Frequently Asked Questions: Supervisors are Organizing for Power with AFSCME Maryland!

Are you a state supervisor interested in voting yes for our union? Do you want to stay updated on our campaign? Visit our AFSCME Maryland Supervisors Union website here.

As dedicated public service workers, we as supervisors know firsthand how important our work is for communities across Maryland. As state supervisors, we know what it takes to make our agencies run. We are the dedicated employees on the front lines, doing the work alongside our union colleagues. We are also experts in our agencies and are here to speak up for the resources our teams need.

For so long, we have been left without a seat at the table, unable to have a voice in our own futures and the issues that impact us. 

But that is changing because we stood together and fought for our rights! Supervisors from across Maryland worked with our union AFSCME to lobby legislators and pass a new law giving State of Maryland supervisors (Unit S) the right to collectively bargain a union contract to fight for pay increases, improvements in safety and staffing levels, leave time, and more.

I want a union contract! How do I vote YES and join my union?

Now that we have passed legislation to allow Maryland state supervisors collective bargaining, you can sign the form online here. This is a dual form, meaning it is a membership form AND your YES vote, authorizing the labor board to certify your union. Only when a majority of supervisors vote YES can we get to the bargaining table. The form may look familiar, but you must resign if you have not signed this form before because this form contains authorization language that allows you to cast your vote for AFSCME. Even existing members must re-sign this form if you have not already. Text or email the membership/authorization form to other supervisors you know!

Please note that you will never be charged double dues for the same employer.

If you have any questions, please contact our offices at 410-547-1515 or email [email protected].

Why should I join our union now?

The sooner the majority of supervisors across the state vote YES, the sooner we can focus on the improvements we want to see made in our agencies and workplaces!

When is the soonest we can be certified?

The law goes into effect on October 1 of this year, so we need to have a supermajority of support by October 1. On that date, we can hand in your authorization forms to the state labor board and they will start the certification process. The sooner certification happens, the sooner we can start negotiating a statewide contract for supervisors.

What things can we bargain in our contract?

Anything that pertains to your wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions! As supervisors, you get to collectively decide your priorities and what you want to fight for. But don't forget, the more active and engaged members our union has, the more power we have. The more power we have, the more fights we can win!

Who will represent us at the bargaining table?

Your bargaining team will be made up of state supervisors from different agencies across the state. The team needs input from every agency, region, and classification. That's why it's important for you to be involved in your union!

How do I make sure my voice is heard?

Be active! By signing a membership card and voting YES, you are taking the first step to ensure you have a voice in your work. Now, it's time to use that voice. Whether it's talking with a member of your union organizing committee at work to make sure they have your input or joining the organizing committee yourself, everyone needs to be engaged so our union contract benefits everyone!

Why is AFSCME the union for state supervisors?

AFSCME (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees) is a member-run and driven union that represents nearly 45,000 public service workers in Maryland alone.

We already represent more than a thousand who are state supervisors, and we're growing in power every day. Our union has the resources, experience, and strength necessary to win tough fights in Annapolis and in contract negotiations. With the support of tens of thousands of other state employees, we can make our voices heard and finally win what we as supervisors deserve!

How will it work to be in the same union as the people we supervise?

You will have your own bargaining team, your own state-wide contract, your own labor/management meetings, and your own stewards and representatives. Supervisors will have the same rights in our union as every other member.

You will have the autonomy to negotiate your own language for issues that matter to you, as well as the opportunity to partner with your union siblings on issues that matter to all state employees, such as safety, staffing, resources, and more. How you choose to operate your union is up to members, and you'll have all of the resources to be able to make those decisions with other supervisors.

Has AFSCME organized supervisors anywhere else?

Nationally, AFSCME has organized supervisors at the state, county, and municipal levels in numerous states including Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Within Maryland, AFSCME has won collective bargaining for supervisors in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, and Howard County. Here in Maryland, supervisors will make your own priorities and decide what you want to fight for. With AFSCME, you will have the experience and resources to help negotiate and win a contract that serves Maryland supervisors!

What happens if there is a dispute between two AFSCME members or a supervisor and a staff member?

When there is an issue that involves multiple members, such as between a supervisor and non-supervisor, two non- supervisors, or two supervisors, AFSCME will create a firewall. One staff member or steward represents the first person, and the other party or parties will be represented by a different staff member or steward. These representatives do not interact with each other. They are all duty-bound to provide the best advice and fair representation, since that is your right as union members. Representation is about enforcing and protecting the contract language and members' rights, no matter who is involved.

How much are dues?

$20.12 per paycheck for full time employees, and $15.08 per paycheck for part time employees. If you are COBR- eligible then your rate is $24.12 for full time employees and $19.08 for part time employees.

What are my dues used for?

Paying dues for our union is one of the most important actions you can take to support our union. Your union is entirely self-funded and is not bound to any self-interest group or political fund. That means our dues go directly towards organizing, educating and training stewards, grievances and representation, legal resources, contract negotiations, and more! This legislation would not have been possible without the dues the many AFSCME supervisors who remained members after being promoted.

How do I get more involved?

Email us at [email protected], and someone will follow up with you to discuss how you can get more involved!

In order to win our AFSCME Maryland Supervisors Union, a majority of supervisors MUST sign an AFSCME membership/authorization card before October 1. This card serves as your YES vote for our AFSCME union. You can sign here on the AFSCME Maryland Supervisors Union website.