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Union Official: Pension Bill Was a Surprise

County Federation of Public Employees plans to oppose controversial pension bill in Annapolis.

The head of one union that represents about 1,600 county employees said the county blindsided union leaders with a currently before the Maryland General Assembly.

"I don't see how any union leader can support this because it changes the terms and conditions of employment and should at least be brought to the unions first," said John Ripley, president of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees.

The union counts sheriff's deputies and correctional officers among its members. 

County officials say the bill could by overturning a court ruling that said it was charging too much for a penalty on interest on pensions to retirees who transferred their state pension time into the county retirement system.

"We had no idea this was coming," Ripley said. "It was a surprise."

The Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees is still scrambling to understand the full impact of the bill and determine how many members might be affected. Preliminary numbers gathered by the state chapter of the union suggest the bill would "be much higher than the 150 (the county) is using," Ripley said.

Not every union, however, opposes the bill.

Michael Day, president of the Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters, testified Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee in favor of the bill.

Day also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Employees' Retirement System.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Momofmany March 03, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I applaud Mr. Day and his union! They are the only union out there that can echo those famous words of Bob Dylan..."The times they are a changin........." By taking a leadership role on the issue. This management partnership is what will allow the county to survive without compromising the wages and benefits of our firefighters and EMS personnel who put their lives on the line everyday and protect us at all costs! Mr. Day is experienced politically and he gets it! Perhaps others should follow suit?
Buzz Beeler March 03, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Greg, there is a certain hypocrisy in Mohler's following comment: "Don Mohler, a spokesman for the county, said is "an important piece of legislation that has a fiscal impact to the county." There are so may issues that have a fiscal impact on the county, there is not enough room in this small block to reveal some of the most egregious. Pensions is certainly at the top of that list of, as they said in the great American war film, "Saving Private Ryan - FUBAR. http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/News_Articles/2010/municipal-pension-systems.aspx
Jimmy March 03, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Momofmany, are you his wife? The members had nothing to do with his endorsement of the bill. Nobody had any idea of the bill untill it hit the paper. Mike day is only after one thing...political recognition. He doesn't "get it". He sides with administration every chance he gets. It is not "his union". The union belongs to it's members. He is running it into the ground. He and Kevin are the prime reason the FD didn't get back their furlough money during the Hayden admin. He is the the bigest reason the union had such a bad relationship with Dutch when he was county exec. During that time, the police DOUBLED their salary and the FD got less than 18% raise in 8 years...and much of that went back into health care premium and pension contribution. NO union official should endorse a pension change of this type. And the FD does have members that will be effected by it.
Thomas Gunn March 04, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Jimmy you are a disgruntled member of the fire fighters union. You have dropped the curtain you have hid behind. "Lapsus linguae, my friend!"
kevin March 05, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Joe Bartenfelder PLEASE update your resume. We the voters of Baltimore county especially those tricked by Johnny O and his boys Beg you to come back!!

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