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 Service Fee Information

Approximately 30,000 Maryland State government employees have collective bargaining rights. What this means is that union organizations certified as the exclusive bargaining representatives are entitled to negotiate with the Governor or his designee(s) regarding wages, hours, and working conditions. These exclusive representatives act on behalf of bargaining unit employees.

The collective bargaining process typically results in a labor agreement that is reached between the State and the exclusive representative. Once the parties reach agreement, bargaining unit members are called upon to vote to "ratify" the agreement. A majority of votes cast determines whether the agreement will be implemented.

During the FY 2011 negotiations, the State of Maryland and the various exclusive representatives bargained for the right to charge a service fee. The philosophy behind a service fee is that all individuals who benefit from the services performed on their behalf by exclusive representatives should pay to support those services, which include activities related to enforcement of agreements and negotiation of future agreements.

We hope that this website will provide answers to your questions about service fees and provide you with the necessary contact and resource information to obtain any additional information you may need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a service fee? expand
What is the origin of the service fee? expand
As a result of the passage of the Fair Share Act of 2009, the State and exclusive representatives were permitted to collectively bargain for the payment of service fees (also called “fair share” fees).  
 
In the most recent negotiations, and as part of a comprehensive agreement containing significant wage-related benefits, the State of Maryland and the various exclusive representatives bargained for the right to charge such a fee and by majority vote, bargaining unit members voted to “ratify” the agreements containing the service fee provision.  
How do I know to which bargaining unit I am assigned? expand
How do I find out which union is my exclusive representative? expand
Once you determine your bargaining unit, you can find your exclusive representative under the “Contact Information” section of this webpage.
Will my bargaining unit change at any time during my State employment? expand
How much is the service fee? expand
The service fee may not exceed the amount of dues regularly paid by members of the union (i.e., union dues).  You should contact the exclusive representative for your bargaining unit to determine what the fee will be.
When will I have to begin paying the service fee? expand
How often do I have to pay the service fee? expand
For non-union members, the service fee will be automatically withheld from your bi-weekly pay.
Will I be notified before the service fee is deducted from my paycheck? expand
Will I have to authorize the deduction of the service fee from my paycheck? expand
No.  The service fee will be deducted without the necessity of a signed authorization.
What if I do not want to pay union dues or service fees because I choose not to be a member of the union? expand
What if due to my religious beliefs, I am opposed to financially supporting the union? expand
If your sincerely held religious beliefs would prevent you from joining or financially supporting any collective bargaining organization, you may wish to seek an exemption as a “conscientious objector.”
 
Note that for employees who are members of Bargaining Unit I, represented by SLEOLA, the term “conscientious objector” is not used; however, employees within that bargaining unit may be excluded from payment of the service fee where the employee holds religious beliefs that are opposed to joining or financially supporting any collective bargaining organization (see FAQ “How can I establish that I am a “conscientious objector”, below, for more information).
How can I establish that I am a “conscientious objector”? expand
What type of proof must be furnished? expand
An employee may furnish proof of charitable contributions by providing an original receipt issued by the charitable organization or a credit card statement or cancelled check reflecting such payment.  This proof of payment must be provided to the union and the Department of Budget and Management.
If I am a “conscientious objector”, does this mean I do not have to pay anything? expand
What happens if I fail to furnish proof that a charitable contribution was made? expand
Unless you are in Bargaining Unit I, failure to provide monthly proof of such contributions will be treated as a voluntary revocation of the conscientious objector status and the service fee deduction will be instituted.
 
Bargaining Unit I members will be required to provide such proof at the end of the contract year.
Will the union represent me even if I am a conscientious objector? expand

 

Contact Information

 Unit A - AFSCME MD (410-547-1515) expand
 Unit B - AFSCME MD (410-547-1515) expand
Patrick Moran, Area Director
Ron Barillas, Assistant Director 
Sue Esty, Assistant Director
190 W. Ostend Street
Baltimore, MD  21230
410-837-1690 (fax)
pmoran@afscme.org
rbarillas@afscmemd.org
sesty@afscmemd.org
 Unit C - AFSCME MD (410-547-1515) expand
 Unit D - AFSCME MD (410-547-1515) expand
Patrick Moran, Area Director
Ron Barillas, Assistant Director 
Sue Esty, Assistant Director
190 W. Ostend Street
Baltimore, MD  21230
410-837-1690 (fax)
pmoran@afscme.org
rbarillas@afscmemd.org
sesty@afscmemd.org
 Unit E - AFT Healthcare (410-645-3062) expand
 Unit F - AFSCME MD (410-547-1515) expand
Patrick Moran, Area Director
Ron Barillas, Assistant Director 
Sue Esty, Assistant Director
190 W. Ostend Street
Baltimore, MD  21230
410-837-1690 (fax)
pmoran@afscme.org
rbarillas@afscmemd.org
sesty@afscmemd.org
 Unit G - MPEC (410-645-3062) expand
 Unit H - AFSCME MD (410-547-1515) expand
Patrick Moran, Area Director
Ron Barillas, Assistant Director 
Sue Esty, Assistant Director
190 W. Ostend Street
Baltimore, MD  21230
410-837-1690 (fax)
pmoran@afscme.org
rbarillas@afscmemd.org
sesty@afscmemd.org
 Unit H - Teamsters Local 355 (410-566-5700) expand
 Unit H - BWI Firefighters, I.A.F.F. Local 1741 (410-859-7500) expand
Richard Samluck
President
P.O. Box 8627
Baltimore, MD 21240
 Unit I - SLEOLA (410-897-0048 Annap.) (410-269-0640 Balto.) expand