2020: AFSCME Stops Unfair Cuts in July and by January Secures 2% COLA for 2021

Frontline Workers Deserve More

In many ways, the past year has been unprecedented and still increasingly shown the Governor's poor treatment of frontline public employees. When the pandemic began, many state agencies were severely understaffed limiting their ability to effectively perform state services. AFSCME 3 lead the fight for fair increases to recruit and retain dedicated state employees like you. 

When the pandemic began, AFSCME 3 members urged management to work together to keep state facilities healthy and safe. Many states experienced outbreaks at congregate care facilities like our state hospitals or prisons. In Maryland, our union stood together to demand the PPE, plans and testing we needed to keep ourselves and those in our care safe. Through the beginning of the pandemic, we kept outbreaks in state facilities low and prevented the dangerous levels of community transmission we saw in other states. 

Governor Hogan responded to our courageous actions by attempting to implement without negotiations significant pay cuts at the close of the past fiscal year. There was no economic evidence that this was necessary, and this has continued to be true. Through organizing and urging the Board of Public Works, the deciding body on state fiscal matters outside of the Legislative Session, we defeated these cuts. Originally the Governor proposed:

  • Elimination of 5,000 filled and vacant positions
  • 5% permanent salary reduction for all state employees 
  • Increase cost of employee healthcare contributions 
  • Cancel all scheduled ASR and COLA increases 
  • Change definition of work time to make it harder to get overtime 

We stopped these cuts by standing together! We continued urging the Governor to negotiate and he finally returned months later with the same cuts. Over months, we built a coalition of other organizations urging the Governor to take action to aid the state budget. The latest revenue projections show clearly the economy is far more stable than the Governor portrayed. Read more about the latest Board of Revenue Estimates!

After months of negotiating, although we are far apart, last week we did confirm that AFSCME 3 has secured the 2% COLA for January 2021. This raise was negotiated in a previous agreement and cannot be taken away despite the Governor's attempt to cut unnecessarily. Moving into 2021, AFSCME will continue fighting for our fair share of the state budget and to build power in Annapolis. 

Make sure to RSVP for our Virtual 2021 Legislative Kick Off to learn more about next steps. Join us on Monday, January 11th, at 7PM: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwuf-mvrjsqH9x28753718jVzG4lJ2mKSTo?