AFSCME backs more changes to judges pensions than commission recommends

The Judicial Compensation Commission is recommending practically no changes to judges’ pensions, except for an increase in contributions by new judges. But the largest state employees union asked the Senate budget committee Wednesday to consider broader changes to judicial retirement benefits to bring them more in line with retirement benefits for the average state worker.

Sen. Thomas Mac Middleton

UPDATE: Expanded union rights for private state contractors passes Senate

As governors and legislatures in the Midwest battle over rolling back collective bargaining rights for government workers, Maryland lawmakers are on the verge of establishing more union rights for private home health aides paid by the state. The Senate gave final approval to the bill Friday afternoon in a 31 to 16 vote with several Democrats joining the dozen Republicans opposing the bill.

Non-union state workers must pay bargaining units in newly negotiated contracts

State workers have until Monday to vote on the second union contract that enforces the controversial “fair share” law, allowing state government unions to require non-union members to pay them a service fee. The law passed in 2009.

The new memorandum of understanding between the state government and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees includes the service fee, as does the recently negotiated contract with the State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance.

State workers voting on new contract that “pays back” employees with raises, no furloughs

The O’Malley administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have agreed on a three-year contract that would turn furloughs into paid days off, give employees a $750 bonus, and schedule raises and cost-of-living adjustments.

The roughly 24,000 members of AFSCME, which represents the vast majority of state employees, are now voting to ratify the contract. The contract proposal was finalized within the last week, state and union officials say, and was posted on AFSCME’s website this week.

AFSCME members ask legislators to keep pensions and health benefits the same

More than 100 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees came to Annapolis on Wednesday to lobby the 428th General Assembly for their No. 1 priority: preserving the health and pension benefits they have.
AFSCME is the largest union for state employees. Legislative director Sue Esty said that with several proposals circulating to make cuts in pension and health benefits – as well as recent furloughs, pay cuts and hiring freezes – the union members want to make sure they set the right tone for this General Assembly session.