Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) workers overwhelmingly ratified their second bargaining agreement this past weekend. The contract covers more than 400 employees at 19 locations. This second contract comes after signing their first historic collective bargaining agreement nearly six months ago.
This three-year collective bargaining agreement includes pay increases, grievance processes, performance improvement plans, and improved paid leave, among other significant improvements. Among several work rule improvements, the agreement creates a labor-management committee.
The second 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.
The efforts of BCPL workers have sparked library employees throughout Maryland. The IAM is fighting to pass legislation allowing library workers the right to organize throughout Maryland.
“The IAM BCPL negotiating team did an excellent job at building on their historic first contract by securing a second contract that included increased wages and improved processes within the library system,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “This agreement will set a model for other library systems throughout Maryland. This agreement gives our members at BCPL respect and a voice in the workplace. I congratulate the BCPL negotiating team for turning around six months later and delivering a contract that makes IAM BCPL members proud.”
“I am very excited that we have ratified our second contract,” said Anita Bass, IAM BCPL United Local Lodge President and BCPL Circulation Assistant III at the Essex branch. “Being unionized isn’t a promise for a perfect workplace, but it is an opportunity to negotiate guarantees that improve our wages, hours, and working conditions. This contract represents a lot of hard work. It builds on improvements in our previous contract and is something our staff can be proud of.”
A few highlights of the ratified agreement include