The AFT-Maryland brought four buses of members, labor leaders, community members, students and parents to Annapolis for its annual Lobby Night. Draped in the federation’s well known royal blue, and equipped with packets full of important notes on the legislative priorities important to the members of the federation, members from unions and community groups alike all came with the same message: FUNDING.
The question of funding was important for education professionals and advocates alike; particularly in the wake of the international shame Baltimore city felt when pictures of students bundled up in coats in their classrooms went viral. Advocates called for the necessary funding to fix infrastructure in schools but also called on the General Assembly to restore full funding to Baltimore city schools and all schools across the state of Maryland. Education advocates wanted to also highlight the some early recommendations of the Kirwan Commission that can be passed and applied now.
State employees echoed the call for funding. Many cited recent reports that suggested that state of Maryland is understaffed. This poses challenges for a number of state workers including an ability to extend the high quality service state employees provide to every citizen in Maryland. State workers also called for the legislature to commit to maintaining a defined pension for state employees.
Members of the federation who represent municipal employees (BCFPE, CUB, BCFPHN) also called for greater funding from the state level so that their respective municipalities can provide for the high quality services that citizens deserve.
January 30, 2018