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State of the Union, June 5, 2014

State of the Union, on the occasion of CUB's annual membership meeting, Thursday June 5, 2014

Good evening, ladies and gentleman, sisters and brothers, I would like to OFFICIALLY welcome you to the City Union of Baltimore’s annual membership meeting. 

I would first like to take a moment to recognize our brothers and sisters that are no longer with us.  We also lost a fearless out spoken activist, Maya Anglou who spoke against injustice and inequality, what a courageous women who had a dream like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she kept the dream going for women, encouraging them to be a phenomenal women.  At this time I would like to have a  moment of silence to recognize this great women and our sisters and brothers that also left a mark on this world by showing us their commitment to continue the struggle to make a better place for us to live.    I personally lost a dear niece just a couple of weeks ago, so please join me by naming your loved ones and co-workers that we lost since we were together last year, Rhonda Lisa Jones, Anita Cooper my BFF from the Department of General Services. 

I have had the privilege to work as President of this union for about a year and a half, and the position that I took then and still have is to do my best to continue the growth of this union with your help.  My vision for this union is one to improve communication with my sisters and brothers as well as our stakeholders and to protect the rights and benefits of our members. 

We are participating in building new coalitions and reinstating some that we have had in the past.  One is we were instrumental in reinstating the Health Insurance Committee giving labor a seat at the table and a strong voice in the development of future health care designs.

But also we just ratified a multiyear contract with the City of Baltimore by increasing our salaries by 6% in which almost 5% percent we have already received.   Also getting an additional longevity step added at 40 years of service at the rate of an additional 2%. 

We have had many cases where we protected our members by taking several cases to arbitration.  We even had to go to circuit court to overturn decision of the hearing officer.   As a Union, we protect the rights and benefits of our members who were injured while on the job even taking some cases to the Workman’s Comp Commissioners office.   We have won monetary settlements for members, job training and rehabilitation to ensure that our members would be able to continue to provide for their families.

CUB has protected our workers retirement and disability pensions; protecting members who have been wrongfully accused of criminal charges.  Our Labor Relations Specialist is constantly defending our members on a daily basses with Step 3, Pre-terms and Termination hearings with managers in Baltimore City and Baltimore City Public School Systems.  They defend against seniority, promotions and Plagiarisms.  I would be remised if I didn’t mention protecting the rights of our sisters and brothers who served in the United States Military. 

This union has established many political relationships with our politicians on the local, state and even on the national level.  Our vision is to continue to support those that support us and make those relationships stronger.  One to mention is Senator Ben Cardin.  He was my table guess this year at the annual Metropolitan Cope dinner.   CUB has been involved with our affiliates, Aft, Aft Maryland, and the AFL-CIO Metro Council and the MD/DC AFL-CIO, on regular bases.  We have made progress in this past year, however there is still much more to do.  Sisters and Brothers, please continue to join us as we engage in the Reclaiming of the Promise.  We are dedicated to our Sister Unions and our Community, City, State and our Nation, But 1st and foremost we are dedicated to you.  We do a lot of fighting for our rights, but let’s all begin to build up our Communities (Reclaiming the Promise) promoting better equality of work and home life.  Let’s roll up our sleeves and commit to improving professional growth which should increase economic opportunities, strengthen our voices in the neighborhoods for cleaner safer streets, and better public schools that will attract and welcome the best teachers who can provide the best education for every child’s needs.

I would like to take this time to thank those who have been here to make these visions become realities, the officers you elected, your executive board, stewards council, we have a great staff that is always here for you and some of you use them more than I do, you have the hardest working Labor Relations Specialist, that any union president could ask for.  Our attorneys that work nonstop for all members and your families and last but not lease all of you who are active and participate in many activities and answer when we call.  I want to thank you all for all you’ve done and for all you’re going to do. Now let’s continue the fight, be safe, be stronger, be UNITED and let’s reclaim the Promise

Submitted by your President,
Yvonne C. Rice,
Thursday, June 5, 2014

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