STATE WORKERS - Senate Hearing Aug 15 2011 on making cuts
August 7, 2011
To State Employees - It's ugly, it's heartless, it's unethical, and it's walking a thin legal line !! BEWARE, because the Missouri State Senate is looking at bringing it your way.
The "it" monster is MoDOT's Bolder Five Year Plan. The Senate Governmental Accountability Committee is scheduled on Aug 15 to look at "it" 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.
MoDOT and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission are independent from control by the governor and legislature, so they implemented the Bolder Five Year Plan on their own. Apparently the rest of Missouri Government's eyes are upon them.
What will their eyes see? First, massive cuts. Developed by MoDOT Management and approved by their Commissioners in June 2011, the plan calls for cutting 1200 of their 6300 employees, closing 131 buildings, consolidating 10 districts into 7, and selling off 740 pieces of equipment. Their excuse is that its a "matter of survival".
Next, they will see the method, or lack of method, that MoDOT has set in motion for their reduction in workforce. 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 monetary offers for voluntary retirement incentive or severance pay. The threat of transfer or demotion is the only incentive. 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.
MoDOT management would like to eliminate their mandatory contribution to the employee retirement fund by replacing all employees hired before Jan 1, 2011 with new-hires who will be required to contribute 4% of their salary to their retirement under a law passed last year. More on this in my next blog.
NON-MODOT STATE EMPLOYEES - better start fighting now, or you could soon be the next victims.
In response to:
Things have been going well in the first two months since Transportation Department administrators won the Highways and Transportation commissioners’ approval to “rightsize” the department’s operations, commissioners were told last week.