AFSCME Secures Funding for Forensic Pay

After years of organizing and lobbying, AFSMCE has helped secure forensic pay increases starting July 1st, 2021. AFSCME members have been fighting for years to fix the pay disparities and lack of security in the State Hospitals and Residential Centers, which are now predominantly Forensic. We are happy to report that their relentless efforts have paid off!

Governor Hogan’s FY22 budget includes funding for these increases starting on July 1st, 2021. This increased funding will allow:

  • Provide a 2-grade increase to Clifton T. Perkins employees who have direct contact with the patients, are in bargaining units D, E, F, & H, and are not receiving a forensic pay premium already;
  • Provide pay parity among all AFSCME bargaining unit employees who are similarly trained, qualified, or licensed in forensic facilities with 75% or more forensic admissions;
  • Hire Corrections Trained Security Attendants to ensure that the patient-to-security ratio in maximum security facilities is no less than 1:3, and in minimum security, facilities are no less than 1:12.

Two years ago, we passed the Forensic Pay and Security Bill (SB693), which Governor Hogan has refused to fund in his budget. We proposed adopting these forensic pay guidelines in contract negotiations during the fall of 2020, but management insisted this issue was not pressing and rejected the proposal. Despite what they communicated at the table and in local negotiations, the Governor did include funding for these increases in his budget. 

Rather than working together with the union to keep frontline hospital workers safe, management has fought us every step of the way, consistently denying this bill's importance or increased security in state hospitals. We will continue to closely monitor the Governor’s budget and the funding for this bill, which the Legislature must pass before the end of the legislative session in April.

We also have some essential budget hearings coming up shortly. These hearings are an opportunity for members to speak out on the reality of work in state hospitals to legislators making decisions for your agency budget. 

To sign up or get more information about testifying, please contact: Lisa McKinney ([email protected]) or Robin Raynor ([email protected]). 

MDH Budget Hearings

2/8: MDH Public Health Administration (LHDs, OCME), Office of Health Care Quality

2/15: MDH Prevention and Health Promotion Administration

2/22: MDH Administration, Facilities

3/4: MDH Medical Care Programs Administration

3/5: MDH Developmental Disabilities Administration