State Bargaining

Tentative Agreement Reached!

If you are not an AFSCME member, you can join online here. Every person who joins strengthens our union and allows us to continue to win the pay increases and workplace changes we want to see.

After nearly 4 months of negotiations, we are excited to announce that our bargaining team has reached an agreement with the State! 

Below is an overview of what we’ve won in this new agreement: 

Overall, everyone in an AFSCME-represented bargaining unit will receive pay increases of 5% or more in the first year of this agreement. The exact increase will depend on your job class, agency, and years of service. 

This is a breakdown of the pay increases: 

  • Effective July 1, 2024, everyone will receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 3%. 
  • Starting July 1, 2024, those who are eligible for a step increase will receive one either in July 2024 or January 2025 depending on your hire date. Two additional steps have been added to the scale, so no one will be “stepped out”. The bottom step will be eliminated, and everyone at that step will be moved up.  
  • Effective January 1, 2025, those who have been continuously employed with the State since June 30, 2019 will receive an additional longevity step in recognition of your valuable experience and service with the State. This Step was also negotiated to “make up” for Steps that were previously missed under the prior administration. 
  • Those working nontraditional hours will see their shift differential pay rate increase to $1 per hour. This rate has not changed in more than two decades! 

We have also secured the following additional increases: 

  • Additional bonuses for certain Unit H employees have been expanded. 
  • Bilingual pay will be increased to $75 per pay period. 

In addition, we have secured language improving pay equity between existing employees and new hires within the same region and department. This language ensures that current employees are not paid less than new hires. 

Lastly, we have added language to establish a labor management committee (LMC) to evaluate the State’s salary schedules with a close look at issues regarding pay equity, wage competitiveness, and wage compression. The committee will have a total of 16 members, with 6 AFSCME representatives as well as representatives from the State and other unions. The committee must make recommendations by August 1, 2024. 


  • Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be eligible to use up to 5 days (or 40 hours) of paid COVID-19 leave. 
  • Everyone will be able to use a total of 2 hours of vaccination leave each year to obtain a flu and/or COVID-19 vaccination. 
  • We have expanded bereavement leave eligibility in the event of the death of a domestic partner or co-parent. 
  • We have improved language regarding chronic conditions. 
  • Military or uniformed service leave and disaster service leave has been increased to 30 days. 

Health & Safety 

  • We have added language establishing safety protections for anyone working outdoors during harmful air quality and mandating the state provide adequate PPE (personal protective equipment). 
  • We will now be able to request meetings twice a year to discuss any concerns regarding the State’s workplace bullying policies. The State will provide our union with a report containing data regarding the number of bullying complaints filed and the number of sustained bullying findings per agency. 

Contractual Employees 

  • We have added a new article to convert contractual employees to full-time positions where possible and to cease the hiring of new contractual employees within AFSCME job classifications (except in limited cases). 

Additional Rights & Protections 

  • We have added language outlining a process for investigatory meetings. Management must now provide a general description of the allegations and will provide time for an employee to meet with their union representative and collect their thoughts. 
  • Starting July 1, 2024 the State shall reimburse employees for all costs of licensure, accreditation, and certification that is required to meet the minimum qualifications of our members jobs. 
  • We have added a new article improving employee privacy rights in the workplace. This includes restrictions and limitations on monitoring and surveillance. 
  • We have enhanced existing rights for union activists and stewards to help enforce our contract and ensure it is being followed. 
  • No employees will be displaced as a result of a transition away from fossil fuels. Retraining and reassignment opportunities will be offered to everyone affected. 

This agreement is the result of countless hours of work by our AFSCME Maryland bargaining team, which is made up of state employees from every agency, bargaining unit, and region of the State. 

Our bargaining team also couldn’t have done this without the action and support of each and every AFSCME member. Thank you to everyone who filled out our bargaining survey, attended a virtual town hall, read and shared our bargaining updates with your coworkers, and sent a letter to Governor Moore demanding better.

Please stay tuned for more information as well as next steps and instructions on ratifying this agreement.