Workers brace themselves for Hayden's layoffs

February 11, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Hundreds of Baltimore County employees will learn today that they no longer have jobs.

County Executive Roger B. Hayden yesterday notified the county's 7,600 non-school workers that he would announce details of his plans to shrink county government at 1 p.m. today.

It will be the first time the county has ever laid off large numbers of workers.

Department heads will inform individual employees later today and tomorrow if their jobs have been eliminated.

Top county officials received a two-hour, closed-door briefing yesterday in the County Council chambers on exactly how to deliver the news to individual employees and how to handle any unexpected reactions.

The County Council and leaders of employee unions will get short briefings by Mr. Hayden just before his announcement today.

Tension has been building among county workers and supervisors since Mr. Hayden first revealed that layoffs were definite in November.

Budget Director Fred Homan has said that as many as 400 employees may be laid off as 500 positions, some of which are now unfilled, are eliminated.

Officials also have warned that a variety of county facilities and programs, ranging from libraries to senior centers, may be closed as the county struggles with stagnant revenue, the recession and cutbacks in state aid.

For the bosses who will have to tell people they have worked with for years that they are unemployed, the tension has been the worst.

That's because they have been living for weeks, several have said privately, with the knowledge of who will go and who will stay.

"It's going to devastate some people," one said department head. "I wake up . . . I dream about it."

Mr. Hayden has said that employees whose jobs are being eliminated will be told whether they have the seniority to bump into another county job, are eligible for retirement or have no option but unemployment. If they have a choice, they will have to make a decision at that time.

For those who are laid off, the county will set up a new employee assistance center Monday on the seventh floor of the Galleria Towers at 1447 York Road.

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