(Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post) Muriel E. Bowser has tangled with political foes on the D.C. Council dais and, recently, on the campaign trail with fellow mayoral hopefuls. But never, before Tuesday, had the Democratic nominee done battle with a duvet cover. Bowser spent an hour Tuesday morning in a 10th-floor guest room at the Marriott Marquis hotel downtown, joining housekeeper Juanita King in her daily rounds. She spent a good portion of that time wrangling a comforter into its cover, then again after King noticed a spot, forcing them to start from scratch. Bowser’s housekeeper-for-a-day stint was organized by UNITE HERE Local 25, the union representing employees at the Marriott and numerous other hotels in the Washington area. When Bowser won the union’s endorsement last month, political director Sam Epps said, some of its members invited her to get a first-hand look at their work. Inviting a potential mayor to change sheets and spray down toilets shows “how tedious and hard cleaning rooms is,” Epps said. But it can be rewarding work. As a new hire, King makes $13.53 an hour; by next April, Epps said, she will make $18.80 an hour under the union’s contract, which also includes fully paid health benefits and a retirement plan. “We want elected officials to understand what union jobs can do for people in their lives,” Epps said. “We’re creating middle class jobs here.” Click here for DeBonis' complete report. photo by Mike DeBonis
On Thursday, August 14th, AFSCME Maryland helped sworn police officers at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) ratify the SPO Bargaining Unit contract. “We have been working towards this goal for over a year,” AFSCME Maryland said. This is the first contract that police officers have been awarded at UMES. Prior to this win, the officers were lumped into a non-exempt contract that did not address many of their needs. Under the new contract, the officers are given protection and rights, as well as a $75 shoe allowance every 12 months, 10 hour shifts, and an allotment of uniform pieces. The contract provides “the opportunity to build upon this in order to obtain more specific benefits for the officers while addressing more of their concerns in the future,” AFSCME added.
- AFSCME Maryland
AFGE District 14 graduated its newest Representation Class in early August, teaching the duties of a steward through role-playing, guest speakers, and interactive hands-on assignments. “Being a steward is not easy and can be time consuming,” said District 14 national representative Octavia Hall. “If you want to be a steward, you must first find yourself.” The newly-empowered students signal a brighter future for AFGE, government employees, and working America, said AFGE National Vice President Eric Bunn, Sr. “We train to fight and fight to win.” The students graduated on August 8, and will be applying their knowledge at their workplaces.
- AFGE District 14 website