“I’m going to tell you a story about the oldest profession… storytelling. What else could you have thought?” said Elliot Bales, a member of SAG-AFTRA as he opened his remarks. One would think a rally in support of striking workers might start with a sad or more militant tone, but not when the striking workers are also some of the most creative and expressive workers in our society. The SAG-AFTRA Washington Mid-Atlantic local hosted a rally at the office of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) local 487 in Baltimore. Local labor leaders and supporters from across the city came out to stand in solidarity and show their support.
AFT-Maryland and the Baltimore Teachers Union participated in Baltimore City Public Schools' 2023 New Teacher Summer Institute. Take a look at Baltimore city's newest teachers, new members to the AFT-Maryland labor family, and how the union makes the transition to the district a little easier.
Have you heard of Maryland's FAMLI act? The Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program is a new program created by the state legislature in 2022 and updated in the 2023 legislative session that grants eligible employees in Maryland the right to 12 weeks paid leave to care for a family member, or for that employee to take leave for their own serious medical condition. Maryland joins 10 other states—California, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia—that offer some sort of paid, long-term family leave to workers to help care for a worker’s family member.
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.