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City teachers ratify new contract

Baltimore teachers voted Thursday to ratify a three-year contract that will give them annual raises of 1 percent and opportunities for promotion, but leaves uncertainty about evaluations and a career ladder that was introduced three years ago.

Union officials said that more than 1,000 votes were cast, with the majority in favor of the contract. They said specific vote counts would only be released to members of the union.
Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, said the pact "demonstrates Baltimore teachers' willingness to create incentives for boosting teacher and student performance."

"It's significant that teachers are getting a raise and keeping benefits that are precious to them," she said in a statement. "With this contract our teachers will continue to inspire ways to improve teaching and learning."

School grant raises union awareness

A $5,000 grant was recently awarded to Edmondson-Westside High School from the AFL-CIO, and will be used to raise awareness of unions. Every student in the school is involved in a trade such as Media Production, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, etc.

Help Raise Maryland's Minimum Wage

Join business owners, union members, faith leaders and community activists on Tuesday, January 14th at 5:45 PM at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis to show your support for the higher minimum wage in Maryland that low-wage workers deserve. Join us!

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AFT-Maryland Committee Targets Legislative Objectives

At its December 16th meeting, the AFT-Maryland Legislative Committee identified three major areas on which it will focus during the 2014 Maryland legislative session. The committee agreed that the Maryland pension plan, workplace violence prevention, and the Correctional Officers Bill of Rights will be its primary areas of concentration.

AFT and First Book Distribute 1 Million Books

The American Federation of Teachers, in cooperation with the First Book program, announced that it has distributed 1 million books to teachers, low-income students, community and civic groups. Those books included 400,000 books distributed in the Baltimore area.

Baltimore school tour offers food for thought

National and local union leaders spent time on Nov. 1 in two Baltimore City public schools that are turning an AFT Innovation Fund grant into food for thought—and laying the groundwork for constructive implementation of the Common Core State Standards in the process.