May Day 2021 Message from President Patrick Moran

This year, we recognize Workers Memorial Day (April 28th) and International Workers’ Day (May 1st) remembering those workers who were injured, became ill, or died because of hazards like COVID-19 at work. We honor the sacrifices of Maryland’s public service workers throughout the past year and leading our recovery effort. I hope each of you takes a moment to pause and acknowledge what we have endured over the past year.

In Maryland, we have lost at least ten members' lives during the pandemic, with thousands potentially infected by COVID-19. At least 179 AFSCME members nationwide have died of COVID-19. As Mother Jones famously said, “Pray for the dead and organize like Hell for the living.” The fight continues every day in workplaces across the State of Maryland to keep ourselves safe while continuing to serve the residents of Maryland.  We continue the fight to honor those we lost.

Together, we have demanded safe workplaces and accountability from Governor Hogan and the University System of Maryland. AFSMCE Council 3 led the fight to secure PPE in our workplaces and ensure each workplace had a clear health and safety plan. To add insult to injury, Governor Hogan’s administration has repeatedly tried to cut frontline workers during the pandemic with pay cuts, furloughs, and other unfair cuts.

Our union stood strong against those cuts all summer and last fall. Because of your work, we secured a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment in January, and in April, we secured a $1000 bonus for all state and higher education employees. These are important acknowledgments from the Governor but not enough to justify the sacrifices made by so many of you. We continue to fight to honor those we lost by fighting to ensure Maryland’s public service workers have the resources they need and respect in their paycheck. 

Thank you for everything you do- I know you don’t hear it enough. In the coming year, we have more fights ahead to ensure our workplaces follow health and safety protocols and can provide the important services residents of Maryland will depend on to fully recover from the pandemic.