The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

What’s up with pay raises for Maryland state workers?

Jan 7, 2002

Maryland state workers are scheduled to get a 4% across-the-board pay raise in January, showing up in their paychecks in the middle and end of the month. This raise was in fact promised a year ago by Governor Glendening who announced it with great fanfare, trying to pretend, once again, that he is a great, good friend of labor. However, in recent months he has kept strangely silent about the raise, when ordinarily he would be patting himself on the back right about now.

This has caused state workers to worry. And for good reason, considering that Glendening and state politicians have recently been talking continually about a big deficit in the state budget. Glendening already announced that he is proposing a significant budget cut in the various Departments of the state – with the exception of security and the military.

What’s with the secrecy? Could it be that this governor is carefully watching to see what bosses do in industry, and what state and local politicians are saying around the country, as they take advantage of September 11 in calling for cutbacks and layoffs and other sacrifices on the part of workers? Is he trying to figure out just how far he can go and what he can get away with?

The workers have enough to say to each other without worrying about Governor Glendening. We need a decent living wage – that’s all that needs to be said.