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A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Maryland can't force state retirees to switch to a federal prescription drug plan during this enrollment period. On Thursday, the State announced that they would extend coverage through December 2019.

“This means impacted retirees DO NOT have to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan for 2019 and may continue the coverage they have now into 2019 and at the same premium they are paying now,” the administration said in a post to the website of the Department of Budget and Management. “Details will follow in a notice mailed to retirees' homes.”

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“Have a COLA on MPEC!” That and other clever puns were shared throughout the day as the Maryland Professional Employees Council celebrated a win for state workers. As the union prepares to head into economic negotiations with the state, they held a rally for the upcoming negotiations at the state highway administration office in Baltimore. President Jerry Smith was there in addition to other staff of the union.

Members (and even some potential members) stopped by the table inquiring what the free gifts and snacks were about. There, MPEC reminded members of the 2% increase and $500 bonus state


Given members’ growing anxiety over the planned changes to state retiree prescription drug coverage, AFT-Maryland brought in Sherry Kolbe of the Baltimore County Department of Aging for a workshop on enrolling in Medicare Part D. The workshop covered everything from explaining what Medicare Part D is, to giving retirees an opportunity to see what the set up would look like. The event was held at the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) and a wide range of retirees were in attendance. There were the aforementioned state retirees as well as retirees from Baltimore city, because the city plans to


The Organizing Coalition for Public Education in Maryland met at the Baltimore Teachers Union on Thursday September 13th. The meeting saw a number of invested partners from across the state come together in an effort to promote public education across the state. One of the more immediate goals of the group is to ensure Marylanders vote Yes on Question One ( in the 2018 General Election. This is the ballot initiative which would secure casino gaming revenues exclusively for education.

The coalition is made up of a number of divergent interest groups. Represented among the group


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from State and City employment:

State Worker Retirees’ Prescription Drug Plan will be moving to MEDICARE PART D next year. You must sign up during Open Enrollment between Oct. 15, 2018 and Dec. 7, 2018, or risk losing prescription coverage.

Know Your Rights!

On Tuesday, September 25th, AFT-Maryland will host Sherry Kolbe from the Maryland State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), who will ...


In a post-Janus world it has become more important than ever to make sure public employees know their rights when it comes to unions. The Maryland Professional Employees Council hosted a “Lunch & Learn” for members, new hires, and non-members alike. This lunch and learn featured President Jerry Smith discussing the benefits of membership including having a voice at the table as the union negotiates on workers’ behalf. President Smith let those in attendance know that economic bargaining would soon open up between the union and the state and it would be important for workers’ to be members so