Park Rangers Respond to Governor Hogan's Spokesman

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“Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, said park rangers do not qualify for the enhanced pay, which is for workers who can’t social distance and who have prolonged contact with clients in state custody. ‘We are proud of our park rangers, and the record levels of visitation we’ve had at our state parks,’ Ricci said in a statement.”

The Park Rangers authored a response to this statement. “State employees were ordered to stay home and telecommute to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Emergency Essential Personnel, such as the Maryland Park Rangers were directed to come into work. Rangers are trained in Emergency Medical Response, Search and Rescue, Wildland Firefighting, and Swift and Open Water Rescue. Our job forces us into extended close contact with the public and our coworkers, sometimes in confined and poorly circulated areas. If the authority who made the decision to deny our pay made an attempt to understand our jobs' duties, responsibilities, and expectations, and how they are done; we could actually start to believe Mr. Ricci’s statement of generic appreciation. 

 

If we even knew who was the responsible authority from our state government who denied our pay, the Maryland Park Rangers could at least have a dialogue. To this date, that person has evaded taking responsibility for this action. A month before our event to raise awareness of this pay inequity, we invited Governor Hogan to meet and hear us at the doorstep of his mansion at the conclusion of our five mile hike; we did not even receive a response.

 

The money is there for the State to pay us. Governor Hogan needs to convert his words of appreciation into an actual act of compensating the Maryland Park Rangers for the risk they took and the great sacrifice they made serving the citizens of Maryland.

The State coffers are full and we are not going to accept empty press statement platitudes for our service.”

 


 

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