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Monday, March 15, 2010

Buyouts, layoffs coming at PDC

A little bird over at the Portland Development Commission informs us that there are going to be some serious staff cuts over there later this month. Here is what appears to be a memo from the agency's management to its neophyte employees' union. In it, the PDC outlines three ways that people are going to disappear: five-figure buyouts, "severance" with a couple of months' pay, and straight layoff with the right to "bump" folks on a lower rung. In all three cases, employees who leave get six months of medical under the same terms as they do now.

According to the memo, the official word is going out to the workers themselves today.

Comments (7)

The health insurance part is utterly generous. Most COBRA plans are so expensive that laid-off workers don't opt in. They for sure are not the rates you'd pay as an employee.

So what prompts this? I don't see the URD part of my prop taxes going down. I guess the TIF funds are quite as expected.

It will be interesting to see if the "management" gets its salaries increased after the 'non voluntary employee reduction" happens.

I have little doubt this should have occured a year or more ago.

Instead the PDC was busy trying to expand their ponzie scheme with more TIF borrowing for debt service and paying the PDC bills.

The Port of Portland is in the same boat so look for a new "project" as the borrowed money they skimmed from the new headquarters dries up.

OHSU is also upside down from years of borrowing, misapproporiation and reckless gambles.

So where are the politicians who provide oversight?
I cold answer that but not without foul language.

This news doesn't reveal whether they're firing the chaff or the last of the wheat. Culling employees with the most experience usually isn't a great idea, but with the PDC, perhaps it's high time for a thorough institutional memory dump.

The logic of getting rid of your most experienced employees has some appeal: Like a tree falling in an abandoned forest, past failures cease to exist if nobody is around to remember them.

Of course, when the delusion wears off, and the realization sets in that billions of dollars of mistakes didn't disappear, some of the severed employees will be reincarnated as highly-paid consultants. Someone needs to explain to the remaining greenhorns what the heck is going on.

This way, severance at the PDC isn't an end as much as it is a beginning.

Not tpo worry. The PDC dumpees will find jobs on the mayor's staff. They already speak the lingo.

PDC has known for a very long time that its operating revenue was decreasing. But, instead of addressing it, they continued to increase staff. A better solution would have been to actually prioritize projects and say NO every once in awhile. But, that ddidn't happen much which meant almost every manager was justified when they said they needed new staff to follow every whim of the council, commission, developers and staff. The leadership truly needs to change. Someone needs to make hard decisions and say NO to projects. If something doesn't move forward in 2 or 3 years, cut it loose. Don't keep hanging on feeding it both money and staff resources.

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