BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md., Dec. 30, 2021 – A group of 460 Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) full and part-time employees across the county’s 19 branches have voted 77% in favor of joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The vote was tallied today in a mail-in ballot election.
The IAM is in the process of scheduling negotiations with BCPL management. County statute stipulates that negotiations must conclude by March 1, 2022.
The successful vote comes after years of organizing, which included 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.
BCPL employees are seeking more transparency and communication from BCPL leadership and healthcare benefits for part-time employees.
“This is so exciting for Baltimore County Public Library workers,” said Anita Bass, a BCPL Circulation Assistant III at the Essex branch. “This will empower the staff of BCPL to continue to do the important work of fulfilling BCPL’s mission and vision. We need a system in place to protect and support each other and a legally binding contract will give us that. I believe in the BCPL mission and I know the IAM will help us accomplish that mission.”
“Baltimore County Public Library employees have always been a critical pillar to our community, and now especially during the pandemic,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bridget Fitzgerald, lead organizer on the campaign. “I could not be more proud of these professionals for joining together and standing strong for what they deserve. This is a victory for them, their families and all of Baltimore County, which rightfully relies on a strong and inclusive library system.”
“The IAM has used and will continue to use every resource possible to give BCPL employees a greater voice in their workplace,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “My personal thanks go to Grand Lodge Representative Bridget Fitzgerald and the entire Organizing Department staff for their unrelenting dedication to this campaign, as well as Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan and Chief of Staff Monica Lee Silbas for their professional guidance through the legal and legislative aspects of this campaign. Also, thanks to all IAM Departments and the Eastern Territory for their steadfast support.”
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.