ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland state workers have ratified a three-year contract that includes guaranteed pay raises and an end to furloughs. 

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted 89 percent in favor of the contract Wednesday. The contract takes effect July 1. 

Included in the contract are a $750 bonus, guaranteed pay raises for the next three years and a salary-grade increase in 2014. The contract also ends the unpaid furloughs employees weathered during the last three years. 

Gov. Martin O’Malley praised the contract’s approval Wednesday. 

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (36)
  1. john says:

    How can state employees be guaranteed bonuses and pay raises while the state is broke? This is equivalent to the Wall street pigs taking bonuses while their companies were bleeding money.

    1. Kristin says:

      John – There is one small “bonus” that, I’m sure will be taxed at 45% so it really pays the state rather than the workers. Also, the 2% and 3% “raises” will only happen if the state has a surplus above a certain amount. In addition, the union nows requires state workers to pay them. No choice. More money coming out of pay checks.

      Should we begin discussing the lack of so much as a 1% cost of living for five years? How about the three years state employees have been giving back their wages through salary reductions AND furloughs. The majority of state employees continue to have less income to meet the rising cost of living. More and more find they must take a second job just to make ends meet.

      These are not political appointees we are talking about. These are people who could make twice the income in the private sector but sacrifice because they believe in public service. State employees worked through salary reductions and furloughs to keep people employed and off unemployment.

      How is this like Wall Street?

      1. momtoken says:

        Thanks Kristen…my Husband works for SHA, he is a mechanic…not a high paying job in the first place and to add to that no raises and taking Furlough days. This takes a toll in todays is not like they are only doing this to the top payed people who may be able to afford it better than others.

      2. chrissy says:

        I agree with you. My husband and I both work for the state, and have had to take the reduction days and furloughs. Then they wonder why revenues have fallen. Well, duh!! Employees aren’t going to spend what they do not have.

    2. KATRINA says:


  2. Lorie says:

    what about state retirees? Our retirement checks were reduced in Januarary and I can’t figure out whether it is a TAX or a FEE.

    1. Babs says:

      Lorie it is a federal tax. My husband is a retired state employee and reviewing the notice with his voucher it explains that when he elected to have federal taxes taken out, it was based on an amount that he elected. Effective this year, State of Maryland along with the federal government, said “no”. the amount is based on a percentage and you can not change it back to what you elected in the past.

  3. a person who wants to believe says:

    There should be a petition started that if you really truly want to help, the politicians should take a third cut off their salaries to show their support of current cutbacks that everyone else have to make.

    1. chrissy says:

      What should happen is that all elected officials should not be allowed to continue to receive their salary when they leave their positions. They are guaranteed their salary as a retirement salary. We have to put in to a 401K, and give 5% for pension. They do not have to do this. Maybe if they did, it would be better, and they would have work more for it.

      1. Kristin says:

        By the way, look for your once 3% contribution, now 5% contribution to become a 7% contribution. The state is also looking at no longer giving retirees with over 16 years of service the ability to but health care from the state. They want to change it to Medicare part D.

  4. Wayne says:

    I think this is an outrage. State workers should take a cut in pay and benefits to help the state improve its financial situation. They should be glad that they have a job.

    1. Kristin says:

      Obviously, you have not been paying attention for the last 3 to 5 years. What do you think furloughs and salary reductions are if not pay cuts?

      Is there any working person who is not grateful they have a job?

      1. Wayne says:

        Those who are not satisfied with the pay and bennies of state employment can always seek a job in the private sector where they may have to work harder for their pay.

    2. Jamie says:

      State workers have already taken pay cuts and reductions. And they’re benefits aren’t that great neither. You make it seem like State employees are in the best position. You upset at how hard you have to work at your job?

    3. chrissy says:

      Until you have walked in our shoes for the past 3 years, you should keep your mouth shut. We have taken the problems of the state and had them placed on our backs. The raises are only guaranteed if the state reaches its projected revenues. If they don’t, we don’t get a raise.

    4. Laura says:

      Wake up Wayne…..we have been taking cuts since the Schaffer Administration….

  5. m says:

    Lorie…I noticed a difference also in my retirement check. We are paying higher taxes. Yet we need to protest. We have not received a COLA and if the employees can get a raise, where is ours?? The retirement system sucks and so does the people running the agency. The agency paid a hefty bonus to their CIO, Mansco Perry, but forget about us…the ones who put years and years of our money into a system that has failed us.

  6. Paula says:

    Maryland is now a casino funded state. Thank You! to the retirees who keep dumping their hard earned money into the slot machines.

  7. John says:

    Socialism and the liberal agenda has bankrupted Maryland. Cradle to grave care is poisining our will to work and desire to do better for ourselves and neighbors. I teach in Maryland and can assure you that social promotions of students, and a lack of discipline in our schools has and will continue to errode the core values of our society.

  8. paul tupelo says:

    people obviously did not read the fin print because most of these items are only if the state is not operating at a negative, a which point the state can say “Sorry”.

    1. Tax2deathinMD says:

      Bet that service fee employees must pay is not tied to the State paying the bonus or raises. What a great lose lose situation for a bunch of SEIU wannabees.

