A half-dozen food service workers from Springfield Hospital Center fanned out around a strip mall of small businesses in Eldersburg on Thursday afternoon, each clad in the bright green T-shirts of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, to protest potential job cuts on the horizon. Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget would eliminate 57 food service positions at the facility, and the workers were there to speak with local business owners and the community about their plight. … Hogan’s budget eliminates funding for the food service jobs at Springfield, presumably bringing in a private contractor to handle service, with a projected savings of $1 million, according to Jeff Pittman, a union spokesman. He and the food workers present Thursday afternoon are not so sure that’s as good a deal as it sounds.
Springfield Hospital workers, local business leaders question Hogan over proposed job cuts
Source: Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun, February 27, 2016
The move, which the state health department has said would save $1 million, has been questioned by legislative leaders in Annapolis who cite the fact that the state is projected to have a $400 million surplus this year. … Matthew A. Clark, a Hogan spokesman, has said the administration is working to make sure employees who lose their jobs find new ones, in state government or elsewhere. He said Hogan is “focused on making sure every state agency runs as efficiently as possible while delivering the best service to taxpayers.”
Editorial: Hogan’s penny pinching
Source: The Baltimore Sun, January 28, 2016
… Thanks to a rebounding economy, Maryland now expects to finish the current fiscal year with about $420 million more in tax collections than analysts expected at this time last year. The budget for the current year, fiscal 2016, is in “structural balance,” meaning that ongoing revenues exceed ongoing expenditures … Despite the flush balance sheet, the governor has made a number of penurious decisions. He is funding step increases for state workers but not a general cost-of-living increase. He is eliminating a net of 553 positions in state government (though most of them are currently unfilled). … Moves like outsourcing food service at Springfield Hospital (and the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents-Gildner) may result in greater efficiency, or they may result in worse service. Deciding not to give state workers a raise at a time when state revenues are coming in much higher than expected may help put the governor in a position to offer substantial tax cuts in the years ahead, but it may also contribute to low morale, high turnover and poor performance.
Some question Maryland layoffs given budget surplus
Source: Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun, January 26, 2016
The jobs of dozens of low-level state workers at the Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville are on the chopping block in Gov. Larry Hogan’s $42 billion proposed state budget. … Senate President Thomas V. Miller questioned Tuesday whether the job cuts are necessary when the state is projecting a surplus of more than $400 million this year. … Warren Deschenaux, the General Assembly’s chief fiscal analyst, said Tuesday that his agency had yet to receive a full accounting of the 553 state positions slated for abolition under Hogan’s budget proposal. He said his understanding is that about 100 positions would be contracted to private firms. … It was not clear how many of the abolished positions are vacant and how many would involve layoffs. Hogan administration officials declined to provide specific layoff figures Tuesday. …