Our Community Allies

Since forming our union, MDU has actively met with and supported ally organizations that share our Views on de-carceration, racial and economic justice, justice in the criminal legal system, and organized labor.

As we work towards passing our collective bargaining bills, many organizations have written to Maryland Delegates and Senators urging them to pass collective bargaining for ALL OPD employees – no exceptions. 

In October of 2021 Cheryl Hughes-Redd spoke at a rally among other AFSCME members, community leaders and union family. She shared her experiences as a core staffer at OPD and why we are fighting for the right to negotiate higher wages for all!

MDU has partnered with many community organizations and activists who are vital to this work and see collective bargaining for all OPD employees as something that will improve the lives of Marylanders statewide. Read their letter of support send to the Maryland General Assembly here: 

Community Partners Letter of Support:

We are Maryland residents, allies inside the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), and members of supporting organizations across the state who are grateful for OPD’s many contributions to their clients and our communities. We are proud of OPD’s frontline staff and their work serving the people of Maryland in seeking fair treatment, liberty, and access to justice for all.

In unprecedented times they have worked to ensure Maryland’s public defense was effective and everyone received representation. They never faltered in their determination to fulfill the agency’s mission for “justice, fairness and dignity for all.” We now call on you to ensure those values are extended to the staff at OPD as well. 

The strain of a global pandemic, high turnover, unmanageable workloads and the lack of policy consistency across districts has put a considerable burden on the staff and on the services they provide. It’s time OPD staff are included in the 30,000 other state employees who have a voice in the policies, procedures and pay that affect their work lives.  

There is no reason core staff, attorneys and social workers at OPD should be left behind and denied their basic civil right to negotiate their wages and working conditions. In supporting collective bargaining rights and merit status for OPD employees, we are supporting their clients. Every person deserves the highest quality of representation under the law, and in order to achieve that, OPD staff need to have adequate resources and a voice in raising standards in their agency. 

By signing this petition, we are calling on Maryland Delegates and Senators to pass HB 90/SB 255 expanding collective bargaining rights and merit status for OPD employees.

We the undersigned...

Hear from Our Allies: