City of Salisbury Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify First Union Contract

Contract contains 6% in pay raises, increased shift differentials and pay premiums, additional benefits, and expanded workplace rights

Salisbury – Today, City of Salisbury workers voted 100% in favor of ratifying the city’s first union contract for general government employees.

“It’s incredible to see the results of all of our hard work and organizing in this last year. Through this bargaining and ratification process, we have had a chance to speak up and use our voices to protect what we love about our job and to improve on the issues that have concerned us. Now, everyone who lives in Salisbury will benefit from city employees having a voice in our work and how to best serve our community,” said Samantha Gray, a Police Communications Officer for the City of Salisbury.

Contract highlights include approximately 6% in total raises for full-time and part-time employees over the two years of the contract, with a 4% increase going into effect on July 1, 2024 and another 2% increase going into effect next January. In addition, the contract includes language establishing on-call pay and a pay premium for working during weather emergencies and Christmas, an expansion of pay premiums for those working evening and night shifts, expanded workplace rights and protections, additional benefits including expanded family leave provisions, and more.

“In the past, our perspectives and voices weren’t really being heard or considered in the personnel committees the City used to do. With this contract, we’ve finally been heard, and I’m proud of the work that our bargaining team has done to ensure everyone will be compensated more fairly, receive better benefits, and be respected and appreciated on the job,” said Pete Torigoe, a Wastewater Treatment Plant Mechanic.

“Today’s ratification represents a historic accomplishment for the workers of the City of Salisbury. Last year, they established the first union for city workers east of the Bay Bridge, and today, they have ratified their first contract. This process is a reminder of what can be accomplished when public sector employers work in partnership with their employees to establish and maintain the highest quality of public services possible,” said Patrick Moran, President of AFSCME Maryland Council 3.

This accomplishment comes after the workers won formal recognition of their union last fall after the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) certified majority support within the bargaining unit of more than 200 employees. Their victory established the first union of city employees in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region. City workers formed their union to address concerns around fair and consistent treatment, competitive wages, advancement opportunities and continuing education, decision-making transparency from city administrators, parental leave, staffing levels, safe and functional equipment, and safety standards on the job.

About AFSCME Maryland Council 3
AFSCME Maryland Council 3 represents nearly 45,000 public service workers in local, city, county and state government as well as in higher education and the private sector who provide the valuable public services that our communities rely on. From Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore, we make Maryland happen.