University System of Maryland Continues to Refuse to Negotiate with AFSCME

EMBARGOED RELEASE: 3 pm September 30th, 2021 

University System of Maryland Continues to Refuse to Negotiate with AFSCME

Union will press ahead to override Governor's veto, releases report on wage disparity within USM  

Baltimore, Maryland- AFSCME Council 3 will release a new report detailing issues of wage inequities within the University System of Maryland (USM). Since Governor Hogan vetoed Senate Bill 9, which would consolidate bargaining for higher education workers, AFSCME members on campuses across Maryland have been taking action to urge the University System of Maryland to negotiate immediately. 

The USM's failure to negotiate directly compromises safety on campus and puts both students and workers at risk. Negotiating these policies on individual campuses wastes time and energy and directly contributes to increased exposure on campus. In addition, the USM continues to underpay employees by failing to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour. As other institutions have taken action to raise the minimum wage, the USM has declined to negotiate. The USM is the last major public State employer to not raise their minimum wage to $15 per hour.  AFSCME is demanding that all staff, student employees, and contractual workers at every USM campus immediately raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.

Beyond the poverty wages the USM is paying, our report, analyzing salary data provided by the USM in the Summer of 2019, shows rampant discrimination between campuses. The median salary of women is 86% of the median salary of men. This difference is even worse than the gender pay gap for the U.S. Although African Americans comprise 20.8% of the non-academic employees in the University of Maryland System, they constitute a higher 39.6% of employees earning the lowest salaries in the bottom quartile. Read the full report here.

AFSCME Council 3 President Patrick Moran said, "We have jumped through every hoop, had meetings with the legislators, USM representatives, and the Chancellor.  But they continue to devalue our members' labor by paying poverty wages and refusing to negotiate one set of guidelines for every campus. We will continue to fight until all workers are heard, and we have one fair contract."

AFSCME 1839 Member Charles Burrell said, "UMB is towing the line of the University System.  They continue to be inequitable to working people.  Amazon has a higher starting wage than UMB.  That is ridiculous. Keeping wages low forces workers to take on second jobs – like I have had to - creating even more risk of exposure to COVID-19. We deserve wages that are enough to live with just one job." 

Join us at 3 pm on Thursday, September 30th, to learn more about the report and hear from frontline workers in higher education.