Business, Politics

Gov. Hogan announces agreements with state employee labor unions

ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Hogan administration on Friday announced that the state completed negotiations and reached agreements with state employee unions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

The Maryland Professional Employees Council, the American Federation of Teachers, the Baltimore Washington International Professional Firefighters Local 1742, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have all reached agreements with the Hogan administration for the upcoming fiscal year. The agreements affect approximately 26,000 employees.

“I am thrilled that we were once again able to collaborate with the exclusive bargaining representatives of the state’s employees and reach agreements that benefit our hardworking and dedicated employees,” said Department of Budget and Management Secretary Brinkley.

Most employees will receive a 2% cost-of-living increase effective January 1, 2021 with the opportunity to receive a one-time $500 bonus effective January 1, 2021 if FY 2020 revenues exceed projections by $75 million. Approximately 2,700 social workers, direct care workers, licensed practical nurses, teachers, pretrial release investigators, lab scientists, veterans benefits specialists, and other employees in positions that are challenging to recruit and retain will also receive an additional 6% pay adjustment to assist with state recruitment and retention efforts. Furthermore, over the next four years, correctional officers eligible to retire will be offered a Retention and Longevity Pay Incentive of up to $37,500 to continue working for four years.

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“These bonuses will help us retain our retirement-ready correctional officers (COs) while the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services capitalizes on the 9.5% increase in CO pay since January of last year to fill long term vacancies,” said Secretary Brinkley. “Public safety organizations throughout the country are experiencing similar recruitment and retention challenges, but we are confident our package of stay bonuses and pay raises will put us in a good position to improve staffing our correctional facilities.”

Approximately 6,500 employees across the bargaining units will also be eligible to participate in a Student Loan Repayment Plan that will reimburse employees for up to $20,000 in student loan debt repayments.

It is estimated that these salary enhancements will reward state employees with $33 million more over the next fiscal year. These increases are in addition to the 5.5% cumulative increase in wages that state employees have received since January 2019.

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