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Legislation Introduced Giving Maryland Public Library Employees the Right to Join Unions

January 13th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is supporting legislation sponsored by Maryland State Del. Steve Johnson (D-34A), which would provide a consistent process for employees of unorganized public library systems in Maryland to form a union and collectively bargain. Senator Nancy King (D-39) is cross-filing the legislation in the Senate.


“All of our state’s hard-working library workers deserve a voice in the workplace,” Sen. King said. “These public servants are so important to their communities, and they deserve a process to collectively bargain if they wish to do so.”


This legislation, House Bill (H.B.) 65, does not guarantee union organizing or require library system employees to form a union. H.B. 65 enables Maryland library workers to organize for union representation, should they wish to do so. 


“This is a constitutional bill,” Del. Johnson said. “This important piece of legislation gives our state’s unorganized public library workers a clear and consistent pathway to use their constitutional right to join a labor union if they wish.”


In 2022, the IAM ratified its first collective bargaining agreement covering about 460 Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) employees. The one-year collective bargaining agreement, which was overwhelmingly ratified by BCPL employees in May, includes pay increases and paid leave, among other significant improvements.