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11/8/17
Bargaining Update #12

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What happens away from the table is just as important as what happens at the table. That’s why we took our demands directly to Governor Larry Hogan today in Baltimore immediately after our barganing meeting with mangement.

WHAT WE TOLD GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN

  • Provide us with the resources we need to provide essential public services to the citizens of Maryland. Currently, this administration is shortchanging communities and putting Marylanders in danger.
  • Respect the citizens of Maryland. Implement programs and policies that help working families across the state.
  • Respect state employees in our ongoing contract negotiations and treat us with the respect professionals deserve.

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11/1/17
Bargaining Update #11

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

All across the state, AFSCME Maryland members are delivering letters to their immediate supervisors demanding that the State respond to our two central demands:

  • Provide the staffing and conditions we need to do our jobs well, keep our facilities safe and do the best job for the citizens of Maryland
  • Compensate us fairly for the professional work we do

The State of Maryland needs to recognize the work we do, respect us as professionals and compensate us fairly. Here are SOME of AFSCME Council 3’s demands at the table, compared to the State’s demands:

AFSCME PROPOSALS

  • Two flat $1500 raises over the next two years
  • Two step increases each year over the next two years
  • We are demanding two additional health insurance premium holidays
  • Pay Equity: When new employees are hired at above base step, existing employees should be brought to at least the same step 

STATE PROPOSALS 

  • One 1% increase ONLY IF the State collects more than $75 million over the official revenue estimate OR one 1.5% increase and a one-time $500 bonus ONLY IF the State collects$150 million over the official revenue estimate
  • Management is only offering one health insurance premium holiday
  • Paid leave no longer counts towards work time
  • Overtime for correctional employees is limited to 40 hours

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10/25/17
Bargaining Update #10

 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It is time for the state to get serious about putting some money on the table.  We have all really suffered economically over the past few years.  In the current negotiations we have been extremely reasonable – all we are looking for is two step increases and $1500 flat COLA.

  • Our wage increases have not even kept pace with inflation over the past few years
  • The State has literally put NOTHING on the table.  Their proposal is they might agree to a tiny wage increase in April 2019 IF their financial projections improve
  •  They have offered a one-time bonus to some correctional officers with a ton of strings attached.  Ask any correctional officer how “real” the state’s promise of bonuses have been in the past
  • With this bonus, there will be a ton of strings attached, that the state controls. And as for the rest of you state employees, nothing at all

While correctional officers definitely deserve a real wage increase, it is amazing that the state is ignoring all the other state employees, many of whom work long and dangerous hours. If you want a fair raise, now is the time to push.

Today we demanded to start the process of Fact-finding. We’ve asked for a neutral third-party to take a look at hard numbers and facts to uncover the truth about the state’s proposals and counter-proposals. Copies of this decision will be passed on to all members of the legislature.  We are going to drag the State’s position out into the open for all to see.

But even with a fact-finder’s decision, we need to get the Governor to abide by it. Next week is important.  We are going to make sure every member is informed as to exactly what is happening at the negotiating table and that every member has the chance to make their voice heard in the fight for respect and fair raises.  For more details, FOLLOW Council 3 today on Facebook at Facebook.com/AFSCMEMD.

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10/23/17
Bargaining Update #9

UNITED AND STRONG

Monday, October 23, 2017

Baltimore, MD – We returned to the table today and demanded that management agree to proposals that will retain qualified staff, attract new hires and protect essential public services. Here’s a rundown of today’s meeting:

Management’s Proposals and Counterproposals

  1. Wants to allow state doctors to determine your fitness for duty and ability to return to work

  2. Limited implementation of post-incident treatment program for workplace violence

Council 3 Proposals and Counterproposals 

  1. Wants to allow workers to decide if they would like to carry over unused leave or cash in accrued days
  2. Ensure fair and equitable access to the leave bank so that workers are not unfairly denied

 

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10/20/17
Bargaining Update #8

KEEPING THE PRESSURE ON 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Baltimore, MD – We’re picking up the pace to ensure we win a strong, fair contract. In our second bargaining session this week, we demanded a contract that protects public services, retains
hardworking employees and attracts new workers to fill critical public service job vacancies. Here’s a run down of this week’s second day of bargaining:

