United States service members accept a call to something greater than the individual. They recognize and respect the commitment necessary to unify and achieve a goal that enriches not only themselves but the entire collection of people they represent. As public employees we perform uniquely different work, but we also know about taking on a professional responsibility of service to the greater community. We understand the ideas and importance of shared responsibility, sacrifice, and commitment. We know how interdependent our state and local government institutions are, and only with our professionalism and class do we continue to make Maryland work.
Faculty at Frederick Community College have formed a new union through United Academics of Maryland and AFT-Maryland, and are preparing to negotiate their first contract. Union members and supporters gathered to cheer on the bargaining team as they head into negotiations with the administration. The union is supported by a diverse group of faculty members who are united in their goal of improving working conditions for all.
AFT-Maryland added a twist to the annual Trunk or Treat event this year by passing out books to young people in attendance. In addition to candy and snacks, members also enjoyed the camaraderie and a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The event was supported by a number of community and labor organizations.
Maryland Professional Employees Council (MPEC) Local 6197, kicked off a contract campaign for state workers in Unit G. The union is in negotiations with the state for a new contract and is seeking to educate members on the existing contract, as well as rally support for demands to be included in the new contract. To accomplish this, the union will visit worksites from late October through mid-November.
Professional development is never a day off for the hardworking members of the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU), Local 340. As is the annual fall custom of QuEST, the BTU put on a dynamic, engaging, and powerful professional development conference. The day-long event gave education professionals the opportunity to learn from fellow BTU members about strategies to be an effective educator inside and outside the classroom.
"...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. ..."