Faux Whining over Thousands of State Vacancies
This is what was brought up at yesterday’s IFC meeting … as of April 1st this year there were 2,499 state job vacancies, of which 1,564 were for full-time positions with the rest being special and temporary seasonal positions. The vacancy rate was 11.55 percent for a permanent work force of 16,723 employees. Filled positions for 2012: 16,723-2,499= 14,224. Shockingly, in 2007, there were 20,245 filled positions which is an incredible 30 percent decrease in five years. I don’t hear outrage over that!
A quick check of state Personnel’s job listings shows just 186 open positions and I don’t expect to see many more than that any time soon.
I am sure the hiring freeze and the next budget cycle had something to do with the figures. The uncertainty about the next biennium is definitely on the minds of every budget person who must have their proposals ready for the governor’s office this summer.
The vacancy rate became a faux-issue with some exclaiming that filling the state vacancies would help with Nevada’s 12 percent unemployment. It would, of course but all that talk was grandstanding. They don’t really care about hiring more state employees to help with the unemployment rate… they have done just the opposite the past five years. For example, when changes were made to the Department of Corrections last session, the expected several hundred lay offs were “no big deal” and then, after they happened they were still not a big deal. How do lay offs help with unemployment? How does decreasing the number of state employees help with unemployment?
Since when, would anyone really want to hire more government workers? Why, the way politicians talked last two legislative sessions, you would think state employees were the cause of Nevada’s economic problems and deserved much less salary and benefits. So in keeping with their muddled economic thinking, state employee salaries and benefits were slashed and made a permanent part of the State Employee Tax. This is beyond any fuzzy math or logic. It’s insane!
Bottom-line: Vacancies exist to accrue salary savings to help balance budgets and will continue indefinitely for that reason. It’s easy to take away from state employees because they have no collective bargaining rights. This means current state employees must continue to work harder for much less in salary and benefits. Unfortunately, there was no outcry over that yesterday.
Previous post: “The Number of State Employees – 2011“, February 7, 2011.
“State Employee Tax”:
“I will say this again, this is a “State Employee Tax” because the budget is being balanced using the income of state employees in order to pay for things all Nevadans want and need. It is a targeted tax that expects one small segment of Nevada’s population to pay the bill.”