GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN
Craig was never afraid to speak on behalf of others silenced by the institutional oppression at University of Maryland. He sounded the battlecry for social justice throughout the local and inspired many to action, including myself.
After Craig began working in the UMCP Grounds Department he was soon elected to be the Chief Shop Steward of the local union. In that capacity he not only represented university workers in grievances, he organized picket lines for safe working conditions, circulated petitions to win fair treatment, testified in Annapolis for higher wages and participated in the campaign to win collective bargaining for university and state employees.
Craig’s activism, tenacity, strategic thinking and political determination will surely be missed.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM BALTIMORE's 18th Annual MLK Parade
Across the country, AFSCME members are taking a look back at past labor struggles as inspiration for how to address modern attacks on workers’ rights. In honor of Dr. King’s legacy in the labor movement, AFSCME’s national headquarters launched the I AM 2018 campaign last June. The campaign aims to mobilize union members and their communities to continue King’s tradition of strong labor advocacy.
AFSCME members were front-and-center in Baltimore at the 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Representing dozens of State departments from across Maryland, members donned green AFSCME shirts, hats and scarves on the parade route along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Street. AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride joined the Council in this year's parade.
At the November 29 bargaining session, AFSCME Local 1072 again advocated for campus transportation policies which are affordable, sustainable, and which help to maximize the benefits of service for its most vulnerable members. While countering the administration's proposed increase in parking permit fees for employees and faculty is one of Local 1072's top priorities, other campus transit issues demonstrate that this is a matter of equity which affects the entire campus population.
In an exciting development, two students joined the union at the negotiations to participate in a discussion with David Allen, Executive Director of DOTS. Much to everyone’s chagrin, the students were forcefully rebuffed by the administration's representatives at the table and denied any opportunity to ask questions, make comments, or provide their own specialized perspective on campus transportation issues.
Nevertheless, the bargaining team persisted in their efforts to present the terrible reality that workers, students, and faculty face with the intended implementation of a parking fee increase and the ongoing decrease in available parking spaces.
In questioning David Allen, the union established that there is no material plan to replace the 3000+ parking spaces lost to construction. While a new parking garage could happen in the theoretical future, DOTS has not allocated funds in several fiscal cycles to add spaces. This means that parking scarcity can only increase in the near-term.
TRANSIT ACCESS FOR ALL
DOTS contends that Shuttle-UM is primarily a student-oriented service, and has threatened service reductions if students do not accept an increase in their mandatory fee. DOT's own SmartCommute program encourages Shuttle-UM use by employees who would use those same eliminated routes. Workers who rely on the shuttle to get them to work during weekends would be adversely affected.
The same SmartCommute program encourages telework as an alternative to driving. The union has proposed improvements to the current telework policy. The union wants both workers and supervisors to have clearer guidelines and better ground rules so that more people can use telework and reduce their driving footprint. Thus far, the administration has rejected this proposal outright.
DOTS’ support of more commuting by bike is both responsible and admirable. However, it should not be seen a viable option for everyone. Workers with disabilities or limiting conditions and those workers with early morning start times who arrive on campus in the dark most of the year should be able to commute safely and park affordably.
Our bargaining team believes that when a diversity of voices representing the entire campus community is heard equally and fairly, it results in better outcomes for everyone. We continue to seek out open dialogue with whomever and wherever we may find it, and encourage you to join with us as we labor to protect and improve a workplace that is worthy of the name Maryland.
The petition has been delivered.
Hundreds of commuters to the University of Maryland agreed to Just Say No To Parking Fees. This morning we have delivered the Just Say No To Parking Fees petition to the target, Linda Clement, Vice President of Student Affairs.
Where are the commuters ?
Using the locations of staff commuting to College Park, Maryland, we were able to draw an area map of Top 10 Commuter Cities. Below is the map zoomed out. Each zip code on the map is where a staff member starts their commute. Much of our staff are commuting from areas where there's not many options for transportation to the University of Maryland.
The top 10 cities (in order) are :
What happens next ?
Today, your Bargaining Action Team will be meeting with campus administration to voice the concerns of our community at contract negotiations. Students are also joining the fight as the Department of Transportation is moving to increase their student fees or reduce shuttle services.
With so much at stake, now is not the time to celebrate.
You can do more by continuing to share the petition with other commuters as the next target will be David Allen, Executive Director, Department of Transportation. We will continue to work with the community to raise awareness about the needs of commuters and the price gouging of our most vulnerable community members.
2 LOCATIONS FOR CENTRAL MARYLAND
Representing Exempt & Nonexempt Employees From All Over Campus