DBM Response Pay Re-Starts & Negotiations Ongoing Over Backpay

Earlier this month, Governor Hogan announced a new supplemental budget for $100 million which will be used to fund COVID-19 Response Pay through the end of 2021. This includes both the $3.13 response pay and $5.13 quarantine pay for classifications as designated by the Department of Budget and Management- click here to review the list.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, AFSCME members have made it clear that DBM’s response pay was a violation of our contract language on emergency pay. In response, we filed the largest group grievance against the State of Maryland to enforce our contract and are in the final step of the grievance procedure. This announcement does not impact our case and just underscores the pressure the Governor and his administration feel to properly compensate public employees. We will continue to update as we get more information on the grievance.

DBM’s COVID-19 Response Pay will start again Wednesday, April 7th, for this list of job classifications based on the criteria that your job duties prevent you from social distancing and will continue through December 31st, 2021. In addition, the Governor’s budget indicates there will be back pay paid for the period between September (when DBM first turned off the Response Pay) and April. Do not believe any announcement of settlement unless officially announced by your union, AFSCME Maryland. AFSCME is ongoing negotiations with DBM over how this amount will be calculated.

Stay tuned for more updates and stay safe in your workplace. Although this is an important step forward, it’s still not enough for the sacrifices made by public employees during this pandemic.

It's important to note many job classifications have been unfairly and arbitrarily left out of DBM Response Pay. Despite urging from our union to expand the list of eligible classifications, DBM believes response pay should be limited to classifications 'without the opportunity to socially distance at work'.

Exposure to COVID-19 is too great a risk to be uncompensated and unrecognized by management. Take action and send a letter to decision-makers urging them to expand the COVID-19 Response Pay!

If you have any questions about Response Pay, contact our Member Resource Center at 410.547.1515 or send an email to [email protected].