  9. Tax2deathinMD says:

    How about the REAL news. AFSCME represents 23,000 State workers but only 6,000 voted. Now the entire 23,000 will have to pay a service fee, ie union dues, that AFSCME will funnel part of back to OWEMalley and other big government and labor politicians, ie demoRats. And guess who really pays for all of this graft, the taxpayer because unlike the U.S. Government Maryland cannot print more money so it must get in taxes. Hope you all remember this next time you vote.

  10. Jamie says:

    State workers have had pay reductions for the past 3-4 years. They deserve something for their hard work. But like others have said, they only get a raise if the state is in good health. People shouldn’t comment that anyone should ever take a pay cut if they’ve been cut for years already. O’Malley should take a pay cut next, state workers have done enough.

  11. Karen says:

    I’m a state employee – and I was never asked to vote for a “contract” written by a union that doesn’t represent me. And which union got all this wonderful stuff for us – AFSCME or MCEA – both are taking credit. I wonder how they will split the “service fee” that will be coming out of ALL this money I’m getting. Yes – I am thankful to have a job, even though I make less than I did 10 yrs ago. But it really gripes me when these unions brag and want payment for getting me what I’ve always been promised by the State. It really irritates me when people say the state employees should take more cuts….I think the only think left to give would be a pint of blood!

  12. Patti says:

    What about county employees? Are we getting a raise? How about the end to furloughs for us? That would sure be nice!! How bout’ it Leopold?

  13. Duane Jones says:

    I am a correctional officer my salary was reduced my work load increased my bills went up with no where to turn to take our money for so long was wrong I am embittered but i have a family to take care of and with no one else hiring i am stuck. I go to work in a dangerous environment everyday for less money also my money was cut but i still had to go to work other state employees could at least stay home but we got shafted the worst OWEMALLY is a crook when i was a kid Schaffer ran the city and state like clockwork bring him back.

  14. Laura Smith says:

    I am so tired of the state budget being balanced on the backs of state employees. I’m also tired of this nonsense that state employees are lazy….come on, you drive down the road doing 60 and you see a state worker standing there and you think “another lazy state employee”……Do you actually work 8 hrs. a day without taking a break? Can you dig a hole for 8 hrs. without a break? I doubt it and neither can they.

    Lets raise taxes, lets stop trying to balance the budget on a few employees who actually care about their jobs…..We do have families to support like everyone else.

    1. overtaxed says:

      We have to face facts, the state government is too large to sustain itself. Why should people working in private sector pay more taxes so state workers can get benefits that are unsustainable? Why are state employees unionized? My guess is so that more money can go to union fat cats. There really is noo need for unionization for state employees, it justs adds to the cost. Laura, your wish of more taxes is on the way, and I hope you will be crying foul when your pocket (along with everyone else’s) gets robbed. We are one of the highest taxed states, and the liberals want more taxes. To add insult to injury, many of us in the private sector are victimized by the hostile regulatory environment at the hands of state employees.

      1. Karen says:

        State employees are not unionized. Somehow the unions came in, wrote a contract, asked a few people to vote on it, got it passed (apparently) and now want all employees to pay them every month for their ” hard work”…..Union membership has always been optional. I did belong, then I dropped out because I realized they didn’t do anything for me. Collective bargaining has been tried in the past – I think it lasted a year……I would rather the unions stay out it!

      2. Kristin says:

        State employees have not been unionized but last year the Maryland General Assembly and the Governor passed a new law requiring all state employees to pay dues (yes, more money out of pay checks) to one union. Not sure how they got around the other two unions that state employees used to have the option of joining. Even the state employees who oppose unions will now be required to pay union dues.

        State employees can only follow decisions made by political appointees and the General Assembly. They don’t get to decide policy, just enforce what is thrust upon them. As always, people want to vent their anger at the easiest target rather than going to the source of their issues.

  15. marian says:


    heres a penny back. that is what YOU paid in taxes to ALL state workers to live on

  16. overtaxed says:

    Kristin, yes the decisions and policy come from the top, which in many cases done in secrecy where we can’t fight it. But many “state laws” are subject to interpretation by individual jurisdictions. So, when you are forced to deal with one MDE person who takes a hard line, when their counterpart in another area may be more reasonable. So the hostile regulatory environment exists at lower levels than you suggest

  17. dsmith says:

    Actually, there are three state employee unions. AFSCME is the largest. MPEC is next and the third is sleou (I might have the letters wrong, but its the state law enforcment workers union) All three unions will be able to collect “fair share” money from those state employees who job falls under that union’s assignments. It’s based on your job classification. Employees who are special appointees, management, and the elected officials are exempt. So, those who approved the bill to force state workers to pay union fees are exempt from the laws they pass. On top of that, the unions have paid plenty of money to the ellection campaigns of these same elected officials. It’s called paying the union back for all their campaign support, but using the state employees to do it. State workers come out the loser in this deal. I for one would perfer furloughs to being forced to contribut my hard earn money to a union full of overpaid representatives.

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