by Kyle Weidleman | May 03, 2012
Will Randall and his fellow Maryland Transportation Authority workers are new members of AFSCME Maryland. (Photo by Jeff Pittman)
As the Maryland General Assembly session came to a close in April, legislators passed a bill that gives state workers in four previously excluded agencies collective bargaining rights already enjoyed by their sisters and brothers in the state service.
AFSCME members across the state worked to get this critical expansion of workers’ rights through the legislative process.
“My co-workers and I are voting for collective bargaining to win the respect we deserve and new rights on the job in an AFSCME contract we can count on,” said William “Will” Randall, a Facilities Maintenance Technician at the Maryland Transportation Authority.
The new law, which becomes effective July 1, will give workers at the Maryland Transportation Authority, the State Board of Education, the Office of the Comptroller and the Maryland State Retirement Agency the right to vote for collective bargaining. AFSCME activists are working every day on an organizing campaign with the approximately 1,800 workers covered by these new bargaining units.
AFSCME members lobbied hard for this ‘Freedom to Vote’ legislation. At a time when far too many governors and legislators across the country are trying to diminish workers’ rights, Gov. Martin O’Malley and legislative leaders worked with AFSCME members to expand the rights of public service workers.
Speaker Pro-Tem, Adrienne Jones, said “I was proud to sponsor this bill (Freedom to Vote) because these hard-working employees deserve the same right to vote for collective bargaining that most other state and university employees in Maryland already have.”
Together we have helped workers gain more of a voice in the workplace and at the bargaining table.