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NEWS
December 13, 2011
Am I the only person who has grown tired of hearing about all these government departments that fail their audits and then blame everyone except themselves? As a manager for 45 years at three large companies, I was always the one held accountable if the people who reported to me didn't do their jobs. Maybe it is time to start firing the department heads and hiring leaders who will ensure that their employees do what they're supposed to. Joe Heming, Baltimore
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 14, 2014
Regarding your article "Police, fire unions oppose mayor's new pension plan" (July 8), why do these two groups of public service employees think they are better than the tax payers of Maryland? What other employer lets it's employees retire after 20 years of service and pays for their pensions and health care for the rest of their lives? I know several retired policemen who receive their pensions and now work for the Department of Homeland Security, from which they will collect another pension paid for by taxpayers.
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NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
A union representing nearly 1,500 Baltimore County public employees has reached an agreement with the county to extend its contract through 2016. Members of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees ratified the extension by a vote of 98 percent, the union said Wednesday. The group — which previously had a labor agreement with the county through 2015 — represents workers including correctional officers and emergency dispatchers. Under their contract, the employees are scheduled to get a 3 percent bonus in November 2014 and a 3 percent cost-of-living increase in July 2015.
NEWS
May 10, 2014
As an economist, I was glad to see a call for evidence based programs that invest in prevention - whether in education, health care, infrastructure or social services ( "A dollar of prevention is worth $7 of cure," May 5). There is indeed a wealth of evidence about what works in each of these areas. It is used far less often than it should be. Unfortunately, too many elected officials are myopically focused on this year's budget instead of making decisions that support long term fiscal and social sustainability.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 21, 2012
Turns out the wheels of government move faster than you might think. Among the 2.5 million speed camera violations issued in the last three years to vehicles in and around Baltimore, thousands were mailed to the same government that issued the tickets. More than 8,000 of the $40 automated speed camera tickets have been issued to vehicles owned by the state, Baltimore City and Baltimore County since 2009, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis of citation records. A range of city-owned vehicles have been snapped by the speed cameras in area school zones or highway work zones.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2012
A Baltimore public works employee pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than $30,000 from the agency by manipulating overtime compensation between 2009 and 2011, according to prosecutors. She'll have to pay some of the money back. Christine Hooper, 46, of the 200 block of Garner Drive in Aberdeen, was an administrative employee at the Ashburton water treatment facility and had been employed by the city for more than 25 years, according the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office.
NEWS
By DAVID G. SAVAGE and DAVID G. SAVAGE,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 13, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court took up the case of a Los Angeles County prosecutor yesterday to decide whether the nation's 21 million public employees have a First Amendment right to speak out about problems that arise on the job. Most of the justices said they were not willing to create such a right, arguing it could turn every workplace dispute into a federal court battle. "You are advocating a sweeping rule," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told a lawyer for prosecutor Richard Ceballos.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | August 26, 1997
A little-watched case pending in the Court of Appeals could save the jobs of thousands of public employees by making it harder for government to turn over their jobs to private contractors.A victory would give public employee unions a powerful weapon in their fight against privatization -- the ability to tie up such job losses in the same merit system complaint process by which they now protest individual firings and layoffs.The Montgomery County Government Employees Union sued over provisions in the proposed 1996 county budget that would turn over government services to the private sector, eliminating 156 county jobs.
NEWS
April 4, 1996
TIMES ARE TOUGH for teachers these days, but times are tough all over, which probably explains why their plight is provoking so little public outrage.Of the Baltimore area counties, only Harford is offering teachers a raise this year. Once, people would have cared about this. Once, private-sector working-class citizens felt a certain kinship with teachers and other public employee unions. If government didn't come through with raises, they could empathize. If public unions scored a victory, they considered it a victory for working people everywhere.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | July 7, 2012
The City of Baltimore has been selling records containing personal information about its employees, including home addresses and driver's license numbers, even though the city's own lawyers say the information cannot legally be disclosed under state law. The information is contained in police reports of vehicle accidents, stored in an online database by a contractor for the city and available to anyone who requests them for $14 apiece. The Sun bought half a dozen reports for accidents involving city vehicles and saw they had personal information about the city-employed drivers — despite the government's obligation to remove those details.
