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63 DPW employees will be fired; third party supplier to read water meters



The Baltimore Department of Public Works will outsource meter reading and maintenance to a private company and lay off 63 employees from urban meter operations, the mayor announced Wednesday. They were fired from the news Wednesday. A worker told 11 News that due to the coronavirus, most of the employees hadn’t worked since March and some of them have 30 years of city ownership. The mayor said the decision stems from the failure of DPW’s Customer Service and Support Division to provide accurate and timely meter readings, meter maintenance and field documentation. “Our customers deserve accurate and timely water bills,” Mayor Jack Young said in a statement. “The fact that this continues to be a problem even after we have invested in automated meters means that we need to take further action to address the problem. Outsourced meter reading and installation and maintenance of small meters. with extensive experience in this industry they will not only increase revenue but also reduce operating costs by creating savings for our customers. “1

1 News I-Team has been reporting delays in water billing and some customers for months they don’t get water bills at all. The mayor announced that the city will outsource meter reading and installation and maintenance of small meters to Baltimore City and Baltimore County to Itron, a Washington state-based energy and water management company. The Itron contract does not require Itron to hire laid-off employees. The city will work with relevant employees to determine if there are other employment opportunities within the city. Baltimore City and Baltimore County residents are wondering how this will improve service. “We’ve been expecting (an invoice) for months. It’s nowhere to be found. If it’s outsourced, what does it mean for our bills?” Said Marlena Siegert, a Baltimore County resident. “Well, there must be a better system, then. There must be something better to look forward to than it is now.” The announcement comes the day after Baltimore County announced it was hiring Itron to assist with meter readings in Baltimore County. The City of Baltimore, which supplies water and handled meter readings and sending bills to county homes and businesses, attributed the delay in billing to complications and challenges from the coronavirus. For Young, after the city spent $ 150 million to install automated meters in the city and county, problems persisted, including maintenance and installation errors. He believes the contractor will improve meter reading and billing accuracy, improve timely invoice production, increase revenue and reduce operating costs, and save the city approximately $ 10 million annually over the course of its five-year contract with Itron . Wednesday afternoon, saying, “While I haven’t been given the opportunity to fully evaluate the decision announced today, my thoughts go straight to the employees who will now be out of work. Firing employees during a severe recession and global pandemic is not something to take As I continue to learn more about why this decision was made, I will argue that the city connects laid-off employees with alternative opportunities, while continuing to push to improve our water billing system. ”

The Baltimore Department of Public Works will outsource meter reading and maintenance to a private company and lay off 63 employees from urban meter operations, the mayor announced Wednesday.

The mayor hopes that outsourcing their work will save money and lead to a loss of revenue.

Those workers found out they were fired Wednesday from the news. A worker told 11 News that due to the coronavirus, most of the employees hadn’t worked since March and some of them have 30 years of city ownership.

The mayor said the decision stems from DPW’s Customer Service and Support Division’s inability to provide accurate and timely meter readings, meter maintenance and field documentation.

“Our customers deserve accurate and timely water bills,” Mayor Jack Young said in a statement. “The fact that this continues to be a problem even after we have invested in automated meters means that we need to take further action to address the problem. Outsourced meter reading and installation and maintenance of small meters. with extensive experience in this industry they will not only increase revenues but also reduce operating costs by creating savings for our customers. “

The 11 News I-Team has been reporting delays in water billing for months and some customers not receiving their water bills at all.

The mayor announced that the city will outsource meter reading and the installation and maintenance of small meters in Baltimore City and Baltimore County to Itron, a state-based energy and water management company. Washington.

The Itron contract does not require Itron to hire laid-off employees. The city will work with relevant employees to determine if there are other employment opportunities within the city.

Baltimore City and Baltimore County residents are wondering how this will improve service.

“We’ve been expecting (an invoice) for months. It’s nowhere to be found. If it’s outsourced, what does it mean for our invoices?” Said Marlena Siegert, a Baltimore County resident. “Well, then it must be a better system. There must be something better to look forward to than it is now.”

The announcement comes the day after Baltimore County announced it was hiring Itron to assist with meter readings in Baltimore County. The City of Baltimore, which supplies water and handled meter readings and sending bills to county homes and businesses, attributed the delay in billing to complications and challenges from the coronavirus.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said the county is seeking to recover $ 20 million in outstanding bills.

According to Young, after the city spent $ 150 million to install automatic meters in the city and county, problems persisted, including maintenance and installation errors. He believes the contractor will improve meter reading and billing accuracy, improve timely invoice production, increase revenue and reduce operating costs, and save the city approximately $ 10 million annually over the course of its five-year contract with Itron.

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying, “Although I have not been given the opportunity to fully evaluate the decision announced today, my thoughts immediately go to the employees who will now be out of work. employees during a severe recession and the global pandemic is not something to be taken lightly. As I continue to learn more about why this decision was made, I will argue that the city connects laid-off employees with alternative opportunities, while continuing to press to improve our water billing system. “


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