Management’s Proposals and Counterproposals

  1. Management wants to push a one-time bonus with strings attached that may prevent some workers from getting a bonus

  2. Management’s staffing proposal is to limit use of overtime to force overtime on more employees

  3. Worktime would not include paid leave

Council 3 Counterproposals 

  1. We are pushing for additional steps and a flat dollar increase for state 

    employees

  2. Management should provide recourse to employees who are denied use of their personal leave due to short staffing

SAVE THE DATE:  Friends and Family DAY – SATURDAY, October 21, 2017

Bowie
Allen Pond Park, 12 p.m.
3339 Northview Drive
RSVP: hhollis@afscmemd.org or 443-691-0919

Charlotte Hall
Gilbert Run Park, 2 p.m.
13140 Charles Street
RSVP: amayton@afscmemd.org or 410-209-7683

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Bargaining Team Videos and other updates!

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10/18/17
Bargaining Update #7

TURNING UP THE PRESSURE

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Baltimore, MD – The bargaining team increased the pressure on management by demanding more time at the table to negotiate a fair contract. With so much at stake, we’re not letting up. Here’s a rundown of the bargaining process as of this week:

Goals and Proposals of Council 3

  1. Securing a long-term economic package that benefits workers’ longevity, take home pay and staff retention
  2. Prioritizing non-economic proposals to ensure we reach a fair, strong contract agreement for workers

Management’s Responses to our Proposals 

  1. Creation of a statewide LMC to make recommendations for a program that addresses workplace violence
  2. When possible, will provide paystubs that show current salary, hourly pay, shift differential and OT
  3. To protect employee saftey, managment will grant liberal leave in advance of hazardous weather conditions
  4. Employees experiencing layoffs will be provided a list of potential state jobs they may qualify for
  5. Establish LMCs to evaluate light duty assignments and give recommendations for expanding the Return to Work Program

SAVE THE DATE:  Friends and Family DAY – SATURDAY, October 21, 2017

Bowie
Allen Pond Park, 12 p.m.
3339 Northview Drive
RSVP: hhollis@afscmemd.org or 443-691-0919

Charlotte Hall
Gilbert Run Park, 2 p.m.
13140 Charles Street
RSVP: amayton@afscmemd.org or 410-209-7683

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Bargaining Team Videos and other updates!

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10/11/17
Bargaining Update #6

NO MORE EXCUSES

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Baltimore, MD – Council 3 presented economic proposals to management that ensure our union’s contract has strong protections for leave, benefits and wages. What did the state bring to the table? The same old excuses and bad proposals that put communities and public safety at risk. Today at the table:

Management Proposals

  1. No guaranteed COLA or steps for state employees
  2. Additional benefit premium holiday

AFSCME Council 3’s Proposals

  1. Increased steps over the next two years
  2. Annual salary reviews to ensure fair wages
  3. $1,500 COLAS to each grade and step
  4. Double time and one-half for work on holidays too much
  5. $200/pay period for staff who train new workers

Management’s antics at the table today won’t deter us from fighting back. The time for excuses is over. Pressure from our members work and that’s why we aren’t backing down.

Action Alert: Wednesday, Oct. 18 in Baltimore at 4 p.m.
Have YOU heard of the Justice Reinvestment Act? The law aims to lower the state’s prison population and the reduce the likelihood that formerly incarcerated people will return to jail.

We’re making a case against Governor Hogan for failing to allocate essential resources that support implementation of the law. RSVP TODAY to stand with our union and the communities we serve as we hold Governor Hogan accountable.

Union Baptist Church
1211 Druid Hill Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
RSVP: awilliams@afscmemd.org

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Bargaining Team Videos and other updates!

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10/4/17
Bargaining Update #5


Fighting For Every Worker

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Baltimore, MD – AFSCME Maryland returned to the bargaining table with management today in Baltimore and fought for a fair contract for all public service workers. Our demands are clear: We won’t let management strip away our rights, take away the quality, essential public services that Marylanders use every day or weaken our union’s contract. No matter the number of bad proposals management presents, we won’t back down. Today at the table:

AFSCME Maryland Proposals

  1. Negotiate recently-announced hiring bonus for new correctional officers
  2. Enhance leave bank to include time off to care for family members
  3. Limit the new hire probationary period for state employees to six months
  4. Standardize the employee discipline process across all state departments

Management Responses

  1. State admitted that they must negotiate DPSCS new hire bonus
  2. Maryland State employees already have enough leave annually
  3. “Cyclical nature” of work may lead to extending the probationary period
  4. Adopting a new discipline policy ties management’s hands too much

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9/26/17
Bargaining Update #4


Standing Strong

Council 3’s bargaining team pushed back hard against management’s proposals during the fourth week of bargaining in Baltimore.

