Hundreds of Maryland state workers rallied in Annapolis on Wednesday night with a goal of pressuring Gov. Larry Hogan to increase their wages.
“Folks were rallying tonight because the lack of raises,” said Katie Moy-Santos, spokeswoman for Council 3 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME.
“We’re almost 11 percent behind D.C. and Pennsylvania in terms of pay,” she said.
Moy-Santos said the Hogan administration had not yet agreed to negotiations but hoped that the rally — held on the eve of early voting in Maryland — would put pressure on the governor to act.
Those who support Hogan, she said, are “supporting a governor that’s letting our state government become the smallest its ever been.”
In a statement, the union representing state workers said “excessive caseloads, low wages, and a staffing crisis” had led to a drop in the quality of public services.
A representative for the Hogan administration called the rally “an unfortunate setback” in the negotiation process and noted that the workers lacked a permit to demonstrate.
The administration had provided a 2.5 percent raise, as well as a $500 bonus, for every employee this fiscal year, said Amelia Chasse, director of communications for Hogan’s office.
Moy-Santos said employees at the march included those from Baltimore’s department of social services, the state’s health department, parole and probation office, and department of public safety and correctional services.