Nine will lose job due to privitization

N ine full-time and six part-time Washington County employees will lose their jobs later this month as the county cedes control of its transfer stations to Earth, Waste & Metal.

The county will retain five full-time transfer station employees who will be rolled into vacant positions with the Department of Public Works, County Administrator Kevin Hayes said.

The remaining nine full-time employees will be given an opportunity to compete for the dozen or so open positions Earth, Waste & Metal will fill to run the transfer stations.

“We’re hoping they take as many they need, but there are no guarantees,” Hayes said.

Keith Arlund, who was recently hired by the company to manage the transfer stations, said several of those employees have already been interviewed.

“Some will be staying and some will not,” he said.

Arlund said they have received a lot of interest in the positions and the company’s human resources department was hoping to finalize the hiring process by this week.

The five employees that will remain with the county will be part of a “transition team,” that works with Earth, Waste & Metal in the month following privatization.

Following the transition period, the five employees will be given new positions within the Department of Public Works.

One of the employees is expected to retire in May and another employee will fill a clerical position that has been temporarily vacated by a current employee who is on leave because of a disability. It’s expected that when that person returns, the other employee will retire.

Hayes said the other three employees were retained because they possess their CDLs (commercial driver’s license).

The county is currently negotiating a severance package for the employees who will lose their jobs but as of last week, an agreement had not been reached.

Additional county employees face the prospect of losing their jobs later this year as the county moves toward the privatization of Pleasant Valley Infirmary and part of its Public Health Department.

HCR Health Care, the company seeking to purchase Public Health, has offered jobs to some nurses, but it remains to be seen if they’ll extend opportunities to the department’s administrative staff.

Officials have said they expect Centers for Specialty Care to hire many of the nurses at Pleasant Valley when the company takes over.






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