Ehrlich to get a labor endorsement
Most of the other labor groups are siding with Gov. Martin O'Malley, a democrat. And MCEA, or at least a faction of it, supported O’Malley in 2006 (see portion of Sun story after the jump.)
This time the group’s leadership is angry that O’Malley supported legislation requiring state employees to pay dues to the union that is in charge of collective bargaining -- whether the employees are members of it or not.
“If people don’t want to be a member of a union you should not have to pay a fee,” said MCEA Executive Director David Boschert, a former Republican delegate. MCEA, has about 10,000 members including an number of correctional officers, but is not a union designated to do any collective bargaining.
O'Malley, party seek to make headway in regions usually dominated
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2006
Robert Stephens, president of the MCEA, said Council 92 backed O'Malley because the mayor supports legislation allowing the union to collect fees on all state employees, not just its union members, to pay for its collective bargaining authority. Ehrlich opposes the fee. Bailey said O'Malley told the union that he does not oppose the fee, but that there was no quid pro quo for the endorsement.
The governor has worked to ease tensions with correctional officers with pay raises this year and legislation to hire retirees to offset staffing problems, said Kelly, the delegate. He said he did not know if that would be enough to mend divisions, but he added that there is not enough discontent to translate into enhanced Democratic turnout. "Ehrlich has been very good to this part of the state on highway projects and by giving us the first high school in 50 years to be constructed in Allegany County," Kelly said. "These [correctional] employees are not one-issue people."
O'Malley made the drive from Baltimore last week to meet with Hagerstown business leaders at a hotel conference room here. As he pulled off Interstate 70, large blue Ehrlich signs greeted him.
Correctional officers endorsed Ehrlich in 2002 believing the prison system could not get worse, the mayor said. "But it has," O'Malley said. "I think we will do much better in Western Maryland then we did four years ago."