- A Maryland judge set a Sept. 21 trial date for a lawsuit brought by two former Division of Environmental Services Employees who claimed that Harford County's outsourcing of solid waste services to Maryland Environmental Service deprived them of health benefits and pension rights.
- The judge did not render a decision on a request to stop the outsourcing until the employees' case could be heard, allowing the takeover to begin yesterday, as scheduled. MES began operating the county landfill in Street and other related services.
- Plaintiff David Cupp was a weighmaster at the landfill and worked for the county for more than 27 years, while Jonathan Magness, a laborer at the landfill, worked for the county for 16 years. Their employment ended Aug. 29.
The county administration says that MES can more efficiently service the operations of the landfill, recycling operations, and trash delivery to a Baltimore County transfer station, which is scheduled to begin in 2016. Outsourcing to MES is cost-effective for the county, as well.
The plaintiffs contend that the outsourcing allows the county to forego health benefits for the 40-plus employees whose jobs were eliminated. Their lawyer said they did not get positions elsewhere in county government and had been left with no choice but to take jobs with MES, which meant cuts in pay and a loss of full county retirement benefits.
Most of the employees affected by the outsourcing have either retired, taken jobs in other county agencies or have been hired by MES to essentially the same jobs they had with the county, the Sun reported.
The judge made the fair call to allow the takeover, while setting a speedy trial date for the plaintiffs.