AFSCME Acquires Limited PPE and Community Groups Stand with Frontline State Employees; Demand Health, Safety and Economic Fairness During Pandemic

For Immediate Release: April 16th, 2020

Contact: Stuart Katzenberg, 443.956.2798, [email protected]

AFSCME Acquires limited PPE and Community Groups Stand with Frontline State Employees; Demand Health, Safety and Economic Fairness During Pandemic

BALTIMORE, MD- Today we are announcing the bringing together of a group of diverse community, faith and advocacy groups, including but not limited to the ACLU, Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, Jews United for Justice, BRIDGE Maryland, Public Justice Center, and Maryland Sierra Club, who are calling on the Hogan Administration to do more to protect the public.  They call for the following steps to be taken as soon as possible: 

  1. PPE should be supplied and not restricted to prevent the virus at all state buildings,
  2. The Agencies must share the written plan for dealing with an outbreak in each facility and institution
  3. Health & Safety Protocols should be consistent and enforced across the state
  4. Everyone inside state facilities and everyone entering state facilities
    must be tested for COVID19 now.
  5. Emergency Pay for essential employees in harm's way should be reinstated immediately.

 President Patrick Moran said “While we look to the state to take action, AFSCME Council 3 and its coalition partners will not wait: we have begun receiving limited PPE and equipment for essential state and university employees.  With the most recent infections and deaths in custody at the Department of Corrections, we are seeing the ticking time bomb before our eyes.  We need bold action now to protect the state of Maryland, our members working on the frontlines, and the communities where they live. If we can get limited PPE then Governor Hogan surely can acquire enough to protect our members and the public.  We are calling on the Governor to immediately acquire and deploy COVID19 testing for all state employees reporting to work as well as all contractors, patients, juveniles, and inmates who are also at state facilities.  Additionally, we are calling join the newly formed Northeast Coalition of States in order to coordinate responses and make bulk purchasing of PPEs and tests.

Father Ty Hullinger of St. Anthony’s in Baltimore said “It is outrageous that, even a full month after Governor Hogan began issuing proclamation after proclamation during this coronavirus pandemic, he has failed to ensure that our very own state workers have the personal protective equipment and health and safety protocols with the risks that these brave women and men are taking daily to ensure that basic civil and social needs are being met in the state of Maryland.  As a faith leader in Baltimore, it is shocking to know that workers are not being given the safety and protection they have been asking for from the beginning of this pandemic.  They deserve to have their lives and their well-being fully protected as they serve our many essential needs as citizens of this state.”

Read the full letter here: