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News : Workers Upset After Shift Change At BaltCo 911 Call Center
Baltimore County, MD, Oct 6, 2015 -- A major shift change at the Baltimore County 911 call center prompting outrage from workers at the center, where two dozen have already left.
With those 25 911 call center workers leaving, they took more than 230 years of invaluable experience with them, which cannot be easily replaced.
Changing schedules at the Baltimore County 911 center—moving to 12 hour shifts and possibly rotating from nights to days to weekends. In a letter to the 911 center’s workers, the county said it "clearly has the right to change assignments to balance experience levels."
"Agenda by the county that is without reason," said John Ripley, Baltimore County Federation of Public Workers.
Ripley represents the 911 call center workers, who view this change as unfair. It has already resulted in 25 workers leaving.
This is straining the county’s resources, forcing them to pull seven people from the fire and police departments and relocating them to a call center to fill those vacancies.
"They are weaker in their ability to respond and the center has weakened with the loss of tenured, veteran employees." Ripley said.
The county says their goal of these rotating schedules is to make sure there are people with enough experience on each shift and not filling the less desirable ones with inexperienced employees. The county has also stated to the workers "It will not, under any circumstances, back down from what it believes are its management rights and encourages all employees to simply review the ECT job specifications."
The response is not sitting well with the 911 call center workers.
"Although it’s not 100% equally balanced, we don’t think the numbers are alarming, especially when you talk about going to a 12 hour schedule," Ripley said.
There are currently 15 vacancies at the county’s 911 call centers but a new class with 23 people is training to start in November so they are expected to be fully staffed with their completion.
The rotating shifts will be implemented in January.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, October 8, 2015