BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md., May 1, 2022 – Approximately 460 Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) employees who recently organized with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to ratify their first union contract. Full and part-time BCPL employees at the administrative office and the 19 county library branches are part of the agreement.
The one-year collective bargaining agreement includes pay increases, and paid leave, among other significant improvements. Among several work rule improvements, the agreement creates a labor-management committee.
The first contract with BCPL comes after years of organizing, including the IAM winning a new state law allowing BCPL employees to collectively bargain. The law, sponsored by State Del. Cathi Forbes and State Sen. Shelly Hettleman, went into effect on July 1, 2021.
“We are so happy to reach this day,” said Anita Bass, a BCPL Circulation Assistant III at the Essex branch. “Ratifying this contract gives us a seat at the table. We are looking forward to having a voice in making the Baltimore County Public Library the best it can be.”
“Baltimore County Public Library employees have worked hard to obtain a first contract that will give them a bigger voice in the workplace,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bridget Fitzgerald, lead organizer of the campaign. “I am so proud of these dedicated individuals for standing strong through this difficult process. Not only will the families of the Baltimore County Library employees benefit, but the Baltimore County community will benefit tremendously.”
“Our Baltimore County Public Library members demonstrated patience and solidarity throughout the negotiation process,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “ I want to applaud IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bridget Fitzgerald, the entire Organizing Department staff, and IAM staff members for supporting the BCPL employees. This first contract will serve as a model for other library employees throughout Maryland.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.