Section 10. (a)(1) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, an abolished county's registers of deeds holding office immediately before the transfer date shall become employees of the commonwealth under the supervision of the secretary of the commonwealth on the transfer date, and, in Hampshire county, on September 1, 1998, and in Suffolk and Berkshire counties, on July 1, 1999; provided, however, that said secretary shall have general superintendence over the Suffolk county register of deeds as of September 1, 1998. The registers shall remain elected officials retaining local administrative control under the general direction of said secretary. The operational procedures of the registries shall be uniform as prescribed by said secretary. Said secretary shall determine the budget of each registry, subject to appropriation.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, this section shall facilitate the orderly transfer of the employees, proceedings, rules and regulations, property and legal obligations of the registry of deeds functions of an abolished county's government to the commonwealth, as hereby defined as of the transfer date, and for the Berkshire and Suffolk county registries of deeds on July 1, 1999:
(A) The functions of the registries of deeds, hereinafter called the transferor agencies, shall be transferred to the office of the secretary of state, which is hereinafter referred to as the transferee agency.
(B) All employees of the transferor agencies, including those who immediately prior to the transfer date hold permanent appointment in positions classified under chapter 31 or have tenure in their positions by reason of section 9A of chapter 30 or do not hold such tenure, are hereby transferred to said transferee agency, without interruption of service within the meaning of said section 9A or said chapter 31, and without reduction in compensation or salary grade. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, all such employees of the transferor agency shall continue to retain their right to collectively bargain pursuant to chapter 150E, and shall be considered employees for the purposes of said chapter 150E. Employees shall be transferred without change in union representation.
(C) All petitions, requests, investigations and other proceedings approximately and duly brought before said transferor agencies, or duly begun by said transferor agencies and pending before said transferor agencies prior to the transfer date, shall continue unabated and remain in force, but shall be assumed and completed by said transferee agency.
(D) All orders, rules and regulations duly made and all approvals duly granted by said transferor agencies which are in force immediately prior to the transfer date, shall continue in force and the provisions thereof shall thereafter be enforced, until superseded, revised, rescinded or canceled in accordance with law by said transferee agency.
(E) All books, papers, records, documents, and equipment which immediately prior to the transfer date are in the custody of said transferor agencies shall be transferred to said transferee agency.
(F) All duly existing contracts, leases and obligations of said transferor agencies, shall continue in effect and shall be assumed by said transferee agency. No existing right or remedy of any character shall be lost, or affected by the provisions of this chapter.