Would Maryland government workers threaten a strike?

California’s largest public union authorized a strike last weekend.  Members of SEIU 1000 voiced opposition to furloughs and a failure by California to ratify a new union contract.

While California’s public union is standing up for its employees, AFSCME, Maryland state employee’s largest union,  is busy using their union dues to fund commercials about health care reform.  Employees are supposed to receive the benefits of AFSCME defending them against the evils of state government. Sadly,  the only benefits Maryland’s AFSCME members enjoy is a benefits webpage eerily reminiscent of a literature rack in a cheap motel.  AFSCME is supposed to represent STATE, COUNTY and MUNICIPAL employees.

In state negotiations, AFSCME’s executive director Patrick Moran has been toothless. He has not blocked furloughs, he’s unlikely to block pay cuts and he’s only watched as “vacant” positions have been chopped by the hundreds from the state budget.

You would think he’d be more interested in representing his due-paying members than the governor’s 2010 re-election campaign.

On the other side of the coin you can certainly say the unions have been effective.

Growth in Montgomery County unions’ pay from fiscal 1999 through 2009:

Firefighter union: 122 percent
Police union: 112 percent
County employee union: 96 percent
Increase in the consumer price index: 37 percent

In 2008, Harford County provided 9 – 10 % pay increases for all county employees.

This year Howard County firefighters thought their offer to delay a 6% raise by 6 months was generous.

In Prince George’s County it was the Council and Executive in store for big bonuses.

A sizeable portion of Maryland’s budget is dedicated to county aide.  Many Maryland counties lived large on the state’s dime and campaigned hard for slots as the answer to funding problems.  AFSCME can not defend state employees without hurting county employees; at least one union had the fortitude to stand up to Governor O’Malley and say no furloughs, no service fees.

The problem AFSCME faces is they can’t stand up for state employees without hurting county employees and vice versa.  The only consistency is that AFSCME has buckled every time before the budget ax, and you will be struck by lightening before Pat Moran approves a strike.

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One Response

  1. SEIU is THE most corrupt union in the country. Their connections to ACORN is a part of the corruption.

    Wade Rathke, founder of ACORN and a few SEIU branches is why they are corrupt. Rathke’s brother embezzled $800,000 from Acorn over 8 years ago and it was covered up and no charges have been brought to date. The founder of the TIDES FOUNDATION, a good friend of Rathke paid back the cash last year to keep it quite.

    SEIU 1000 is under FEDERAL investigation for corruption and misappropriating money from the SEIU treasury.

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