Gov. Moore Signs Bill Giving 5,000 State Supervisors Ability to Collectively Bargain

Today, Governor Wes Moore signed HB 260/SB 192 (State Personnel - Collective Bargaining - Supervisory Employees) into law in a bill signing ceremony attended by dozens of AFSCME members. This legislation allows over 5,000 supervisors employed by the State of Maryland to now collectively bargain. 

“Our administration has always been proud to lift up, and support, the work that our dedicated state employees do. This bill underscores that. By working in partnership with AFSCME, state supervisors can choose their exclusive representative, and we can continue our efforts to reduce vacant state government positions. We are ensuring that more of the people who make Maryland happen every day have a voice in our shared future,” said Gov. Moore.

The legislation goes into effect October 1, 2024. A majority of state supervisors will need to demonstrate support for AFSCME as their authorized collective bargaining agent as the first step in order to start the process of negotiating a union contract. AFSCME already represents nearly 45,000 public service workers in Maryland, including over 20,000 state employees across a variety of state agencies. Nationally, supervisors in Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Florida have organized with AFSCME, as have Maryland County supervisors in Prince George’s, Baltimore City, and Howard County. 

“Allowing state supervisors to have a voice in their work and a protected say on the job is long overdue. We’re grateful to our elected leaders for listening to what Maryland’s state supervisors had to say, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the hundreds of AFSCME members who showed up every week during this legislative session to make their voices heard. Now, these supervisors have a chance to share their expertise and experience and be equal partners in making our state agencies and state services the best that they can be,” said AFSCME Maryland President Patrick Moran.

“HB 260 builds on the efforts of the Maryland House of Delegates to support Maryland workers and expand collective bargaining rights. As we continue to rebuild our state workforce, it is important that Maryland state supervisors have a voice on the job through their union with AFSCME,” said Speaker Adrienne Jones. 

“I want to say thank you to the thousands of AFSCME state supervisors who are forming their union so they can work across the table with us in state government to keep us moving in the right direction,” said Senate President Bill Ferguson.

In addition to this legislation for state supervisors, HB 609/SB 591 (Library Workers Empowerment Act) was also signed by Governor Moore. This legislation allows over 2,000 people who work in Maryland’s public libraries to form and join unions and participate in collective bargaining. Together, with HB 260/SB 192, these pieces of legislation represent the largest expansion of collective bargaining rights at the legislative level in the past decade.

“I want to thank the legislature and Governor Moore for supporting me and thousands of hardworking state supervisors who now can have the dignity of having a seat at the table when it comes to our work,” said LaShonda Dreher, Drinking and Driving Monitor Supervisor, Division of Parole and Probation.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be an AFSCME member because I know we’re a union that stands together and fights for all of us- whether that’s passing collective bargaining rights in Annapolis or fighting for better working conditions in our workplaces,” said Walter Moore, Jr., Security Attendant Supervisor, Springfield Hospital Center.

“Our commitment to passing this supervisor collective bargaining legislation shows that AFSCME members never quit when it comes to securing the dignity and respect that all of us deserve,” said Michelle Ward, Intake Supervisor, Office of the Public Defender.

“We are facing a real staffing crisis in many agencies across Maryland, but with this law we’ll be able to have a voice at the table to improve our jobs through negotiating a contract and help reduce turnover in our worksites,” said Christal Cooper, Customer Agent Supervisor, Motor Vehicle Administration.

“Today, supervisors join the ranks of other state workers here in Maryland that have the right to unionize and bargain a contract with the state. It was a lot of work to get here, but we’re ready for what comes next and to get to the bargaining table,” said Elisha Mack, Security Attendant Supervisor, Spring Grove Hospital Center.

“This session at the Legislature, we saw how powerful we can be when we come together and fight for what we deserve. Today, we’re standing strong for supervisors across the state, and I look forward to being able to bargain a contract that works for all of us,” said Jeremy Riga, Family Investment Specialist Supervisor, Department of Human Services.

“The right to form a union, and the right to collectively bargain, is not just about negotiating a contract. It’s about feeling seen, heard, and respected. With the passage of this bill, supervisors are gaining a voice. Now, we are ready to use it,” said Nicole Spencer, Field Supervisor, Division of Parole and Probation.

“I had the privilege of being in Annapolis with AFSCME this spring as the Legislature worked on our supervisors collective bargaining bill. I spoke to legislators about what it is like on the ground for supervisors, and how through bargaining we can work together to improve our agencies and improve retention. Now I’m ready to do the work of building our supervisors’ union and getting to bargaining,” said Yolanda Downing, Lieutenant, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.