Council 3 pushed back against management’s proposals that fail to address issues affecting mandatory overtime, public safety and retention in the most dangerously understaffed facilities across the state.

If the state is going to work us short-staffed, we’re going to put language in our contract to protect us:

  • Fair Overtime Distribution
  • 30 Days Notice for Schedule Change
  • Mandatory Classification Reviews Every Two Years
  • Overtime Pay for Work Holidays
  • Payouts for Unused Sick Leave & Rollover Annual Leave
  • Hiring/Signing Bonuses Negotiated with AFSCME to Stop Retention Issues

Members will return to the table on October 4th at 2 pm.

AFSCME MARYLAND ACTION ALERT:
Wednesday, September 27 in Salisbury Meet at 4:30 p.m.
at the Salisbury District Court Multiservice Center, 201 Baptist Street in Salisbury.

We’re taking it to the press again to highlight the staffing crisis in state facilities across Maryland. Short staffing hurts Maryland and the public needs to know. RSVP with your local union steward or contact AFSCME MD staff representative Joe Cox: jcox@afscmemd.org or 410-736-8975.

Mark these mobilization dates on your calendar:
Hagerstown & Cumberland: Saturday, October 7
Baltimore: Tuesday, September 19 and Thursday, October 19
Prince George’s County: Saturday, October 21
Tri-county Area: Saturday, October 21


9/20/17
Bargaining Update #3


The Lines Are Drawn

Both your union, AFSCME Council 3, and the State of Maryland have presented their non-economic proposals at the bargaining table. There are clear differences in these proposals.
AFSCME proposals are focused on:

  • Improving state services
  • Making sure that state employees are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve

The State’s proposal aims to:

  • Normalize the current crisis in staffing
  • Squeeze state employees in both time and money

Union Proposals

1. Substantial improvements to comp time, overtime, and on-call and premium pay, including:

  • Limit management’s ability to deny use of comp time because of fiscal impact
  • Cash payout of comp time if in excess of allowable limits
  • Comp time at a rate of time and ½ for exempt employees
  • Mandate fair distribution of overtime and limit restrictions
  • Expand definition of on-call and on-call pay
  • Increase holiday pay and holiday comp time to time and a half for everyone;
    more for 24-7s
  • Expand and improve short turnaround pay premium to all classifications
  • Require Acting Capacity for each day worked at higher classification
  • Increased compensation for employees who are called back to work during
    weather related conditions
  • Any employee on call with use of state vehicle may use it within 25 miles
    of home for personal use

2. Payroll Recovery Act: Mandate payment and fines when checks are inaccurate

3. Significant improvements to leave

  • Ability to carry over all unused leave to the next year
  • Expand bereavement leave usage for family of spouse
  • Prohibit discrimination or discipline against employees taking military leave
  • Expand definition of what constitutes emergency leave & compensations
  • Parental Leave – 40 days of leave upon birth or adoption of child for each parent
  • Additional day of leave for leap year
  • Payment for denied personal leave in the previous year

4. Fairness and equity in approval and use of sick leave

  • Tighten conditions under which employees can be put on 1 day sick slip
  • Permit use of annual and personal leave when sick leave is exhausted
  • Increase protections for employees sent to state medical director
  • Access to leave bank must be fair and not unfairly denied; disciplinary
    history may not be considered
  • Ability to grieve employee to employee leave bank decisions; any leave
    not approved returned to the donating employee

5. Uniforms, protective gear, and health and safety

  • Increase access to uniforms and protective gear, including cold weather gear
  • Creation of Stress Management Program and protocol for employees involved
    in a critical incident
  • Improve health and safety rights and provisions for employees in office buildings
    and institutions
  • Union input into new leases or worksites to assure health and safety measures
  • Require state owned buildings adhere to DGS guidelines for leases buildings
  • Mandate building temperature be set at OSHA standards of 68-76 degrees
  • Strengthen drug and alcohol testing provisions and rights for employees

