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MPEC Annual Meeting 2019

The 2018 Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision was a blow against organized labor and public sector unions in particular. While anti-union advocates may have thought they struck a death knell against labor, the energy from the MPEC annual member meeting suggests the Janus decision may have only awakened a sleeping giant. President Jerry Smith informed the body of the state of financial affairs of the union. The most important numbers he offered were the nearly 1,300 new members the union has picked up since the infamous court case. He was proud of the union’s work thus far and was looking forward to the union picking up another 1,200 members.

One of the main ways that the union will do this is by increased member-to-member organizing. President Smith wants members to spread the good news of what the union is doing. There are gains to be celebrated in contract negotiations as well as grievance wins. All of these updates will strengthen the name of the union and will lead those not yet a part of the union to want to join. 

President Smith also updated the members on their upcoming COLA increases scheduled for July 1, 2019. These were bargained for during MPEC’s last negotiation, but were in danger during the legislative session. MPEC executive board and activists as well as AFT-Maryland staff were constantly engaged with lawmakers during the legislative session to ensure MPEC members were not overlooked for their hard-fought and fairly negotiated COLA increases. There are other bonuses members may receive, should the state reach certain revenue goals in 2020. 

While the COLA increases are to be applauded, MPEC will be back at the negotiating table this September. President Smith thanked the last negotiating team for their work and wants this upcoming negotiation to focus on getting STEP increases for members. After a robust Q&A session between members and the executive board that focused on ways to expand the membership and promote the union, as well as ways to best leverage the union’s strength in negotiations, President Smith adjourned the meeting.



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