The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) proudly supports the Harford County Library Employees Collective Bargaining Authorization Bill, Maryland House Bill 1225, introduced by Delegate Steven Johnson (D-34a). The bill would allow Harford County Public Library staff employees the ability to join a union, ultimately giving them a voice and vote in the workplace.
Since libraries in Maryland are created by state law, state legislation had to be drafted and passed for this group to be able to form a union with the ability to negotiate a contract addressing their wages and working conditions. The IAM has been working side by side with elected officials to make sure this basic human right is afforded to all working people in Maryland.
“The Harford County Public Library system staff love the library and want to see it thrive. But for years, it’s been an uphill battle as administrators and the Library Board of Trustees continue to slash services and put workers in impossible situations,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bridget Fitzgerald. “The passage of Maryland House Bill 1225 is the first step on a path that will give these employees a voice and an opportunity to be part of the library system’s decision-making process and help bring the library system back to the gem it once was. This bill will not only take care of the working-class heroes who take care of residents throughout the county, but it could save an institution that many say is the best service their tax money provides.”
“Libraries are the keepers of the history of our communities. They are a gateway to knowledge and culture,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “That’s why it is so important to make sure the voice of the library staff is heard. HB 1225 introduced by Maryland State Delegate Steven Johnson will make that a reality, giving these information gatekeepers what they need to decide if joining a union is right for themselves and their families.”
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 and is currently in negotiations with BCPL management. County statute stipulates that negotiations must conclude by March 1, 2022.