6. Better language on job classifications, hiring, promotions, and transfers

  • Biennial review of job classifications
  • Require managers to provide accurate job descriptions to employees when
    hired/duties change
  • Limit probationary period extensions
  • Improve hiring, promotions, and transfer policies, including restrictions on
    involuntary transfers

7. Incentives & Wellness

  • Incentives for Outstanding PEPs
  • Quarterly bonus for not using sick leave or FMLA
  • Review and Revamp Wellness Program, focusing on positive incentives

8. Disciplinary Actions & Grievances

  • Increase time given to get a steward for representation
  • Require more information and notice to employee prior to investigation or mitigating
  • Improve disciplinary process and define categories for infractions
  • Expand rights on grievances and MOU disputes

9. Improvements to travel and per diem policy

  • Employees who travel more than 50 miles/12 hours/10 hours in two day period
    shall be provided overnight accommodations and per diem.
  • Transfers not possible if more than 50 miles.

10. Better language on scheduling and changes to work schedule, LMCs

11. Limit use of contractual and out of unit employees for bargaining unit work

12. Regular, accurate contact information from state for all bargaining unit
employees, free of charge

13. Strengthen Labor Management Committees

14. Improvements to Retirement

  • Provide military service retirement credit to any employee who participates in active duty

Unit H ONLY

  • Specifically name DDA-SETT and MDH Forensic Classifications under Unit H
  • Aviation Mechanics Only – pre-scheduled on call duty at rate of 1 hour comp time;
    1 hour on call
  • Limit ability for management to cancel pre-scheduled OT for MSP Pilots,
    except by mutual agreement
  • Change “Roll Call” to “Security Briefing”

Management Proposals

  • Cut in half release time for trainings, education, and conferences
  • Limit time for stewards to represent coworkers in grievances, and LMCs etc.
    to 8 hours a pay period
  • Changes the definition of work time to eliminate paid leave – reducing eligibility for OT
  • No additional pay if reclassified to a new job that is at the same grade
  • Prevent the union from supporting legislation to improve working conditions unless subject to bargaining
  • Delete prohibition for furloughs in previous years
  • Limit union’s ability to organize and mobilize members
  • Contract expires December 2020

Unit H Only

  • Remove ability to use LWOP
  • Limit overtime to 40 hours a pay period

Mark these mobilization dates on your calendar:
Salisbury: Wednesday, September 27
Hagerstown & Cumberland: Saturday, October 7
Baltimore: Tuesday, September 19 and Thursday, October 19
Prince George’s County: Saturday, October 21
Tri-county Area: Saturday, October 21

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Bargaining Team Videos and other updates!

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9/13/17
Bargaining Update #2


We met with the State to make our proposals.

We are negotiating an entirely new contract, so there are many new things we are proposing.

Here are some of the biggest changes we propose:

Changes to emergency overtime – We want to eliminate the requirement that your facility be closed during a state of emergency in order to receive overtime.

Bonuses for perfect work attendance – We want you to receive bonuses for not using
any sick leave.

Cold weather clothing – Anyone who works outside should be provided cold weather gear.

But they also made their own proposals – They want to make damaging changes.
They want to change 
the way our working hours and compensation are calculated,
making it so they can mandate even more overtime, and stifling participation in our union.

How can we make sure we win – How much we win at the table depends on our work
away from the 
table. Get informed, get involved, contact your regional/agency bargaining team representative. See below for regional mobilizations.

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9/7/17
Bargaining Update #1


Today, we began the re-negotiation of our union contract with the State of Maryland.

This is our opportunity to demand the wages, staffing, and treatment we deserve. If you care about getting a raise or better staffing and stopping the State from taking away our rights on the job, now is the time to push.

This is what happened today: We met today to discuss the information the state is legally required to provide us. Information we need to shape our demands: information on workload, overtime and pay schedules. We are going to be back negotiating next week and have a date every week until the contract is done.

What you need to do: Get informed, and get involved.

Email info@afscmemd.org or call (410) 547-1515 to find out how.

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