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Finally—it’s President-elect Biden

Patience—counseled by former Vice President Joe Biden all election week as Americans waited for votes to be counted—finally paid off Nov. 7, four days after Election Day, when Biden won in Pennsylvania and gained enough Electoral College votes to acquire a new title: president-elect. AFT President Randi Weingarten says the union’s leaders and members “can’t wait to get started” on the work ahead “with an administration that will embrace and fight for the values we hold dear.”

HOW THE FIGHT WAS WON

Our concerted efforts to stop the draconian cuts were successful! The Board of Public Works voted 2:1 to delay $205 million in cuts to state employees.
 

Your vote is your voice

AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

Tele-Town Hall Event Discusses Workplace Safety

COVID-19 has created concern for all Maryland residents, but MPEC members have a specific concern as their work potentially increases their exposure to the virus. Staff and leadership of the union organized a tele-townhall to help members understand workplace safety and job liability in the unfortunate event they test positive for the virus.

MPEC Caravan to Stop the Cuts

When Gov. Hogan proposed to solve the state’s fiscal challenges on the backs of state employees, MPEC stood tall and fought back. President Jerry Smith quickly mobilized the membership to engage in a massive lobbying campaign to members of the Board of Public Works to reject hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to state workers. Following intense letter writing and phone calling efforts, MPEC held a caravan outside of the Maryland State Treasurer’s Office to encourage Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot to reject the proposed cuts.

Maryland’s Unsung Heroes On The Front Line: Maryland Park Rangers

Maryland Park Rangers are on the frontline serving Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic in a unique way.  Parks are a holistic approach to the mental and physical challenges we face. Since state parks are essential in contributing to the overall health and well-being of Maryland citizens, there is a substantial impact on Maryland Park Services (MPS).  As attendance continues to skyrocket, budget cuts in the department have left them with less contractual help to deal with the crowds. This has led to increased park closures, greater vigilance to manage traffic control, and response to emergencies in the park. Of greater importance and concern is the increased exposure Rangers have to the thousands of daily visitors to state parks. 

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Maryland’s Unsung Heroes On The Front Line: Mindy Lawson

Mindy Lawson is a rehabilitation teacher at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, the state’s forensic psychiatric hospital. While teachers in other facilities across the state telework, she continues to report to the hospital daily. Initially, her job was not deemed essential; however, during a state of emergency, management can make non-essential employees essential and alter their work duties, which changed her job status.  

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MPEC Info Table at DLLR

Valentine’s Day is a day of love, and MPEC was in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations (DLLR) spreading union love. Organizer Aaron Ray tabled at the facility during lunchtime. He engaged workers on a number of issues, but one that drew the most interest was reclassification and back-pay associated with it.