March 5, 2012
The Sun's coverage of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and his friends' multiple pension plans ought to shame them into giving up their lucrative arrangements ("Pension double standard," Feb. 29). The Sun did something similar during Parris N. Glendening's governorship. Some of Governor Glendening's cronies from Prince Georges County began working for him as state employees when he became governor. After a few years, these cronies developed a double pension plan for themselves.
November 21, 2011
A state employee gave nursing assistant licenses to 157 people who didn't have the credentials and in some cases didn't even apply for the jobs, a legislative audit has revealed. State officials discovered in 2009 that the employee, whose name they are not releasing, had given out about 19 of the fraudulent licenses. Further investigation by the Maryland Board of Nursing of thousands of licenses found eight times as many phony credentials had been distributed. The employee was eventually fired and the fraudulent licenses revoked.
July 19, 2011
Indana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, did something pretty amazing recently. With bipartisan approval in the legislature and working with state employees, he was able to bring about a surplus in the state's budget. He generated $1.2 billion dollars worth of surplus by not raising taxes. All of the savings were from carefully cutting expenses. Indiana's financial situation is far better than its neighboring states, particularly Illinois, which implemented massive tax increases to shore up its finances.
July 14, 2011
Recent stories in The Sun regarding contracting out by the State Highway Administration provide some important warnings to those who recommend the privatization of state services. Advocates of privatizing state services are quick to suggest that such actions save money, improve efficiency, and bring more "business sense" to state government. In fact, such activities often end up costing more, creating duplication of services, and leading to corruption. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees of Maryland provided an early warning to the O'Malley administration of problems in the Department of Transportation through a letter to then-DOT Secretary John Porcari in July of 2007.
July 11, 2011
As a state employee I am irate that my constitutional rights are being violated by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ("State workers to pay unions," July 5). I wouldn't be so angry if the non-union member fee wasn't just $4 less than the dues for union members. I assumed the fee would be something around $5 per pay period. I believe the fee was intentionally set high to increase union membership, which will increase Democratic support. I just mailed a voter registration card to change my party affiliation to Republican from Democrat.
July 8, 2011
Gail Householder writes on July 6th that "forcing state employees to pay union dues ... (is) unconstitutional. " Ms. Householder needed to check her facts: while she may disagree with the decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of unions to collect fees from nonmembers and gives quite valid reasons for doing so. One of those reasons has to do with the union representing all employees during collective bargaining procedures. In other words, those non union members end up benefiting from the union's actions and, therefore, can be required to contribute financially to the union since the majority of the employees selected that union to represent them.
July 6, 2011
It seems to me that forcing state employees to pay union fees ("State workers pay to unions," July 5) is no different than forcing everyone to buy health insurance. Both mandates are wrong and unconstitutional. This state and this country are completely out of control because of our state and federal "controllers"! Gail Householder, Marriottsville
July 3, 2011
With all of the talk of how Maryland is trying to raise new revenue, why doesn't the state government look in the mirror? I work in the private sector and I get seven paid days off. But according to the Maryland state government website, state employees get an additional four paid holidays. I'm not sure how many employees the state has, but the money saved by not allowing those days off seems like it would be substantial. I understand that Presidents' Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Veterans Day should be celebrated, but I don't understand why state employees should be given those days off. As for Columbus Day, why must we celebrate someone who discovered the Caribbean only by accident?
June 30, 2011
I am writing in response to the recent letter to the editor by Dels. Gail Bates and Warren Miller, "Money grab by state employee unions makes workplace less free," bashing state employees' organizations, and suggesting that democracy, patriotism and "freedom in the Maryland workforce," are somehow threatened by Maryland state unions and the recently approved Fair Share contract provision. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees' collective bargaining team supported the Fair Share provision.
June 29, 2011
With freedom on our minds as we celebrate the 4th of July, Maryland's state employees will nevertheless be experiencing a diminution of their freedoms. On July 1, the state will begin withholding an "agency fee" from all state employees, except those who work in higher education, as a result of legislation requested by the O'Malley administration authorizing state workers' unions to negotiate with the administration the collection of service fees from non-members. This despite the fact that two-thirds of state workers do not wish to join the union.