Frequently Asked Questions

As dedicated state supervisors, we know firsthand how important our work is for communities across Maryland. We are on the front lines with our team, doing what it takes to make our agencies run smoothly. We are also experts in our agencies and are here to speak up for the resources we all need.

But as supervisors, we have been left without a seat at the table, unable to have a voice in our own futures and the issues that impact us. Thankfully, that is changing because we stood together and fought for our rights!

Supervisors from across Maryland worked with our union AFSCME to lobby legislators and pass a new law giving State of Maryland supervisors (Unit S) the right to collectively bargain a union contract to fight for pay increases, improvements in safety and staffing levels, leave time, and more.

 

I want a union contract! How do I become an AFSCME member and vote yes for my union?

You can sign our membership/authorization form online here. This form does two things: it is a membership form AND your YES vote, which authorizes Maryland’s labor board to certify your union.

Only when a majority of supervisors vote YES can we get to the bargaining table and negotiate a union contract. The form may look familiar, but you must resign your card because this form contains authorization language that allows you to cast your vote for AFSCME. Even existing members must re-sign this form if you have not already.

Text or email the membership/authorization form to other supervisors you know! Please note that you will never be charged double dues for the same employer. If you have any questions, contact our offices at 410-547-1515 or email info@afscmemd.org.

Why should I join our union now?

The sooner the majority of supervisors across the state vote YES, the sooner we can focus on the improvements we want to see made in our agencies and workplaces! In addition, by retaining your membership as a supervisor, AFSCME can always provide union representation for you for disciplinary or grievance issues. This is something that our union has been able to do since personnel legislation was passed in the 1980s in Maryland.

When is the soonest we can be certified?

The law goes into effect on October 1, 2024, so we need to have a supermajority of support by that date. On that date, we can hand in your authorization forms to the state labor board and they will start the certification process. The sooner certification happens, the sooner we can start negotiating a statewide contract for supervisors. This can only happen once we hit that supermajority threshold.

What things can we bargain in our contract?

Anything that pertains to our wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions! As supervisors, we get to collectively decide our priorities and what we want to fight for. But don’t forget, the more active and engaged members our union has, the more power we have. The more power we have, the more fights we can win!

Who will represent us at the bargaining table?

Your bargaining team will be made up of state supervisors from different agencies across the state. The team needs input from every agency, region, and classification. That’s why it’s important for you to be involved in your union!

How do I make sure my voice is heard?

Be active! By signing a membership card and voting YES, you are taking the first step to ensure you have a voice in your work. Now, it’s time to use that voice. Whether it’s talking with a member of your union organizing committee at work to make sure they have your input or joining the organizing committee yourself, everyone needs to be engaged so our union contract benefits everyone!

Why is AFSCME the union for state supervisors?

AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) is a member-run and driven union that represents nearly 45,000 public service workers in Maryland alone.

Many supervisors are already getting on board, and we’re growing in power every day. Our union has the resources, experience, and strength necessary to win tough fights in Annapolis and in contract negotiations. With the support of tens of thousands of other state employees, we can make our voices heard and finally win what we as supervisors deserve!

How will it work to be in the same union as the people we supervise?

You will have your own bargaining team, your own state-wide contract, your own labor/management meetings, and your own stewards and representatives. Supervisors will have the same rights in our union as every other member.

You will have the autonomy to negotiate your own language for issues that matter to you, as well as the opportunity to partner with your union siblings on issues that matter to all state employees, such as safety, staffing, resources, and more. How you choose to operate your union is up to members, and you’ll have all of the resources to be able to make those decisions with other supervisors.

Has AFSCME organized supervisors anywhere else?

Nationally, AFSCME has organized supervisors at the state, county, and municipal levels in numerous states including Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Here in Maryland, AFSCME represents supervisors with the Baltimore City Housing Authority, Prince George’s County Health Department, and Howard County. Supervisors will make your own priorities and decide what you want to fight for. With AFSCME, you will have the experience and resources to help negotiate and win a contract that serves Maryland supervisors!

What happens if there’s a dispute between two AFSCME members or supervisor & staff member?

When there is an issue that involves multiple members, such as between a supervisor and non-supervisor, two non-supervisors, or two supervisors, AFSCME will create a firewall. One staff member or steward represents the first person, and the other party or parties will be represented by a different staff member or steward. These representatives do not interact with each other. They are all duty-bound to provide the best advice and fair representation, since that is your right as union members. Representation is about enforcing and protecting the contract language and members’ rights, no matter who is involved.

How much are dues?

$20.12 per paycheck for full time employees, and $15.08 per paycheck for part time employees. If you are COBR-eligible, then your rate is $24.12 for full time employees and $19.08 for part time employees.

What are my dues used for?

Paying dues for our union is one of the most important actions you can take to support our union. Your union is entirely self-funded and is not bound to any self-interest group or political fund. That means our dues go directly towards organizing, educating and training stewards, grievances and representation, legal resources, contract negotiations, and more! This legislation would not have been possible without the dues of the many supervisors who remained AFSCME members even after being promoted.

How do I help organize my workplace or even get people I know in other departments or workplaces to sign up?

Easy! Here are four things you can do right away:

Text or email this dual membership/vote “yes” card to other supervisors you know: https://afscmemd.formstack.com/forms/join. This card does two crucial things: first, it authorizes AFSCME to be our collective bargaining representative and is our YES vote for our union. Second, signing the card makes you a member of AFSCME.

Sign up to be the point person for your worksite for important updates. As the point person, you’ll be the one to share important news with your fellow supervisors and encourage other supervisors to sign their dual membership/vote “yes” card.

Submit a picture of yourself or a selfie along with a few sentences about why you believe collective bargaining rights for supervisors are important. We’ll be using your photo on social media and in other communications materials to help us win our union!

Download these flyers and resources for your worksite to encourage your fellow supervisors to join our efforts and vote yes for our union!