USM Bargaining Story: Stephanie Lee

For 36 years, Stephanie has worked for the State of Maryland — 10 years at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and 26 years at the University of Baltimore (UB). In her current role at UB, she ensures the law school’s clinic runs smoothly to help the law professors and students serve the community. 

Stephanie is a member of AFSCME Local 3895 and has spent months bargaining with UMS, she had this to say about it  "As we fight for our first unified contract for the entire USM, one of the most important things is tackling the pay scale and pay transparency. Right now, at UB, we’re told we need to call HR to even know where we’re at on the pay scale. There’s no clear wage progression for us. If I was still working at MSDE, I’d certainly be making more than I am now. And on top of all this, UB isn’t making efforts to hire as many administrative assistants anymore. They’d rather dissolve the positions and add more work to the administrative assistants that are currently here with no additional pay."

"It’s no surprise that bargaining sessions can be slow and frustrating because management never wants to give us anything. They’ll sit at the other side of the bargaining table, collecting their six figure paychecks while they fight us on every single penny of a raise. Management thinks this is all just a game, but it’s not a game to us."

When asked about her message to those who haven’t joined our union yet, she says, "This bargaining process is hard, but Maryland has a new governor and administration that supports working people and unions. It will take all of us, and when we speak up and take action together, we will win.