University System of Maryland workers rally together ahead of September Board of Regents meeting

Union demands an end to exploitation of university workers, asks Board of Regents to join bargaining

College Park — Today, members of AFSCME Council 3, joined by allies across Maryland, are demanding better treatment and a fair contract from the University System of Maryland (USM).

The USM has long exploited its workforce through a variety of means, including but not limited to:

  • Suppressing wage increases for non-management staff
  • Perpetuating inequitable wages between different racial and gender groups
  • Relying on and underpaying contractors to perform state functions without accountability and in violation of state law that demands facilities are operated by state employees
  • Employing thousands of “contingent” employees who lack many employment rights and have lesser benefits than their colleagues have
  • Failing to address lax health and safety protocols that put students, faculty, staff, and local communities at risk
  • Putting in place obstacles to fairly and transparently access leave in crisis situations

Relford Matthews Sr., a maintenance mechanic at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and an AFSCME Council 3 board member said, “USM leaders want to tout its increasing diversity, but they currently bar employees from being able to simultaneously use the internal grievance procedure and file EEO (equal employment opportunity) complaints! All the diversity committees in the world don’t fix the major wage disparities that we’re seeing across the USM between women and men as well as people of color and their white peers. If USM leaders were serious about addressing these disparities, Regents could join us at our negotiations sessions.”

Patrick Moran, president of AFSCME Council 3, said, “It’s time for the USM to come to the table ready to work, to help move employees and the campus culture forward and be a leader in the nation instead of trailing behind. Our members give it their all every single day to ensure the campuses run smoothly. The posturing, divisiveness, and disrespect USM management shows our membership is insulting. It's time for USM leadership, including the Board of Regents and the Chancellor, to come to the negotiating table and show their respect for USM employees and the vital work they do.”

Who: AFSCME Council 3 Higher Education members and allies

What: Rally ahead of the September USM Board of Regents meeting

Where: Outside main entrance of Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park (3972 Campus Dr, College Park, MD 20742)

When: 8 AM on Friday, September 16th

About AFSCME Maryland (Council 3)
As Maryland’s largest and fastest-growing union for public service employees, AFSCME Maryland (Council 3) represents over 30,000 hardworking and dedicated employees in Maryland state government and public higher education institutions.