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AFT-Maryland organizer Robin Raynor helped organize a meeting between state workers at Spring Grove Hospital Center and elected officials. State Sen. Bill Ferguson and Del. Brooke Lierman joined union staff and members at the facility to discuss the ongoing challenges state healthcare workers face. This meeting continues a series of meetings AFT-Maryland have set up across the state. In advance of the legislative session, the state federation is working to get members face-to-face with elected officials so they can hear what the work experiences in state facilities are like.

Del. Lierman asked

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In 2011, the Maryland State Legislature passed a pension reform bill which made changes to retirement benefits to control state costs.  Employees were required to increase their contribution to the pension plan from 5% to 7%, without any increase in monthly allowance in retirement.  The legislation created a lower benefit level for employees hired after July 1, 2012.  The sixteen years an employee must work to qualify for health benefits in retirement was extended for new hires.  The bill also eliminated prescription drug benefits for retirees age 65 or older effective January 1, 2020.  The

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AFT Healthcare-Maryland sent members and staff on a “blitz” to organize employees in bargaining Unit E. The blitz brought committed member activists together with staff from AFT-Maryland, AFT’s national office, and our partners at AFSCME to engage public health care professionals across the state and bring them to the union. The blitz was led by Robin Raynor who has extensive experience organizing Unit E employees.

AFT Healthcare-Maryland has reason to be optimistic: following the blitz, member density at one facility is up to 66%. The union has benefitted from enigmatic and charming member

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Healthcare professionals at Clifton T. Perkins turned to their union when they wanted changes at their facility. Their union, AFT Healthcare-Maryland, hearing the demand from members, arranged a meeting with state legislative leaders so they could hear from our members just what was going on in their districts. State Senator Guy Guzzone and Delegate Terri Hill met with AFT Healthcare-Maryland members at Perkins Hospital Center. Del. Hill shares quite a bit in common with the members at the facility, as she is also a trained medical professional. Her knowledge led to a robust conversation

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Randi Weingarten and NYC teacher Tamara Simpson

Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.

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[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"62413","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","style":"width: 100%; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;","width":"600"}}]]Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary paid a visit to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center to hear from AFT Healthcare-Maryland members about their work conditions. Members have been looking to address state leaders to discuss a number of challenges that are approaching crisis levels at the facility. AFT Healthcare-Maryland has been active in trying to address myriad issues in a number of different ways already, and the appeal to legislative leaders is but another attempt.

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