AFSCME Maryland Reaches Agreement with State in End of Year Wage Negotiations

State workers push for wage increases amid record-high vacancy rates, state budget surplus

Baltimore — Today, AFSCME Maryland Council 3 reached an agreement with the State on wage increases for the coming year at the statutory deadline. Per the agreement, all state workers covered by an AFSCME contract who are eligible for a step increase will receive one in the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1, 2023. Depending on the position and agency, some state workers will receive additional pay increases and bonuses.

“With today’s take it or leave it offer, we have finally finished bargaining with the Hogan administration. The tactics and strategies employed throughout Governor Hogan’s eight-year term reinforce the need for binding arbitration for our members. While today’s agreement guarantees some increases to our members, the increases are insufficient and do not keep pace with inflation. Maryland still has a long way to go towards addressing the under-resourcing and understaffing our state agencies are facing. We’re disappointed that Governor Hogan’s administration could not find the will to resource our state agencies or critical state services and made it incredibly difficult to work together to tackle these challenges. We’re looking forward to working with the Moore administration and leaders in the General Assembly who we hope will get serious about providing the resources state workers have earned and deserve,” said AFSCME Maryland President Patrick Moran.

This year’s wage negotiations happened amid record-high vacancy rates in state agencies and a more than $2 billion state budget surplus. With this agreement, less than 2% of the total budget surplus will be going towards recruiting and retaining state workers. According to numbers provided by the State, as of November 1, 2022, Maryland had a combined total of nearly 11,000 vacant or eliminated positions (7,847 vacant positions and 2,858 eliminated positions).

“As a Parole and Probation agent, I need to be in the field working to make sure ex-offenders have what they need to reintegrate safely into our communities and to keep our neighborhoods safe at the same time. But because of understaffing and a lack of clerical staff because the State can't and won't hire anyone, I am forced to take on administrative duties that prevent me from being out in the field. I am spending more than a week every month doing these administrative tasks and covering for these vacant positions," said Rayneika Robinson, a Division of Parole and Probation agent and an AFSCME bargaining team member.

“From our state’s hospitals to our social services to our correctional facilities and more, we are facing critical staff shortages that make it incredibly difficult for state workers to provide Maryland with the public services our communities need. Governor Hogan’s administration has hollowed out our state workforce, and the paltry pay and benefits Maryland gives its state workers just cannot compare to what Marylanders could receive if they went to work in a surrounding state, the private sector, or even in a local or county position. Add on the stress and impossible workloads and it’s no wonder people leave their state jobs,” said Cherrish Vick, AFSCME Maryland Secretary-Treasurer and a caseworker at the Prince George’s County Department of Human Services.

As in years past, AFSCME will continue to work with the state legislature to address the staffing and resource crisis in agencies across Maryland as a result of the Hogan administration’s unwillingness to invest in critical public services.

About AFSCME Maryland Council 3
As Maryland’s largest union for state and higher education employees, AFSCME Maryland Council 3 represents nearly 30,000 hardworking and dedicated employees in Maryland state government and public higher education institutions from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.