Largest State Employees Union Opposes Governor's Decision to Cut Hazard Pay for State Workers During the Pandemic Crisis

For Immediate Release: Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Contact: Katie Mostris, [email protected], 410.350.9756


BALTIMORE, MD- During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the largest state employees union, AFSCME Maryland, strongly disagrees with Governor Hogan’s decision today (Saturday, March 21st) to cut hazard pay for state workers who are expected to report to work.

Our members work in state prisons, hospitals and overseeing vital public resources like Unemployment Benefits through the Department of Labor.  Our members are performing vital work to support Maryland residents and, in many cases, through their work as caretakers of wards of the State are at a higher risk of transmission.

Today President Patrick Moran said, “This is an unprecedented crisis and although the state and AFSCME have been diligently working together, there is still major work to do to ensure Marylanders who come into contact with state services are safe.” He continued, “Our union respectfully disagrees with the Governor’s characterization that all the necessary controls are in place across state facilities to protect workers and slow transmission. The Governor is being “penny wise and pound foolish” by cutting hazard pay to front line staff in daily contact with the general public. “

While we maintain faith in our state’s ability to effectively combat the crisis, this will be a prolonged crisis lasting for many months. An infusion of state resources now to ensure a smooth functioning of state institutions during this crisis is a smart decision.  The discontinuing of state worker hazard pay, when they are truly doing hazardous work in prisons, hospitals and in the community, is an unwise and short-sighted decision. The state has a “Rainy Day Fund” that is set aside for these types of emergencies.  Now would be the time to access those funds while the federal government determines a state and local government aid package.


 AFSCME Maryland is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union for public service employees. We make Maryland happen.