xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Rallying in Baltimore, state workers call on Gov. Hogan to spend surplus on pay hikes and new hires

Maryland state employees waved signs outside of State Center in Baltimore and marched through Mt. Vernon to call on Gov. Larry Hogan to spend the state’s roughly $2.5 billion surplus on better pay and hiring thousands of additional state workers.

The demonstration on Wednesday evening comes amid ongoing collective bargaining talks between the Hogan administration and public-sector unions over wages and working conditions. The event was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Maryland Council 3, the largest state employee union.

Advertisement

Workers and AFSCME leaders decried what they described as stagnant below-market wages and a shrinking state workforce that piled more duties onto remaining employees even before the pandemic upended conditions in public agencies.

Hogan endorsed using some of the surplus money to pay for unspecified “enhancements” for state workers earlier this month as part of a five-part spending plan that also included tax cuts and rainy day savings.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Patrick Moran, the president of AFSCME Council 3, contended that much of the $2.5 billion surplus was gathered “on the backs of essential employees” and accused the Hogan administration of intentionally shrinking the workforce by letting job openings pile up.

A spokesman for Hogan did not immediately respond to questions.

A report from AFSCME also released Wednesday pegged the number of vacant jobs in state government at over 5,000 and contended that wage increases have consistently lagged behind the rate of inflation over the past two decades.

“Better pay will lead directly to better services in the state of Maryland,” Moran told union members outside the Herbert R. O’Conor State Office Building.

Advertisement

The rallying workers marched about a half-mile to the Walters Art Museum to show support for an ongoing effort to unionize employees at the public institution.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement