In support of collective bargaining for community college employees in the state of Maryland, the Maryland Green Party Endorses House Bill 871 and Senate Bill 652, which importantly establishes collective bargaining rights for community college employees as well as establishing procedures for the selection of an exclusive bargaining representative.
Community colleges provide ordinary Americans greater access to an affordable education by teaching the skills and giving the training necessary for better jobs. Long supportive of a diverse student body, community colleges have pioneered innovative course formats, summer classes, distance learning programs, adult education and workforce retraining. However, community colleges are chronically underfunded, and rely even more heavily than 4-year institutions upon practices harmful to the community such as exploitative adjunct labor arrangements.
With rights to collectively bargain, employees at community colleges will gain a meaningful voice in decisions that affect them, their students, and the campus and community in which they work. Holding the colleges accountable to that community, unionized employees can bargain contracts that improve wages and working conditions, build political power to ensure that workers’ voices are heard at every level of government to create economic opportunity and foster social justice, and build coalitions and act in solidarity with other organizations who share concern for social, environmental, racial, and economic justice. Through collective action, members at the community college can stand firm against the forces of harassment, discrimination and hate, against structural racism, and against the unfair employment practices of exploitative employers -- and improve higher education for all of us.
Because collective bargaining rights for workers aligns with our values of grassroots democracy, equal opportunity, community-based economics, and personal responsibility, the Maryland Green Party endorses House Bill 871 and Senate Bill 652.