ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 22, 2022 – Maryland Public Library employees gathered at the state capitol today to lobby for legislation that would extend the right to collectively bargain to all Maryland public library employees. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the labor union which recently organized Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) employees, is supporting this vital legislation to benefit Maryland public library employees and communities.
On the heels of the successful BCPL campaign, the IAM has been working with Harford County Public Library employees to obtain a voice at work through joining a union. In response, Del. Steven Johnson (D-34a) introduced the Harford County Library Employees Collective Bargaining Authorization Bill (H.B. 1225).
An amendment to H.B. 1225, also introduced by Del. Steven Johnson, would extend the right to collectively bargain to all state public library employees. Since libraries in Maryland are created by state law, state legislation had to be drafted and passed for library workers to be able to form a union with the ability to negotiate a contract addressing their wages and working conditions.
“Today was very empowering,” said Harford County Public Library Employee Colleen Martin. “I’m encouraged by how receptive the state legislators were to our message. We’re hoping they stand by their commitment to support us.”
A group of nearly 460 Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) full and part-time employees across the county’s 19 branches recently voted in favor of joining the IAM. They are currently in negotiations with BCPL management for their first contract.
The IAM represents approximately 10,000 workers in Maryland, including at the Baltimore County Public Library system, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Aberdeen Proving Ground and Joint Base Andrews.
Hello from Annapolis!👋👋👋
We are at the state capitol today to advocate for the collective bargaining rights of ALL Maryland Public Library Employees. pic.twitter.com/aA6kNd3FUg
— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) March 22, 2022
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers 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.