Workers from the Maryland Office of the Public Defender will join more than 28,000 of their professional colleagues when they unionize as a part of AFSCME Maryland Council 3.
Cynthia Christiani, an assistant public defender in Baltimore, explained that the decision was made in light of municipal budget cuts, which have led to understaffing, overwhelming caseloads, and worker burnout, as well as “…front-line workers hav[ing] had no say in how to open courts safely while ensuring justice for our clients. We deserve to have a voice in how the work is done. That’s why we are organizing.”
“As these employees advocate for justice and civil rights, they deserve to have a voice and rights on the job that tens of thousands of other state employees have on their jobs,” said Patrick Moran, the president of Council 3. “This is why we are proud to support the employees at the Office of the Public Defender to form their union with AFSCME.”
Read more about the Maryland Office of the Public Defender’s reasons and plans for unionization here.