Emergency Pay Grievance Update: April 2021

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. The recent announcement about COVID-19 backpay (the $3.13/hr for limited classifications- review the list here) does not impact our case. It just underscores the pressure the Governor and his administration feel to compensate public employees adequately.

The Emergency Pay Grievance is waiting to be heard at the final step of the grievance procedure for several months. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) took several months to process the case through their office due to understaffing and the number of participants in the grievance. Now, despite agreement from the union and DBM on how the case should be heard, OAH has insisted on a different format, undoubtedly prolonging the case as we now must fight to return to the format mutually agreed upon previously.

Our goal remains clear: to enforce our contract language and ensure AFSCME members were fairly compensated for their response during the pandemic. Despite the legal obstacles presented by the Office of Administrative Hearings, this case will be heard.  We will continue to work closely with our legal team to ensure the case is heard in the fairest way possible and update you as we get news. Unfortunately, the grievance procedure is a slow path. Still, we will continue to fight for fair pay and safe working conditions in every venue possible- at the worksites, in Annapolis, with management- to enforce our contract and our rights.