The Baltimore city Mayor has announced privatization efforts that would result in more than 60 Baltimore city employees losing their jobs. The City Union of Baltimore issued the following statement in response.
Baltimore, MD - CUB is baffled at the Mayor's decision to lay off more than five dozen DPW employees. Our members provide a vital service to the city and we are blindsided by this decision. Ultimately, the decision invites more questions than it does provide answers. One question we have is why our members who were on permission leave on account of the Coronavirus, were not put back to work with the necessary personal protective equipment, to provide accurate and timely readings for Baltimore city and county residents. Once health officials provided guidance as to how to resume some activities with precaution and safety, our members were ready to work. However, this administration told our members to stand back and stand by while they went ahead with outsourcing our jobs. Jobs that contribute to the local economy and tax base. It amazes us that the administration has the audacity to do this, claiming it'll be better for customers while simultaneously raising water bill rates by 10%.
To hear the mayor today suggest that privatizing a public service will result in "accurate and timely" water bills is a shocking claim. Our union has a Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) request to get a clearer understanding of the ways the Mayor suggests this will save the city money. It is our belief, the financial information provided to us at this point is vague and doesn't justify closing this unit.
Ultimately we stand with residents who want a fair and timely reading on their meters. We anticipate Democratic nominee for mayor and City Council President, Brandon Scott as well as City Council Labor Committee Chair Shannon Sneed will stand with us and reverse the privatization of public work that’ll do more economic damage to workers in Baltimore city.