With the last day of contract negotiations with Montgomery County coming up this Saturday, UFCW 1994/MCGEO reports that “We have made no progress on our issues.” The union represents more than 5,000 county workers and notes that “The economic uncertainty facing the County has made negotiations difficult.” Montgomery County is set to take a big hit in tax revenue – upwards of $50 million -- thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year that Maryland’s income tax law is unconstitutional. The looming possibility of privatization of the Department of Liquor Control would be another $25-$35 million annual hit, in addition to mistakes by the State Comptrollers’ office that erroneously awarded millions in County tax dollars to local municipalities. “Add to that the Maintenance of Effort law that forces the allocation of 60 percent of County funding to education and negotiators are faced with a deficit that makes decisions nearly impossible,” Local 1994 told its members on Tuesday. If there’s no agreement by Saturday, mediation begins on February 8.
photo: UFCW 1994 member preps for recent snowstorm duty; photo courtesy Local 1994 Facebook page