NEWS
March 22, 2014
Who in local and state government is in charge of watching and controlling how our tax dollars are spent ( "Pratt, Young object to plan to hire outside auditors for city agencies," March 20)? We know that Gov. Martin O'Malley wasted over $200 million on a health care exchange that does not work. We have seen public employees in Baltimore being paid the wrong salary for years. When are Maryland voters going to demand accountability from government employees like the private sector does?
NEWS
January 22, 2014
Public employees have a right to be represented by a union and to collective bargaining in states like Maryland where the law allows it. And the only way such a system can work - at least on a practical level - is to require all those government workers represented by the union to pay for the costs of the bargaining that makes those benefits possible. Such an arrangement is commonplace and reasonable, yet it's being challenged in a lawsuit heard Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | November 13, 2013
Howard County is asking a federal court to throw out a former Fire Department battalion chief's lawsuit, arguing that the Facebook posts that triggered his dismissal were not constitutionally protected because they were "at best, personal opinion or pique and, at worst, insubordinate. " The response, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, follows a suit brought last month by Kevin P. Buker. The county argues that posts on Buker's personal Facebook page early this year did not involve "a matter of public concern" - a key element in cases involving the First Amendment rights of public employees.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
A union representing nearly 1,500 Baltimore County public employees has reached an agreement with the county to extend its contract through 2016. Members of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees ratified the extension by a vote of 98 percent, the union said Wednesday. The group — which previously had a labor agreement with the county through 2015 — represents workers including correctional officers and emergency dispatchers. Under their contract, the employees are scheduled to get a 3 percent bonus in November 2014 and a 3 percent cost-of-living increase in July 2015.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2013
Baltimore County and union members have agreed to extend the contract for firefighters and paramedics through June 2016, guaranteeing no layoffs or furloughs through that time. The extension is for members of Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters Association, which represents both firefighters and paramedics. Officials said Wednesday the deal also provides employees with a 3 percent bonus in November 2014 and a 3 percent cost-of-living increase on July 1, 2015. The current contract had been scheduled to expire next June.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2013
In the years Officer Gary Hatch has patrolled the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, he's been kicked in the shins and pushed and has engaged in a fistfight that bloodied his nose. It's a record he laments. "I was involved in, like, six or seven really good fights last year," said Hatch, vice chairman of the U.S. Park Police Fraternal Order of Police. "I tased a guy twice. " Violence against Park Police, rangers and other employees at national parks, forests and wildlife refuges is on the rise, according to a group that represents federal workers . Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility found a 43 percent jump in violent incidents against Park Police in 2012.
NEWS
By Scott Wilson and Scott Wilson,SUN STAFF | March 24, 1996
Civil service was once a metaphor for job security, a highly prescribed set of duties that brought annual raises, lavish benefits and a future free from worry of layoff or firing.Not anymore.On a cold evening last week, a line of Anne Arundel County police cars snaked through the Cromwell Light Rail Station parking lot.Commuters wondered what disaster prompted the show of force. The police officers, more than 30 in uniform and with marked cars, had a simple answer: low pay and poor prospects.
NEWS
April 22, 1996
THE WRITER of the April 4 editorial, "Dark days for public employees," has to be from another planet. His portrayal of the economic status of public employees is far out, to say the least.Take this statement: "Once, private sector working class citizens felt a certain kinship . . . with public employee unions . . . If public unions scored a victory" -- a pay raise -- "they considered it a victory for working people everywhere." Hogwash! For many years public employees were generally looked upon as drones serving at the pleasure of political bosses.
EXPLORE
Editorial from The Aegis | May 23, 2013
Regardless of how most of us feel about individual elected officials or their leanings on particular policies, it's a fair observation that a lot of people get involved with politics because they want to make a difference. Some lose their moral compasses and succumb to the temptations presented to those who end up with authority for allocating public money or hiring public employees. Others may well have been no good from the start. History tells us all political parties are afflicted with people who give in to temptation or got into politics to have access to such temptations.
NEWS
Bob Ehrlich | May 19, 2013
One of the more enjoyable aspects of my public career was an excellent relationship with public safety unions. Law enforcement, fire and EMT groups were supportive of my races for the state legislature, Congress and governor. Although not unheard of, such consistent support made for some uneasy moments when national labor organizations (almost exclusively associated with Democratic candidates) were informed about public safety union support for "that Republican Ehrlich. " From a personal perspective, it was easy to separate the unique nature of public safety's job description (public protection being the No. 1 job of government)
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