UnionMaine

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No money, no hope and State Employees

FOR KROCHER NO HOPEImage by Phreak 2.0 via Flickr




No money, no hope the public and State Employees all over the country continue to take hits.

Maine has an ongoing freeze on all but essential hiring and mandatory shut down days.

How critical are the shut down days? Do they save money? Are they at least being done with the public in mind?

The State has the first shut down day scheduled for July 6, and has already made thousands of exceptions, over 2100 so far.

You would expect all the jobs to be in emergency or life saving positions but a look at the list lets you see that in many cases management is considered essential while the employees with the skills to do the work are told to stay home.

If they need help, exactly who are they going to call?

Instead of sharing the pain over all State Employees the legislature targeted only the executive branch with the lion’s share of the cuts in a kiss on the lips to the Republicans whose goals had nothing to do with fiscal responsibility and everything to do with hurting Maine citizens just because they work for the State..

When ordering the hiring freeze and the shut down days, the legislature said the disastrous economy required tough choices, and promised that only positions that supported the most vital jobs would be exceptions to the shut down rules.

The intent was to keep only the employees necessary to keep basic functions of government running on the job, filling only those jobs required by law, or of course the tax department.

While we have State Employee lay offs the State is entering the 5th and 6th year of a $2,000,000.00 per year contract for contractors to work for Maine Revenue Service.

Each position costs at least $133,000.00 per year, PLUS the contracted out cost of managing the contract, PLUS the cost at about $159,000.00 to hire a contractor to manage the contractors. If you think a State Employee costs $150,000.00 and up for the same position you would be sadly wrong.

The appropriations committee told the commissioner of Maine Revenue Services when he wanted to hire two employees “We’ll contract it out because that doesn’t cost anything”.

Great! I am going to hire out the remodeling of my house and that won’t cost anything I suppose! In the current economic climate our elected officials must be careful protectors of our scarce dollars, but when it comes to admitting that in many cases a State Employee can do it cheaper, they would rather contract it out.

Even in tough times Maine will probably continue to hire more and more middle management while cutting services to the public. Even with the exceptions made to the shut down days the State of Maine is continuing to try to reduce the workforce.

A retirement incentive of $10,000.00 is in place for a lucky few; workers are retiring, and finding other jobs even in this economy and many of those jobs are going unfilled increasing the workload while the State refuses to look at real savings on contracting out.

The Augusta crowd continues to feed rich landlords while State buildings go empty. They hire contractors more expensively than giving jobs to Mainers. We allowed a casino to be built and ship $50,000,000.00 per year out of State because we couldn’t trust our own American Indian population to run a casino.

When does this end?

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June 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Layoff, MSEA-SEIU, Maine Revenue Service, State Employee | 3 comments