists had voter registration information and of course candy and snacks for the trick-or-treaters in attendance. The community in the historic Madison neighborhood showed their appreciation for the effort.

AFT-Maryland Represented at NAACP Maryland Annual Convention

AFT-Maryland President Kenya Campbell joined the NAACP Maryland State Conference for their 81st Annual Convention to discuss the future of labor for Black workers. President Campbell spoke on the panel representing the nearly 20,000 public employees across the state of Maryland that AFT-Maryland local affiliates represent in collective bargaining. The panel included leaders from a number of private and public labor organizations all discussing ways to ensure Black workers are included in the U.S. and Maryland’s rebuilding plan.

AFT-Maryland at State Worker Rally

State workers can think of 2.5 billion reasons to take to the streets and demand Governor Hogan recognize them as the heroes they are. That 2.5 billion figure represents the surplus to the Maryland state budget. The pandemic threatened the economic coffers of the state, but thanks to federal investment and collective sacrifice, Maryland was able to stave off the worst damages and now finds itself in position to move forward with a sunnier economic forecast.

MPEC Member Testifies at State Parks Investment Commission

Every day, you don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with and your plans are always being upended by circumstances in the park.” That’s how MPEC Local 6197 member Chris Czarra described his experience working as a park ranger in Maryland state parks. Czarra’s testimony to the Maryland State Parks Investment Commission dramatized what a day in the life of Maryland park rangers looks like. Czarra’s testimony continues the union’s efforts for fair wages, greater working conditions, and overall better treatment for Maryland park rangers. 

Workers Rally at Merriweather Lakehouse in Columbia

A hallmark of union activism is persistence. That’s why AFT-Maryland continues to join with our union family to support members from UNITE HERE Local 7 in their fight against the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel, formerly the Sheraton Columbia. Union activists again protested outside the hotel demanding hospitality workers get their jobs back - jobs they lost through no fault of their own but because of pandemic-related shutdowns. 

Much of Maryland is returning to business and workers who had jobs before the pandemic should be given the option to work at those jobs when businesses fully reopen.

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