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AFSCME Opposes Hazard Pay Cut

March 22nd, 2020 by WCBC Radio

AFSCME, the largest union representing Maryland state employees, issued the following statement concerning hazard pay for workers:

During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the largest state employees union, AFSCME Maryland, strongly disagrees with Governor Hogan’s decision today (Saturday, March 21st) to cut hazard pay for state workers who are expected to report to work.

Our members work in state prisons, hospitals and overseeing vital public resources like Unemployment Benefits through the Department of Labor.  Our members are performing vital work to support Maryland residents and, in many cases, through their work as caretakers of wards of the State are at a higher risk of transmission.

Today President Patrick Moran said, “This is an unprecedented crisis and although the state and AFSCME have been diligently working together, there is still major work to do to ensure Marylanders who come into contact with state services are safe.” He continued, “Our union respectfully disagrees with the Governor’s characterization that all the necessary controls are in place across state facilities to protect workers and slow transmission. The Governor is being “penny wise and pound foolish” by cutting hazard pay to front line staff in daily contact with the general public. “

While we maintain faith in our state’s ability to effectively combat the crisis, this will be a prolonged crisis lasting for many months. An infusion of state resources now to ensure a smooth functioning of state institutions during this crisis is a smart decision.  The discontinuing of state worker hazard pay, when they are truly doing hazardous work in prisons, hospitals and in the community, is an unwise and short-sighted decision. The state has a “Rainy Day Fund” that is set aside for these types of emergencies.  Now would be the time to access those funds while the federal government determines a state and local government aid package.

2 Responses to “AFSCME Opposes Hazard Pay Cut”

  1. March 22, 2020 at 12:43 pm, Welchy said:

    So many people having their income cut to zero or hours cut back. And the greedy public sector unions want double pay. You’d think they’d just be thankful for a regular paycheck. Never let a crisis pass without sucking more from MD taxpayers

    Reply

    • March 22, 2020 at 1:06 pm, Kevin said:

      > Hazzard pay is not double, and is a negotiated part of state pay and has been for decades. Some jobs are paid it routinely, others when required to work in declared states of emergency. You would be quick to whine if state workers failed to post or did poor work when they did. They are a higher risk during states of emergency and should be paid for taking on that risk.
      They don’t serve as a ‘favor’ – they are required to post and this is a legitimate part of their pay.

      Reply

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