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The 2022 legislative session posed challenges for legislators and advocates alike. During the session, responses to Covid-19 and its variants meant everyone had to adapt quickly. Thankfully, the state federation was prepared to do so and maintained our strong presence in Annapolis. On the whole, AFT-Maryland, our affiliate locals, and the Maryland labor movement had a solid session. State federation efforts were led by Denise Riley who served as the point person in Annapolis for AFT-Maryland. Members from across the federation volunteered their time and effort to draft written testimony, provide oral testimony in person and remotely, as well as participate in virtual and in-person press conferences, all in lobbying efforts to pass our bills.  Click to Read

News of Dr. Lillian Lowery’s passing has saddened our state federation deeply. We had the utmost respect for her as a tireless fighter for students across the state of Maryland. Dr. Lowery’s historic term as the first African-American to head the Maryland State Department of Education was monumental for young Black women who aspired for careers in educational administration. She served at every level of education including as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent before leading education departments in Delaware and Maryland. Click to Read MORE

Celebrating student loan relief


“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

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The turn of the pages on the calendar to April brings excitement at the anticipation of spring. The season is one that holds a great deal of potential and promise. Many of us will resume some of our favorite outdoor activities; others will try new outdoor ideas for the first time. We know the adage that “April showers, bring May flowers,” and we are eager for the longer, warmer days, even if we have to put up with some rainy ones here and there. This year, the month of April also brings... Click to Read MORE

Class sizes make a huge difference in an educator’s ability to reach and connect with their students. Unfortunately for Maryland educators however, class sizes are non-negotiable and cannot be collectively bargained. House Bill 890 (HB890) seeks to change that. While a number of education professionals and advocates from across the state offered testimony detailing how necessary this legislation is for classroom instructors, the most visually compelling testimony came from AFT-Maryland members in the Baltimore Teachers Union (Local 340). 

BTU member Nathan Ferrell testifies via Zoom on the

March has been a busy month for AFT affiliates in Annapolis. With the 90-day legislative session going strong, many of our unions have appeared virtually or headed to Annapolis to testify on bills that could meaningfully change working conditions and benefits for our public employees. Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees (BCFPE Local 4883) President John Ripley and Area Vice President Kasia Gatchalian testified on two bills that would affect 911 operators in Baltimore county. 

BCFPE President John Ripley, Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-17), and BCFPE Area VP Kasia Gatchalian 

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