In today's Baltimore Sun, city employees have been upset with the Mayor's leave policy-- city employees were on liberal leave-- which for some meant that if they could not come to work yesterday or today, they would lose one vacation day.
The Baltimore Sun reports that technical glitches with the state's roll out of the new Health Care plan. Maryland's Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein reprted to a legislative oversight committee on Monday that "the contractors have not delivered what they said they would deliver," and that when the current contract runs out at the end of March, the state may seek a new IT contractor to perform the service. The Baltimore Sun reports that the additional costs of the sputtering roll out have inflated the overall bill for the new plan to $261 million.
State Auditors find that the Department of Assessments and Taxation has not been able to perform physical inspections of properties in many years, nor has it been able to review or audit business personal property taxes or homeowner tax credits. The secretary of DAT argues that this is because of personnel shortages and budget cuts to the department.
54,000 state employees are having their email and scheduling software switched to Google. The state signed a $51 million dollar deal with Google in 2011. There may be some initial glitches with the new system, though AFSCME has said they haven't heard of any specific complaints yet.
Collective bargaining is the lifeblood of labor unions. Bargaining is where negotiators are able to win concessions for the collective that makes up the body of the union. AFT-Maryland consistently supports local unions in their efforts to grow and deliver material benefits for members. With that, a delegation of union members from across the federation went to Washington, DC for AFT’s 2023 Collective Bargaining Conference.
Labor unions are a team, just like the Baltimore Orioles, and on a humid Friday night in July Baltimore’s team of working people, the Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO, went to Camden Yards to cheer on Baltimore’s baseball team.
The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.
"...As labor activists, there are lessons from the creation of our nation that we can apply to our activism. Each of the original 13 colonies had their own interests, desires, and pursuits. Those pursuits were not always aligned with one another. There were, however, places of agreement that were greater than those disputes. ..."
The Baltimore metropolitan area’s water governance may take on a new form. What that means for City Union of Baltimore, Local 800 (CUB) members who work diligently to service the water and wastewater infrastructure is yet to be determined. However, CUB joined forces with a coalition of advocacy groups to hold a press conference demanding greater transparency of the Baltimore Regional Water Task Force, a body that was authorized by state elected officials during the 2023 legislative session. The coalition featured environmental, racial, and economic justice advocates including representatives from Food and Water Watch, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services.