AFSCME Members Fight for $15 and Respect at the University System of Maryland and UMB

Members from AFSCME Local 1839 rallied on Monday, August 16th, to demand the University System of Maryland increase the minimum wage to $15/hr and respect frontline workers. AFSCME Council 3 represents almost 800 frontline staff who have worked hard with little respect throughout the pandemic including hundreds at UMB. University staff that AFSCME represents have wages starting below $15 per hour.

Check out the video from this event:

Despite working hard throughout the pandemic, the University System continues to offer shameful poverty wages while simultaneously refusing to bargain directly with the biggest union in the System. Unlike state employees, all frontline staff at the University of Maryland Baltimore were left out of hazard pay. AFSCME members are urging the University to respect workers.

AFSCME Local 1839 President Angela Webb said, “Our union is ready to fight. A change is coming, and our staff deserves some respect in their paycheck. No more poverty wages at UMB! You can’t support a family on $15/hour!”

AFSCME Council 3 President Patrick Moran said, “The University System of Maryland (USM) needs to negotiate now. It’s shameful that wages continue to be so low despite other campuses in the same city raising their wages. This chaos is unacceptable, and we are urging the USM to negotiate one contract covering all campuses with our union now.”

Del. Brooke Lierman of 46th district joining AFSCME said, “No matter what system school they work at, our University System employees must be kept safe and healthy to the greatest extent possible. We continue to be in the midst of a pandemic and every USM school should have the same protocols in place that are transparent and fair and reward employees who are fully vaccinated and are compliant with masking policies. In addition, no USM school should be paying less than $15/hour. This past year the General Assembly passed SB9 to ensure that the USM schools would implement uniform policies across the USM. It is my great hope that USM will re-engage in discussions with AFSCME leaders who represent the thousands of working men and women at our phenomenal USM schools.”