Council 3 Updates

The 2024 Maryland Legislative Session concluded at midnight on Monday, April 8, and our union has a lot to celebrate!

For the first time, our contract covering 20,000 state employees in Units A, B, C, D, F, and H contains language allowing us to have five Chief Stewards!

On Thursday, September 30th, higher education members of AFSCME Council 3 came together for a rally to kick off our fight for a raise and to negotiate our first consolidated contract with the University System of Maryland. Over 75 members from different campuses across the USM met on zoom to discuss how to prepare for contract negotiations and hear from elected officials about the plan to override Senate Bill 9.

Throughout the pandemic, Governor Hogan's lack of respect for frontline workers has been made very clear. Whether it was underpaying emergency pay, the poor rollout of DBM's response pay, or a 5% pay cut, Governor Hogan has made his intention to balance budget problems on our backs.

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government instituted expanded worker protection programs and provided federal funding to support recovery efforts. One of these key programs, Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), has expired despite the continued risk of exposure frontline workers face to COVID-19 and its variants. In Maryland, this program was not extended denying frontline workers access to leave placing an additional barrier for exposed workers.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, MDH Secretary Dennis Schrader and the Hogan Administration released a Master Facility Plan detailing recommendations for the 11 facilities MDH currently operates statewide including transitioning services and closing the Deer's Head Hospital Center and the Western Maryland Hospital Center. As a union, we’ve been here before. In 2016, when the Governor announced privatization plans at WMHC, Springfield, and the RICAs we came together and pushed back to defeat those plans. WE can do it again.

Legislators from the Senate Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee, and House Education and Economic Development Subcommittee held a briefing today to discuss higher education issues, with a specific focus on the fall reopening of campuses during COVID. Presenters included the University System of Maryland (USM), Saint Mary's College of Maryland, the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association (MICUA), and AFSCME Council 3.

This October, AFSCME Council 3 will be hosting a series of Regional AFSCME Meetings to update members on the fight for a raise and respect for COVID-19 heroes and ongoing contract negotiations and legislative engagement. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings will be hosted on Zoom with options to call in. 

Yesterday, September 14th, Judge Theodore Thibodeau ruled against the state’s motion to dismiss our statewide emergency pay grievance. This is another important step forward in our case which is the largest grievance ever filed against the State of Maryland. AFSCME Council 3 began this case 18 months ago when the Governor stopped compensating frontline workers with emergency pay for reporting in the earliest days of the pandemic.