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.
The townhall allowed members to ask questions directly to Daniel Udoff, a labor attorney from the firm Kahn, Smith & Collins, who specializes in workers’ compensation claims. The conversation was robust and covered a number of topics but there were several
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.
Governor Hogan has ordered movement to an Elevated Level 2 status for all Executive Branch agencies, this means:
All non-emergency essential personnel who can perform their duties from home must do so in order to help contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Employees who telework shall be compensated for their work at their regular rate of pay.
All teleworkers must sign the Interim Pandemic-Associated Teleworking Agreement.
During this period of mandatory telework for non-emergency essential personnel, State operations are NOT shutting down, but public access to State
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. There are a number of state employees at that agency who have recently been or will soon be reclassified and become a part of the MPEC bargaining unit. For some, this will come with pay increases. Those potentially affected were curious and spoke with the organizer about what
The Maryland Professional Employees Council (MPEC) trained another round of stewards on Thursday, October 17, 2019. The member activists serve the union on a volunteer basis and will be the point persons at their worksites for information their co-workers need to know. The day-long training took place at the Maryland Department of the Environment and featured presentations from MPEC board members and staff as well as staff from AFT-Maryland.
The new stewards represent agencies throughout the state. They learned about the contract, negotiations, safe and healthy work standards for their work
Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.
Members made their voices heard regarding the work environment at the Maryland Department of Health. The facility has a wide range of environmental challenges that affect members, but the most recent one to cause a stir was a bedbug outbreak. The state told the union that it has treated the facility for bedbugs, but members want a full, one-time fumigation of the building. Additionally, members are also calling for the state to pay for any costs employees incur for removing bedbugs they brought from work to their personal residences.
The meeting was wide-ranging as members expressed frustration