2023 Legislative Session

Get Involved This Legislative Session!

Upcoming Events

Lobby Nights in Annapolis
Monday evenings (5:30 PM to 8:00 PM) during legislative session
Let us know if you're interested in attending here.
Download the full schedule here.

Come out to our Lobby Nights, happening almost every Monday during the legislative session, to talk to your legislators and share your stories and expertise about what it's like to be a state or higher education worker. Each week, we'll rotate which agencies, sectors, and issues we'll be focusing on. Let us know if you're interested in attending.

  • Monday, January 23: Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
  • Monday, January 30: Public Safety (DOC, DPP, DJS) & Office of the Public Defender (OPD)
  • Monday, February 6: Binding Arbitration Night & Maryland Public Employee Relations Act Coalition
  • Monday, February 13: Department of Human Services (DHS) & New Collective Bargaining (Walters Art Museum, Supervisory/Managerial Workers)
  • Monday, February 20: Higher Education (University System of Maryland & BCCC, Morgan State, St. Mary's)
  • Monday, February 27: Indoor Air Quality Night
  • Monday, March 6: Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Monday, March 13: All AFSCME members

Our Legislative Priorities

PDF icon Download a PDF of our legislative priorities.

AFSCME Maryland Council 3 is THE union for state and higher education employees in Maryland. Representing nearly 30,000 workers across the state, we are committed to building a better Maryland and fighting for the pay, respect, and safe working conditions that every state and higher education employee deserves.

In the 2023 legislative session, we are focused on advocating for the following:

Leveling the playing field with the administration

Improving labor relations

Maryland currently has three different labor relations board, each operating with limited effectiveness. We need one singular labor relations board that will be more effective and can properly adjudicate disputes regarding our contract, organizing, and collective bargaining.

Establishing binding arbitration

Binding arbitration, in which a neutral third party is brought in when impasse occurs during contract negotiations to rule and make a binding decision on each party’s proposals, does not currently exist in Maryland. Establishing binding arbitration would help level the playing field between workers and management during contract negotiations.

Improving our working conditions

Expanding paycheck protection

Currently, higher education and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) workers do not have the ability to file grievances for damages relating to paycheck issues. This needs to be corrected so that all state and higher education workers are able to quickly resolve paycheck issues.

Improving indoor air quality

A number of workplaces operated by the State are in outdated buildings with poor air quality and ventilation. This affects many workers’ ability to do their jobs effectively and safely.

Expanding telework opportunities

There are a number of state and higher education positions that could be telework-eligible. Telework options should be available to these positions. There should also be protections in place prohibiting managers from entering employees’ homes to check on performance.

Protecting workplace rights for MSDE workers

The State has misclassified many MSDE workers as "at-will" special appointees, preventing them from having the workplace rights that other state workers as well as new MSDE hires have. This legislation would convert misclassified MSDE workers into state merit positions.

Supporting organizing efforts for the Walters Art Museum workers and supervisory and managerial workers

We believe that all workers deserve a voice in their workplace and should have a right to collectively bargain. Currently, workers at the Walters Art Museum have been seeking to organize for more than a year, but museum management has refused to conduct a neutral third-party union election like the American Arbitration Association.

For supervisory and managerial workers, collective bargaining does not exist for these units. In both cases, legislation is needed to secure collective bargaining rights for these workers.

Building a better Maryland

Creating a strong state budget

From high vacancy rates to under-resourced state services, now more than ever Maryland needs a strong state budget that will provide our state agencies and higher education campuses the resources they need to be successful. This includes paying state workers wages that accurately reflect the difficult work they do, investing in safe work facilities, and providing workers with the tools they need to effectively serve our communities.

Investing in state facilities and protecting state services

As Maryland’s population has grown, access to quality state services, and particularly physical and mental health care, has become increasingly important. Maryland should be investing state funds into quality public services instead of siphoning off public funds to private corporations that lack accountability. When closing or changing state facilities, Maryland should also have a transparent decision-making process to discuss potential impacts to workers at the facility and the surrounding community.