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Press Releases - County Council

Council adopts resolution indicating intent to fund renegotiated collective bargaining agreement for County employees

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Non-union employees also to receive the same general wage adjustment as employees represented by MCGEO

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 13, 2019—The Council met today to review the renegotiated compensation and benefits for the Municipal and County Government Employees’ Organization (MCGEO) in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 operating budget and to indicate its intent to approve or reject the County’s renegotiated collective bargaining agreements. The Council, by a vote of 7-2, adopted a resolution indicating its intent to approve the renegotiated collectively bargained contracts with MCGEO and to fund the compensation and benefits provided in the agreements renegotiated by County Executive Marc Elrich for FY20.

The 3.5 percent additional service increment that was not funded by the Council in FY11 would instead be funded at 1 percent payable after January 1, 2020. Although the County Executive agreed to phase in the remainder of the 3.5 percent additional service increment in FY21 and FY22, the Council approves the operating budget for one year only.

The original agreement would have provided a 2.4 percent general wage adjustment beginning in November 2019. The renegotiated agreement would provide for a 2.25 percent general wage adjustment beginning in December 2019. The original agreement would have provided a $1,200 lump sum for employees who are not eligible for any service increment. The renegotiated agreement reduced the lump sum to $1,000.

“It's important for me on behalf of the Council to express my appreciation for the willingness of MCGEO representatives to go back and take a look at repositioning this particular agreement,” said Council President Nancy Navarro. “I think that this strikes a fair balance, and the bottom line is that our workers are the ones who day in and day out provide the services that we rely upon so much. This particular renegotiation is something we can afford while we continue to work on the other elements that are affecting our budgets year after year.”

At the same time, the Council continued to emphasize the importance of the necessary steps that need to be taken to reduce compensation costs over the long term. Some of the options include: formalizing a structure for the annual review of compensation cost sustainability and providing that information to County Executive Elrich to be used in the collective bargaining process; evaluating changes that could be made to the County laws that govern the collective bargaining process; looking for savings by reviewing the benefit costs across all agencies; and reducing the size of the County’s workforce.

County services for more than one million residents are provided across four County-funded agencies—Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission. Employee compensation makes up 80 percent of all agency operating expenditures.

In the discussion leading up to the vote, Councilmembers emphasized the importance of the County’s workforce in providing residents with outstanding services and noted the sacrifices that many employees made during fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013 when the County was not able to fund any service increments. In addition, in fiscal year 2011 the County also implemented furloughs for many of these same workers.

In conjunction with the revised agreement between the County and MCGEO submitted on May 10, the County Executive recommends a revised general wage adjustment for non-represented employees beginning in December—the same as for MCGEO employees in the revised agreement. At its April 30 meeting on compensation and benefits for all agencies, the Council deferred a final decision on pay adjustments for County Government non-represented employees. The Council indicated its general support for equity in pay adjustments for non-represented employees with other employee groups, consistent with long-standing County practice.

The final vote on compensation and benefits will occur when the Council votes on the final fiscal year 2020 budget which is currently scheduled for May 23. The Council staff reports covering the renegotiated provisions in the collective bargaining agreements for MCGEO and compensation costs can be found here.

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Release ID: 19-166
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926, Juan Jovel 240-777-7931