This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 13, 2010 1:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Salem made out better than it let on. The next post in this blog is May is full of promises. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Portland's new budget ploy: slow pay

A reader who works for the City of Portland writes:

Here's a memo that's been floating around the city for several weeks, and is just getting to the bureaus now. Item #2 is especially interesting -- the expectation is that every commissioner and/or their delegated bureau director will sign off on every invoice greater than $10K.

Fine for ONI [the Office of Neighborhood Involvement], but for the large infrastructure bureaus (such as the Bureau of Environmental Services), where construction payments can routinely run hundreds of thousands of dollars and many other contractually required and legitimate payments occur every week, this could be a bit of a logistical nightmare. Not to mention that it really doesn't slow down the spending -- it slows the time down (potentially) that money actually gets out to our vendors. Oh, well, enough of keepin' it local.

Nothing sours a business relationship faster than slow pay. But who says the folks who deal with the city have to like it? In the current economy, government's one of the few sources of work left. Slow pay is better than no pay.

Comments (12)

Public work is slow pay but it's sure pay. What happens, though, if the city, etc. you're working for goes bankrupt?

PPB vendors will suffer the longest, because Creepy spends so much time out of town and then has to come back and "scramble" to accomplish his most basic duties...

Slow pay is better than no pay.

Well, except that it might also mean "slow pay turns into more pay" per the "prompt payment" provisions of ORS 279C.570

If I was running cityhall, I would be looking to experiment with an across the board 10 pecent cut in city employee wages and salaries. My suspicion is given the sour economy, particularly in Portland, you could cut wages and salaries without any significant exit in city employees. I would at least run an audit on city government compensation in total versus competing employers both public and private.

You don't find many government workers I know complaining about how little they are being paid. I would at least freeze wages and salaries until inflation brings down real wage and salary levels.

Hey Bob? Where do YOU work? I would like to run an audit on your company and before its completion, arbitrarily assume that you are overpaid and cut your salary and benefits by 10%.
Your assumptions are nothing less than malicious and ignorant. You and Mayor Creepy have similar character traits.
I encourage you to point your browser to WWW.PORTLANDONLINE.COM
and PLEASE feel free to apply for one of those cushy jobs. Heck, there's even links to other local government cars on the gravy train. Welcome aboard!

Pdxhawky -

Perhaps you'd like to talk to the employees of Daimler Trucks (once known as Freightliner ) about the pay cuts they've received over the last 5 or so years. I doubt there were big audits. I'd guess there were just some looks at the bottom line. Daimler is far from the only private employer in the area to cut pay and/or increase benefits costs. Daimler has also been outsourcing and moving permanent jobs to SC and other such places. I don't work at Daimler but I have friends who do.

Most of us in the private sector (Daimler is an exception) don't have pensions (with guarantees) or anything akin to PERS. If we are lucky, we have 401Ks that we fund the majority of but don't control the investing much, so when the market tanks our retirement funds are screwed, unlike the silver spoon of PERS.

If I were a govt employee I would not whine too much.

Speaking of pay cuts; the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron just had his first cabinet meeting today. All Cabinet Ministers, their Deputies and Mr. Cameron himself are taking an immediate 5% cut in pay. In addition, all the members of Parliment will have their pay frozen at current levels.
I see no such austerity measures being taken in Washington, DC by the putz in the White House, any of his cabinet members, or any members of Congress. And I certainly don't see any such cost cutting coming from Salem either.

Cut the mayor's and city council's pay first by 25%.

Slow pay means work ceases, in some cases.

"And I certainly don't see any such cost cutting coming from Salem either."

Unpaid furlough days not enough?

In times past we always called "unpaid furlough days" as days when the boss said "we won't be needing you for a few days" and we went fishing, got caught up on personal tasks, mowed the lawn and painted the front door.

We didn't see it as sacrificing or a moaning time. And that was when the economy was much better than now, and not when most friends are having to take 10% wage cuts, loss of benefits, and sometimes a whole month off.

Most of us are tired of hearing the wailing of "I have to take unpaid furlough days!" from state employees and other government employees.

Don't like unpaid furlough days? Commit some sort of homicidal error on the job and get put on paid administrative leave instead.

Clicky Web Analytics