County Officials Translate Pension Shift Into Possible Job Losses

In recent coverage by the Gazette, Montgomery County officials raising concerns with the proposed shift of teacher pension costs to county governments have added an element to that policy debate — the effect on other public sector jobs in the remaining share of county budgets. From the article:

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist.1) of Potomac and county Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Firestine briefed members of the county’s state delegation Friday on Montgomery’s economy.

Shifting half of Maryland’s teacher pension burden would cost Montgomery County more than it pays for its departments of transportation, housing and environmental protection combined in the first year alone, Berliner said.

The cost shift’s anticipated $47 million burden in fiscal 2013 is more than enough to pay 89 public safety work years and 109 nonpublic safety work years in the county, as well as 153 “new hire” teacher work years and 114 “agency” work years for Montgomery County Public Schools, said county council staff director Stephen Farber.

“This is part of the strategy, understanding the real world impact on our residents,” Berliner said.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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