Council 3 Updates

A seasoned Mechanical Trades Chief at Bowie State University, Jontae Thomas has spent over a decade taking care of the fire alarm systems and electrical issues on campus.

Two years ago, Will Schmager accepted a job with the City of Salisbury as a Computer Technician.

Bargaining for a Slice of the Pie

"It’s a busy season of bargaining! Our united AFSCME Maryland is currently bargaining on a number of different fronts with employers, including the C

As you may have heard, recently AFSCME’s lawyers at the law firm of Kahn, Smith, and Collins (KSC) prevented the state from getting the statewide emergency pay grievance dismissed. Recently, you may have received an email from them gathering information for our case. These are our attorneys working on our behalf to win our statewide emergency pay grievance.

Earlier this month, AFSCME Council 3’s Executive Board invited the leading republican and democratic candidates for Governor to meet and interview about their plan for Maryland. As public employees, our members have a unique power to elect the boss who sits across from us at the negotiation table. Elections have consequences and there is no clearer example than the damage Governor Hogan has done to state services over the last 7 years of his term.

Last June, Governor Hogan, and his administration allowed the Emergency Paid Sick Leave program to expire, taking away vital protection from frontline workers exposed to COVID-19. Without EPSL, frontline workers must use their own time to quarantine after a workplace exposure instead of the emergency leave. Sometimes this means that they must use Leave Without Pay and stay out of work with no pay. Not only is this a burden to frontline workers and their families, but it also ultimately puts workers in the position to choose between their paycheck and their health and safety. 

On Thursday, September 30th, higher education members of AFSCME Council 3 came together for a rally to kick off our fight for a raise and to negotiate our first consolidated contract with the University System of Maryland. Over 75 members from different campuses across the USM met on zoom to discuss how to prepare for contract negotiations and hear from elected officials about the plan to override Senate Bill 9.

Throughout the pandemic, Governor Hogan's lack of respect for frontline workers has been made very clear. Whether it was underpaying emergency pay, the poor rollout of DBM's response pay, or a 5% pay cut, Governor Hogan has made his intention to balance budget problems on our backs.

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government instituted expanded worker protection programs and provided federal funding to support recovery efforts. One of these key programs, Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), has expired despite the continued risk of exposure frontline workers face to COVID-19 and its variants. In Maryland, this program was not extended denying frontline workers access to leave placing an additional barrier for exposed workers.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, MDH Secretary Dennis Schrader and the Hogan Administration released a Master Facility Plan detailing recommendations for the 11 facilities MDH currently operates statewide including transitioning services and closing the Deer's Head Hospital Center and the Western Maryland Hospital Center. As a union, we’ve been here before. In 2016, when the Governor announced privatization plans at WMHC, Springfield, and the RICAs we came together and pushed back to defeat those plans. WE can do it again.