ANNAPOLIS, Md. — On Monday, Maryland began requiring masks inside all state buildings and leased public or shared spaces.
The mandate is in effect for all state employees and visitors at the buildings. Following the announcement, Harford County said they too would mandate masks inside their government offices.
In a further attempt to get employees fully vaccinated, the state is starting to offer two hours of paid leave to those getting their booster shot.
The benefit is retroactive, as long as an employee can provide proof of receiving a booster.
State agency heads now also have the discretion to assign employees to telework or hybrid schedules if feasible.
The move comes after labor agreements were finalized with two unions that represent approximately 23,000 state employees.
Specifically, labor agreements with MPEC and AFSCME now have the following conditions.
- Jan. 1, 2022: a $1,000 bonus, a 1% cost of living adjustment (COLA), and a make-up increment of approximately 2% for employees who did not receive an increment in the past fiscal year;
- July 1, 2022: a 3% COLA;
- July 1, 2022: Regular increments of approximately 2% in FY 23; and
- July 1, 2023: a 2% COLA.