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As Long as We Remember...

June 30, 2011

Windfall Befalls State’s Labor Union

Joan Marie Aquilino

How much more blatant does it get than Maryland’s very own Gov. Martin O’Malley using his weight to bully and force state employees to join his unions? He gives no options, you will join and you will pay. Beginning tomorrow, dues will be automatically removed from your paychecks like it or not.


You have two choices and neither is to refuse. 1.) Join willingly and pay; or 2.) Refuse and still pay. Either way, you get the picture! You are going to pay. Your free will has been removed and you are being forced to do as the government mandates. Sure doesn’t sound very democratic to me, how about you?


Please take the time to read this Letter to The Editor (below) by Del. Kelly Schulz, Republican of District 4-A, Frederick County, showing both her knowledge and concern on this completely outrageous action.


Next contact her by email, ( Don't stop there; contact every single elected official from the governor down as to your concerns about this outrageous action. You can find the email address to all officials by following this link: or here


Here is the Letter to the Editor Delegate Schulz sent to several newspapers across Maryland.


"AFSCME Maryland receives a $9.7 million taxpayer raise on July 1, 2011.


At a time when businesses are struggling to resist layoffs, hire new employees and/or make a meager profit at the end of the year, the state’s anointed labor union will be getting a raise of over $9.7 million effective July 1, 2011.


Unknown to most Marylanders, AFSCME Maryland was successful through an internal vote in January to mandate all state employees pay union dues whether or not they wanted to be a member of the union. The vote was not open to all state employees – only those who were already a member of the union. Many state employees with whom I have spoken did not receive any notice that there was a vote to be taken.


During session, many legislators received calls from confused constituents who did not understand how they could be obligated, in this free country, to join an organization against their will. I and some of my colleagues have been working to develop a strategy to reverse this unfair decision, but for now, dues will become due on July 1.


A recent notice sent by Patrick Moran to state employees reads: “Even though you may remain as a non-member under the fair share agreement, I encourage you to join the many thousands of state employees who are already AFSCME Maryland members. Remember that this July, your paycheck will be deducted either full membership dues or the fair share fee. The difference between membership dues and the fair share fee is only a few dollars. So why be a ‘fee payer’ when you can enjoy all the benefits of membership?”


The total amount collected per pay period is $14.96 per employee or $390 per year, resulting in $9.72 million collected from the roughly 25,000 state employees by the end of the year. Especially noteworthy is the current budget passed by the Maryland General Assembly reflects a $40 million budget item for a one-time bonus of $750 to every Maryland state employee. So, let’s do the math for the individual employee:


$750 bonus (2011) minus $390 union dues (2011) minus $390 union dues (2012) = the loss of $30.


I’d be suspicious if I were to receive a bonus from my boss, and then be mandated to spend it on something that directly benefited my boss. Hard core union members evidently think differently! The overarching issue, however, involves ALL Maryland taxpayers. The taxpayers of Maryland may not understand how the legislature has the audacity to spend money on supplementing the bottom line of the local union when very important programs around the state received less funding due to our economic crisis.


This is indeed a very difficult issue to comprehend, and for many of us in the legislature, we will never vote to support such expenditures. I do not condemn the efforts of individuals to unite for a purpose that could directly benefit them or their community. In fact, that is what makes America great, but I do condemn those who force an employee to pay to be a member of that organization they do not want to join. We do not need to go too far back in history to realize the dangers of government controlled ‘organizations’ and the subsequent risks involved.


As always, we need to hear from you the reader so, let us know what’s on your mind by writing: or contacting me directly at


. . . . .'til next time . . .


“Just Joan” saying be safe and, “don’t believe everything you think”


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