BTU Prom Drive

The Baltimore Teachers Union Public Outreach Committee announces their PROM DRIVE, and they are collecting formalwear and donations to benefit young teens who may otherwise be unable to attend their proms due to financial hardship.

Drop off donations between April 1 thru April 28, from 9am-5pm at the BTU, 5800 Metro Drive, 2nd floor.

AFT-Maryland Aids Kansas Organizing Effort

AFT-Maryland staff and affiliate members journeyed to Wichita, Kansas, March 9-14 for a week of intensive training in the AFT organizing model and to help the Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE) identify potential activists and recruit new union members. The AFT-Maryland volunteers joined union members from Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, and Kansas in the joint organizing effort, which was launched as a part of the “Reclaiming the Promise of High Quality Public Services for Strong Communities,” an AFT national initiative."

Minimum Wage Bill Stalled

The bill that would increase Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has been stalled in the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Thomas Middleton (D-Charles), chair of that committee says that he will not move on the minimum wage proposal until an agreement to raise the wages of workers who care for the developmentally disabled has been reached. Middleton wants to raise the hourly wage for workers who care for the developmentally disabled to a level that is higher than the proposed minimum wage increase.

Snow Causes Delay in Maryland Legislative Process

The nine-inch snow storm that hit the city of Annapolis Monday, March 17th, delayed the schedule to which legislators are expected to adhere. Monday, March 17th, officially was “Crossover Day,” the last day when bills passed in the House or Senate can be sent to the corresponding subcommittee in the opposite chamber for consideration. Bills that fail to “crossover” are sent to the Rules Committee for review and a decision. Generally, legislation sent to the Rules Committee is considered more difficult to get passed.

Bills Address Student Testing, Teacher Evaluations

A series of bills before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee could, if passed, delay the use of the new student achievement test, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

AFT-Maryland Affiliates Oppose Pension Cuts

AFT-Maryland affiliates traveled to Annapolis, Maryland February 24th to meet with state legislators and voice opposition to Governor O’Malley’s proposed cuts to the state’s contribution to state employee pension plan.

The governor has proposed that the state’s promised $300 million per year contribution to state worker pension plans be cut by $100 million. AFT-Maryland affiliates have argued that the cuts jeopardize the financial standing of the state and could result in reduced payments for retired state workers.