The Forge is a journal dedicated to exploring labor organizing matters, and October's issue focuses on universities.

Today our union handed out K-N95 masks to UMD workers on campus.

AFSCME's legistlative outreach efforts bore fruit, as a joint hearing of the Budget and Tax and Appropriations subcommittees on Wednesday September 16 provided an opportunity for front line workers

Recently, an AFSCME-represented bus driver was assaulted when he asked that three young people wear masks.  After being denied boarding, the teens proceeded to throw objects at the bus and damaged it.  When the driver reported the incident, management first tried to blame him and said that no one should be denied boarding if they are not wearing a mask.  Management also threatened the driver with disciplinary action. Not only did UMD's position on this violate the Governor's order on mask usage, it was wrongheaded and put workers and riders in danger.

Local 1072 member Maria Ayala was recently interviewed for a Diamondback article about campuswide concerns over balancing work and childcare during the pandemic:

A de-densified campus only protects workers if it stays that way.  That's why AFSCME is questioning the Provost's plan to require staffing for all academic units.  For months large portions of the workforce have been able to work remotely - and successfully.  Even more important are the childcare and homeschooling problems workers still face; how can they report and fullfill their responsibilities to their children?

AFSCME continues to demand bargaining over these issues.

Our car caravan through campus was a major success with over 70 cars and 100+ participants voicing their demand that UMD bargain with AFSCME over health and safety concerns.

Links to the press coverage here:

Several AFSCME members were interviewed for this Washington Post story, including one of our RF housekeepers who was hospitalized with COVID-19. This is precisely why are we are fighting for more testing, better screening, and maximum PPE.

Read the full story here:

From the AFL-CIO comes this common-sense plan for reopening the economy while protecting worker safety:

The plan has 8 main goals: