Section 4. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, all functions, duties and responsibilities of an abolished county pursuant to this chapter including, but not limited to, the operation and management of the county jail and house of correction, the registry of deeds and the courthouses are hereby transferred from said county to the commonwealth on the transfer date or, in the case of Hampshire county, September 1, 1998, or, in the case of the Suffolk and Berkshire counties' registries of deeds, on July 1, 1999, subject to the provisions of this chapter.
All persons employed by the former Franklin county or by an abolished county, or by Hampshire county as of September 1, 1998, whose work functions primarily concern the operation and maintenance of said county's court facilities shall be transferred to the commonwealth under the administrative office of the trial court as of the effective date of the transfer, which in the case of Hampshire county shall be September 1, 1998, in the manner provided in section 21 of chapter 203 of the acts of 1988, and with no impairment of employment rights held immediately before transfer, without interruption of service, without loss of earned vacation and sick time, without reduction in compensation or salary grade, and without impairment of seniority, retirement or other rights of employees. Nothing in this section shall be construed to confer upon any employee any right not held immediately before the transfer. Said employees shall be reclassified as state employees for the fiscal year in which their transfer is effective, and shall be compensated from funds appropriated to the trial court.