Taking the Fight to Annapolis: 2019 Legislative Session

When We FIght, We Win Taking the Fight to Annapolis: 2019 Legislative Session

 State Employees will recieve a 6% COLA increase during FY2020

Download the Legislative Report Here

We defeated efforts to delay raises and sent a clear message: We won’t settle for less and we won’t stop fighting for the respect and raises we deserve. By organizing, calling and writing letters we won:

  • 3% COLA July 2019
  • 1% COLA in January 2020 contingent on revenue
  • 2% COLA July 2020 contingent on revenue

Starting last fall, we begin developing legislation and reaching out to Legislators to edu-cate them about our issues. Each year, hundreds of members come to Annapolis or write/call their Legislators to support these bills or to speak out against bills that would harm AFSCME Members. We owe a special thanks to the House Appropriations Committtee, the Senate Budget and Tax Committee and their Chairwomen: Senator Nancy King and Delegate Maggie McIntosh. Below is a list of the critical bills impacting Maryland State Employees that passed and are awaiting signature or veto by Governor Hogan (no later than May 28th). 

Protections for professional employees at USM (HB 822) This bill provides that exempt employees can only be disciplined and terminated for cause and goes into effect Oct 1, 2019.

Transit Passes for State and Higher Ed Employees (HB 201/SB 319). Requires access to free transit passes in the Baltimore Metro Area to state and higher education employees starting July 1, 2019.

The Payroll Recovery Act (HB 531/SB 496) extends the ability of state employees to receive damages if an inaccurate pay check is not corrected in a timely fashion. We have won over $100k in damages so far.

Job Protections at the MD State Dept of Ed (HB 390/SB 422) will allow new hires to be in jobs that have protections from termination and discipline without cause.

CORS Transfers and Credit for Unused Sick leave (HB 861/SB 829) restores accumulated sick leave to those who lost it when they transferred into CORS.

Fight for $15 (HB 166) the bill will gradually increase the minimum wage on a yearly basis until hitting $15 by 2025 except for employers who have 14 or less employees who will have more time. 

There are also a number of bills that we fought for but did not win this year. We are preparing to fight throughout the next year in preparation for the 2020 Legislative Session to pass these bills:

State Personnel- Merit Pay (HB1240) This bill would have required the Governor to budget a Step Increase in the following FIscal Year. and failed due to the high cost.

Retiree Prescription Drug Plan Change (SB 946) passed and will move a majority of retirees to Medicare Part D. AFSCME is fighting to restore benefits and exploring all options. More info soon!

Forensic Pay (SB 730) would increase the rate of pay for all Maryland Department of Health employees who work with forensic patients but don’t recieve forensic pay. It failed due to cost.

Polygraph Bill (SB 272) would have altered the DOC hiring process to make the polygraph optional. This bill was opposed heavily by MSP and failed in Committee.

Collective Bargaining Consolidation in Higher Education (SB 696) proposed negotiating all MOU’s at MD Public Universities with the University System of Maryland directly and was pulled by the Sponsor under heavy opposition from USM management.

Each year, there are a number of bills submitted that would harm AFSCME members. We follow these bills and testify or lobby against them as needed. This is why it is so important to be involved in the fight for your rights!

“Right to Work” (HB 126)- This bill would have changed the right of employees in the public and private sector to form a union to collectively bargain. 

Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (HB1382): would have allowed public access to records of disciplinary hearings for an officer. This is a dangerous precedent. 

Public Information Act – (HB 413) would have allowed any member of the public to file a complaint against a public employee and gain access to their personnel file.

State Personnel Reform (HB 158/ SB169) would have eliminated seniority points for promotions and eliminated job posting requirements at the work site.

AFSCME leaders came to Annapolis using their own leave time to testify at Agency Budget Hearings. As a result, we won budget narratives which require agencies to report on items of concern

Department of Budget and Management must report on:

  • Provide a quarterly report on the savings and costs of the prescription drugs under the current Caremark program.
  • Report on efforts to develop apprenticeship programs in StateGovernment by February 2020 and by June 2020 report on theapprenticeships to deal with workforce shortages.

Department of Human Services must report on:

  • A study of staffing and compensation levels in Social Services, ChildSupport and the Family Investment Administration including a comparison to nearby states by October 1st.
  • A report on caseload date in Child Welfare by December 1st.
  • A report on the plan to address salary disparities in Adult Servicesby October 1st.

Department of Corrections must report on efforts to improve hiring and retention of CO’s by November 15th. In addition, there is $7million fenced off money for a salary enhancement – to be negotiated with AFSCME during FY 2020.

Maryland Department of Health must have a staffing committe made up of Union members and management to report on a staffing plan for each facility by December 1st. 

Morgan and BCCC are required to report on the number and longevity of contractual employees and plans to move them to permanent jobs by October 1st.

Department of Parole and Probation must report on the following matters:

  • A report on caseloads in the department by November 30th
  • A report on caseloads and salary design within the Drunk DrivingMonitor Classification by October 1st.

Department of General Services must report on progress in contracting-in housekeepers in Annapolis by July 1st and any other privatization of state jobs being considered by October 1st.

Thank You to our Union Brothers and Sisters who dedicated their energy, time and leadership to coming to Annapolis to testify at a Budget Hearing or Bill Hearing. Without their sacrifice, many of these changes would not be possible. 

2019 Legislative Session Testifiers

Awsha Johnson

Jeffrey Fiory

Juliet Hewlett

Cheryl Colson

Derrick Anderson

Todd Holden

Bonnie Johnson

Anthony Crawford

Sally Davies

Lisa McKinney

Jody Curry

Denise Henderson

Victoria Thompson

Geron MacKall

Michelle McIntosh

Scott Hanekamp

Deborah Garlitz

Paul Vince

Anna Williams

Aapri Dorman

Joseph Aulet

Amity Petterson

Melvin Fields

Regina Nolan

Barbara Shaw

Tricia Tressler

Carrie Elliott

Kerrie McBride

Bryan Cromwell

Dorian Johnson

Timika Williams

David Winner

Allen Tiffany

Kathleen Kern

Relford Matthews

Virginia Meredith

Robert Smead

Deborah Michaels

Debra Latson

James Billings

Harold Somerville

Ashley Paschall

Jessica Spiegel

Stephanie Reed

Oluwadamilol Olaniyan

Chikezie Kanu

Deanna Kennedy

Jonathan Moore

Ayodele Okunoren

Emmanuel Ogunshina

Patrick Okafor

Judith Ekhelar

Quiana Tilghman

Samuel Olowookere

Michael Stewart

Douglas Thomas

Stephanie Pinkney-Dailey

Aleyda Hernandez

Jacqueline Caldwell

Judith Roopnaraine

Trimechiah Rogers

Miriam Doyle

Denise Owens

Norah Stephanos