deja vu ..... please see the redenamel blog in the News Tribune for the prediction of this
Mr. Hillis is leaving out the rest of the story.
First, MoDOT intended to hire contractors for snow removal this year. The bids they received for the work were overwhelmingly more than what was estimated. It seems that the contractors had to cover the high costs they would need to bear for liability insurance to plow snow. So now MoDOT is resorting to hiring emergency snow plow workers again. Could it be that MoDOT's management is wrong in assuming it will be more economical to privatize state services instead of retaining full time employees?
Second, and more significant, is the fact that MoDOT's maintenance workers are leaving in droves on their own. The inhumane Bolder Five Year Plan has resulted in many good, dependable and loyal workers being demoted, having their positions eliminated, or being replaced through obvious favoritism. The injustices that individuals are experiencing, and all workers are seeing, has turned a good place of employment into a miserable one. The attrition rate has doubled. So many are leaving so fast that it's likely that MoDOT will need to hire new maintenance workers soon to keep the level that they need.
By the way, Mr. Hillis and his co-managers in the Central Office in Jefferson City all (except one that I know of) were not replaced or demoted. They generally make 6 figure incomes. The Director makes over $160,000, quite a bit more than the governor makes. They were spared what they are putting their low-paid employees through.
Complete agreement with RobHunterJohnson, OldsMo, emma, dinger and JCLifer. The trouble that I've run into is finding anyone (having the authority or clout to do something about MoDOT's management) to actually give a rip about the injustice to MoDOT's workforce and the waste of tax dollars. Months ago I notified the governor, many U.S. and Missouri legislators, many newspapers, and groups for tax justice, about these and other wrongdoings that need to be investigated. No one has bitten. My blog in the News Tribune has more information if anyone wants to find out more. It's at newstribune.com/weblogs/redenamel.
If someone else can take some of that information and make it more interesting than I was able to, maybe some good can come from it.
If it's the right thing to do, then all that matters is recovering the money that MoDOT's leaders wasted, which describes their attitude very well.
Experienced workers are leaving at twice the normal attrition rate - many employees apparently don't want to hang around for MoDOT's Bolder Five Year Direction. Maybe it should be renamed the Bolder Five Year Disaster.
They keep claiming that services will not suffer. I don't see how that's possible. The original 10 districts have been reduced to 7 resulting in some really huge areas to manage. 131 buildings are being closed. Last winter they changed the snow plowing policy from making the roads clear to making them "passable". This news article explains it:
How can they claim that service will still be good?
MoDOT's management intended to hire contractors for part of the snow removal this year due to a shortage of maintenance workers (more have left than they expected after the workforce reduction started). When they solicited bids for snow removal, they came in too high. They are now resorting to hiring and training over 200 emergency on-call workers to plow snow this winter. You can see the job vacancies on the MoDOT web site at
Getting rid of hundreds of their experienced workers and hiring workers they need to train is what their management calls the "right" thing to do!
Perhaps MoDOT should be commended for their ongoing success in their workforce reduction. But It really disappoints me that your article seems to warmly approve of it. I know no one really cares because I've been trying to get someone to listen for months, but the workforce reduction is a sham to cover up the waste of billions in tax dollars. MoDOT's budget was around $600 million before Amendment 3 was passed in 2004. The Highway Commission needlessly sold bonds backed by the Amendment 3 money and other sources, and with the proceeds boosted the budget to $1.2 billion for four or five years. Now that loan money is spent, and it's time to pay off the bonds at over $200 million per year for the next 20 years. $2.2 billion will be paid in interest alone! They've overspent, so now to be able to match federal funds and go back to their previous $600 million budget, their answer is to get the money off the backs of their workforce. I've been using your blog service to try to get the word out at newstribune.com/weblogs/redenamel/
If you still support MoDOT's cost-cutting plan after reviewing the information provided in my blog entries, then I should give up this cause, because I was convinced that the plan is inherently wrong.
I know no one really cares because I've been trying to get someone to notice for months, but the Bolder Five Year Plan is a sham to cover up the waste of billions in tax dollars. MoDOT's budget was around $600 million before Amendment 3 was passed in 2004. The Highway Commission needlessly sold bonds backed by the Amendment 3 money and other sources, and with the proceeds boosted the budget to $1.2 billion for four or five years. Now that loan money is spent, and it's time to pay off the bonds at over $200 million per year for the next 20 years. $2.2 billion will be paid in interest alone! They've overspent, so now to be able to match federal funds and go back to their previous $600 million budget, their answer is to get the money off the backs of their workforce.
For more information, please see my newstribune.com blog at newstribune.com/weblogs/redenamel/
Of course it's going well for MoDOT management. They still have their $90,000 and up jobs.
Ask everyone else how well it's going. It's ugly, it's heartless, it's unethical, and it's walking a thin legal line !!
Employee input has been thrown out - all decisions come from management. Human resource policies are declared void or valid at management's discretion. Everyone's job will be affected, no one will be free of the pain. Every employee is subject to losing their present job - you need to re-apply for your job, and if management decides not to reappoint you to it, your job will be posted or eliminated. If it's posted, anyone can apply for it and go through interviews to compete for your job. If you don't win any open positions, you will be demoted and subject to transfer to anywhere in the state in any job that management chooses, or laid off. And even if you still have a job up to that point, you are still subject to layoff when March 2013 comes if the magic headcount hasn't been reached. Not to mention that as positions open up in the future, you will still be subject to transfers and layoff if you refuse the transfers.
Those eligible for retirement are being indirectly pressured to retire. If you don't retire before you're demoted, your vacation payout at retirement will be based on your demoted salary instead of your present higher salary. There's no offers of voluntary retirement incentive or severance pay. Longevity and good work history are not factors for retaining you.
Management can freely choose their favorite people and expel who they don't like (the good-old-boy system) with no fear of consequences for abusing human resources written policies.
There will be no call backs after layoffs. Management plans to keep the 5100 level permanently regardless of new funding. If money comes in, work that can't be handled by the reduced workforce will be outsourced.
This is only scratching the surface. There are a lot more slimy things going on.
The Senate Governmental Accountability Committee is scheduled on Aug 15 to determine if some of MoDOT's strategies can be applied to other state agencies in the Senate's efforts to restructure and refine state government. NON-MODOT STATE EMPLOYEES - better start fighting now, or you could soon be the next victims.
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