Maryland - 'Fair Share' Win in Maryland
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signs the Fair Share Act.
Photo Credit: George Parish
The state’s union-represented employees won a 16-year battle for justice when Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed the Fair Share Act in May. The legislation calls on everyone who benefits from a union contract to share in the cost of obtaining it.
To win, AFSCME Maryland members attended lobby nights in the state capital and rallied at the State House — reminding lawmakers of the vital services that state employees provide. The “Fair Share Act” passed the Legislature by overwhelming margins just before it adjourned for the year.
Passage of the bill is about giving workers a voice and making sure that contract negotiations are democratic and fair. It’s also about providing additional resources during the current economic downturn. “One way to look at fair share is to make a comparison with government,” says John Hutcherson, an Eastern Correctional Institute employee and president of Local 3478. “We all pay taxes so that we all can receive critical services on the local, state and federal level.” Thanks to fair share, he adds, employees will now have greater strength and ability to seek and win improvements on the job.
Gov. O’Malley (center, seated) is shown at the signing ceremony, flanked (left) by Senate Pres. Mike Miller (D) and (right) Michael E. Busch (D), Speaker of the House of Delegates. Standing behind the governor, on the right, is AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. Glenn Middleton, president of Maryland Council 67 and an AFSCME International vice president is directly behind McEntee. Lee Saunders, executive assistant to the International President is to McEntee’s right.