We can now move FORWARD!

November 8th marked several firsts in Maryland. We elected Wes Moore as Maryland’s first Black Governor, Anthony Brown as the state’s first Black Attorney General, and Brooke Lierman as the state’s first woman comptroller. They won with overwhelming majorities, marking a huge shift in Maryland politics.

It will be refreshing to finally sit across the table with an administration that wants to work with state and higher education employees and move forward with us as opposed to what’s happened in the last 8 years, when we’ve seen our state services being eroded and employees leaving in droves. We’re looking forward to working with Governor Moore and his administration to make progress in Maryland.

This could not have happened without the hundreds of AFSCME members who knocked on doors, made phone calls, and sent text messages in their spare time to push for AFSCME-endorsed candidates. From the Governor’s race down to county and local races, our work had an impact and we saw big wins across the board.

Along with the November election, we’ve been celebrating additional wins for Maryland’s working people, like the victory the dedicated employees of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library (EPFL) system had just two weeks ago. They won their union election by a wide margin, winning 218-12, and we’re excited to welcome them to AFSCME.

And across the board, we’ve won raise after raise this year. Our most recent raise of 4.5% for all state and higher education employees was a direct result of AFSCME members standing up, speaking out, and working with the members of the state legislature to ensure that we would receive a portion of any state budget surplus. While Governor Hogan’s administration was refusing to hire or resource our workplaces, we were organizing our coworkers and having repeated conversations with our state delegates and senators to let our state legislature know that we deserve to be acknowledged for our sacrifices and commitments during the pandemic.

In the coming weeks, it’ll be time to roll up our sleeves again and get ready for this legislative session. We also have additional bargaining sessions with the State and the University System of Maryland. We will continue to do what we do best — organize and WIN the pay, respect, and workplace changes we have earned and deserve.