Monday, August 2, 2010

17 Steps Forward, 237 Steps Backwards (1)

Ever have one of those days where you're sitting in your chair (or seat cushion, or stool, or hammock, or rock, or tree, or boat) trying to think of something to write about and you have a dopey song running through your brain preventing you from executing said duties of your office?
In my case, I have that stupid song Hocus Pocus by Focus rumbling through my head.

Play it if you dare....BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

Anywho, I though for today, I would blow off the multiple layers of dust bunnies (mom & dad, grandma & grandpa, children, grand children, great grand children, great-great grandchildren) and drag out a topic that I haven't touched upon in quite some time (like early last year).


Over a year ago, February '09 to be exact, I gave everyone the 411 on how economically trashed my state is and how they were gonna to attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the 50,000+ state workers without making the hard choices elsewhere.


Let me tell you about the fabulous going away prizes that I and my co-workers won for the 2009/10 fiscal year.

1} Four furlough days. Yes, me and 49,000 of my closest co-workers won an all expense trip (on our dime of course) to spend quality time with our families. In exchange for contributing 4 days our pay towards the state budget, we get......a promise that no layoffs would be considered until 2012.

2} No cost of living adjustments or raises. No qualms with that, both as a taxpayer and a state worker. I actually agree with this although some weenie politicians chose not to share the pain equally, so all correctional employees got their retro raises (but they are getting theirs in the long run).

3} A retirement incentive program. Yes, if you chose to retire in June or July, you were forced...err...coerced...ummm....strongly encouraged with arm jacked up behind your back to participate in the retirement program. What was in it for you? An extra 3 years added on so as to increase your pension. What did the state get? A 3 year delay in paying out your time, which was followed by paying out your time in 1/3 increments for the next three years (2012-14)....maybe.

Up next: The plan for fiscal year 2010/11.


  1. Lots of shafting of state employees here in Montana as well.

  2. None of those would tend to make me feel comfortable.

  3. Hocus Pocus by Focus. Say that 10 times really fast.

  4. My neighbor works for the state government and has that furlough thing, too. She says at least she's off most Fridays.

  5. Your state sounds about as economically smart as mine. I hate it when the fat cats in state government are unaffected but the workers who make everything run smoothly keep getting spit on. Sorry, G.

  6. I'm a little worried about what that plan is going to be fore the fiscal year 2010/11. It doesn't look good. :)Bea

  7. Chris: I think it's an equal opportunity shafting nationwide. The only difference is how economically F'd your state is determines how deep the shaft gets rammed.

    Charles: What really bothers me is that whenever there's a budget crisis, its expected that 1.4% of the population will carry the burden of solving the problem. I went through this grief back in '03 and about the only thing I can say with certainty is that I'll still be employed with the dust settles.

    Bearman: I never hear this song on radio anymore. Not even the classic rock formats will play this d.j. bathroom break song.

    Lynn: Ours are built into the three busy holidays of the year, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It really bites all the way around.

    R: Just wait to you see Wednesday's and Friday's post have to offer.

    I think that the states that are more known for all kinds of expensive fun/aid for the masses are the ones that will take longer to dig themselves out from this. At least yours will do it with a shovel, mine will do it with just a spoon.

    Bea: It does get a little worse for this upcoming FY. Just wait for Wednesday's post.

  8. No fun being pushed around like a chess piece.

  9. That is for sure.

    Kind of hard to make plans for the future when someone else is making the moves and controlling the board.

  10. Could be worse- I just found out some folks are getting $1 hour raises yearly while mine were cut to .20 cents per hour. All our time was cut last Aug '09 by 5 hours per week, adding up to thousands in paycuts while doing the same amount of work in less time- weekly hours only back to 40 finally in July '10... Was supposed to get my .20 cents in June- still waiting!
    Private Co.s can do whatever they want!

  11. What, you mean you want to make a living wage instead of living at poverty level?

    How can you ask for such a thing?

    I can sympathize. When I worked in the private sector, I busted my butt off to get my raises, and one time they sliced 5 cents off my 25 cent raise because they wanted to show that no one gets a full raise....except maybe upper management.


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G. B. Miller

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