Union says longer week would cost federal aid


Union officials say a report that a 40-hour workweek could cost Maryland almost $5 million in federal aid supports their argument that it would be unwise for the state to extend working hours.

"The so-called savings that were supposed to be achieved through this aren't going to happen," Bill Bolander, executive director of Council 92 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said yesterday.

"I'm hopeful now that this new revelation has come about, it will take a lot of the steam out of the governor's intention to impose the 40-hour week. We hope that with this new information, he will take a second look, along with the legislature, and will decide to abandon this idea," Bolander said.

The agency that could lose money is the Unemployment Insurance Division in the Department of Economic and Employment Development.

Tom Wendel, executive director of the division, estimated his division would lose $4 million to $5 million because of the formula used by the federal government to distribute money to the states for administering unemployment insurance programs. Under that formula, the money paid to states goes down as the number of hours worked to administer the program goes up.

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