June 7, 2022
As I mentioned in the previous email update, we are scheduling a contract information meeting for bargaining unit employees on June 12, 2022. Registration information below.
We had hoped to have sent signed copies of the contract to you attached to this email, but the meeting to sign the contract has not yet been scheduled. We understand there was information put out by BCPL indicating the contract was not yet finalized. We’ve been looking into this situation since we learned of the communication from BCPL, and we wanted to relate our findings:
- According to Section 23-709(A) of the BCPL collective bargaining legislation passed in the 2021 General session, BCPL’s Board of Trustees was required to submit a budget request funding the financial items in the collective bargaining agreement once the agreement was ratified by the unit and approved by the Board.
- The subsequent steps, should the budget request require funding more than would otherwise be allocated, give the County Executive options such as appropriating additional funds, determining cuts himself, or returning the agreement to the parties for adjustment. Importantly, there was no notice given to us (or, to our knowledge, to BCPL) by his office to indicate there was an issue with funding.
- On May 26, 2022, the County Council approved the budget submitted by the County Executive.
- We’ve made multiple inquires with the County Executive’s office seeking clarification regarding the budget and how it might negatively impact the agreement between BCPL and the unit. On June 2, we were told by Patrick Murray, Chief of Staff to the County Executive, that the budget passed without any cuts.
- We’ve asked BCPL’s legal representative for a copy of the budget request sent to the County Executive’s office. Our lawyer has been advised that a copy will be forwarded to her. As of the writing of this email, we have not yet received any documents.
- In Section 23-707 (D) (1) of the collective bargaining legislation, there is language that indicates that a collective bargaining agreement shall become effective upon ratification by the majority of votes casts by bargaining unit employees and the approval of the board. The ratification and approval have occurred. Assuming the proper requests under Section 23-709(A) noted above were made by BCPL, there is an effective and legally binding contract with the financial components to be effective with the start of the new fiscal year. We want to provide everyone an official signed copy. In the meantime, a “read only” copy can be found through this dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/k0zhrn9rn30rx2h/BCPL%20%20IAMAW%20MOU%20FY2023%20Tentative%20Agreement%202022-0421%20%2800000002%29.pdf?dl=0.Please review in preparation for the June 12 meeting, to ensure your questions are answered.
- Your collective bargaining agreement provides for 21 stewards. The IAM has a training facility in Hollywood, MD, where we conduct week-long trainings to stewards, officers and members. It would be unreasonable to expect BCPL to release 21 employees at the same time to attend a training. However, we can’t ask staff to volunteer to be stewards without providing a foundation of knowledge to perform the tasks. Therefore, we will hold a preliminary steward training for any staff member interested in being a steward, or learning more about the role of the Steward. (Attending training at the education facility can occur later, as scheduling will allow.) You do not have to commit to being a steward to attend on June 26, but you do have to register for the meeting. It will be in person at the IAM District 4 office, but registration is conducted online through our education facility. Registration information is below.
- Last week I was updated by the IAM’s Safety and Health instructor. They are working on creating a work place safety training to address recent issues related to safety at BCPL branches. They’re working to secure speakers with expertise on the issues raised by some of your colleagues. We’re planning for after the July 4th holiday, depending on speaker availability.
I know there is a lot of information in this update and in the contract. I look forward to seeing you on June 12 at 9 am, but if I can be of prior assistance, please reach out.
Meeting Registration Information
To register for either of the meetings scheduled, please complete the registration form https://forms.gle/aLPkox9GUKAJuZVg8.
If you are registering for the June 12 meeting, the zoom link will be sent when your registration is received and processed.
If you are registering for the June 26 meeting, please arrive to the IAM District 4 office, 2600 Cabover Drive, Hanover, MD. We will begin promptly at 10 am.