MPEC Talking with Members at 301 Preston

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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. Members appreciated telework because it ensured their safety as they continued to do the work to serve the residents of Maryland. 

The major reason for visiting that site was for members to fill out priority surveys as the union heads into negotiations. Staying true to the purpose of labor unions, MPEC wanted to assess what issues are most important to members in the bargaining unit, and the negotiating team will take those issues back to the table during collective bargaining. Prior to the pandemic, healthy indoor air quality was a concern for workers in the building referred to as “301”. The need for air purification and healthy indoor air quality is only exacerbated by the pandemic and members are concerned about the quality of air in the state office building. Time and again, members noted the significant state budget surplus ($2.5 billion). Because of the surplus, a number of members the organizers spoke to believed that state employees should get a raise. 

In addition to the surveys, everyone who stopped by the table received informational brochures about the benefits of joining the union and particularly the benefits of joining MPEC. As a member of MPEC, state employees are entitled to a host of benefits that come along with AFT membership. Such benefits include insurance benefits, tuition assistance for members and their family, and much more. 

Visiting worksites isn’t exactly as it once was, as staff wore masks and were conscious of distance. Although the state is not completely post-pandemic, in-person work among state employees is ramping up. As state offices continue to allow engagement, expect to see MPEC at an agency near you. If you’re a member and would like to see MPEC at your workplace to share how valuable union membership can be, be sure to contact the MPEC office.