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Randi Weingarten at a Massachusetts high school

Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.


What unions do


In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times  column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"54600","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","height":"728","style":"width: 150px; height: 150px; margin: 5px; float: right;","width":"728"}}]]AFT Healthcare-Maryland's bargaining team negotiated a successor Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for employees in Bargaining Unit E effective January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2023. All employees in Bargaining Unit E are entitled to participate in the ratification vote for the contract. We have scheduled a ZOOM meeting for Wednesday, March 24, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please register below by COB on 3/23/21. 

We will have a presentation of changes to the contract with an opportunity for members to ask questions at the meeting.



AFT Healthcare Annual Member Meeting

AFT Healthcare's Annual Member Meeting will take place Monday November 16th Via Zoom from 6PM-9PM. To RSVP to the member meeting click here

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"66821","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"750","style":"width: 680px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;","width":"1500"}}]]AFT Healthcare-Maryland is committed to advocating for all of our members in a range of ways. One way we do this is by being active and engaged with the Maryland General Assembly during the legislative session. Being state workers, the General Assembly is a vital resource we use to make our workplace and our work conditions better for our membership. Click here to see how AFT Healthcare-Maryland advocated for our members in Annapolis recently around the legislation that would affect of staffing and pay equity.


Charge nurses and physicians took to Annapolis to lobby legislators for better pay. As it is, physician clinical specialists do not receive the same pay as psychiatrist clinical in a given state facility. AFT Healthcare-Maryland, which represents physician clinical specialists, are working hard to ensure our members who do comparable work receive comparable pay. This is important because quality pay ensures decent and necessary staffing. Properly staffed facilities can help ensure the safety of staff and enhance the quality of service our members provide.

In addition, the union advocated for


Negotiated wage increases for fiscal year 2021 are as follows:

  • 2% Cost of Living increase effective January 1, 2021;
  • $500 bonus effective January 1, 2021 if revenues exceed budget projections by $75 million;
  • Art, Music and Dance Therapist classifications will receive a 4 pay grade increase with existing employees receiving a 6% increase;
  • Art, Music and Dance Therapist classifications at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital will receive an additional 1 pay grade increase with existing employees receiving a 12% increase;
  • Dentist classifications will receive a 1 grade increase with existing employees receiving a 6% increase;
  • Pharmacist classifications will receive a 2 grade increase with existing employees receiving a 6% increase;
  • The grade increases are effective July 1, 2020 and are in addition to the COLA and bonus effective January 1, 2021.



AFT Healthcare-Maryland continues to engage state legislators to ensure safety for those working in state run healthcare facilities. We have brought elected officials from both chambers of the state legislature to worksites to talk with members who are on the front lines, engaging residents with various medical and psychiatric needs. Recently the union brought members together with Delegate Mike McKay and representatives from Congressman David Trone’s office about concerns of safety and staffing at the Howard B. Finan Center in Cumberland, Maryland.

In the meeting with Delegate McKay and Trone

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.