“BLACK” FRIDAY WAS THE FEELING. COLD LOST, AND FILLED WITH ANGER, FRUSTRATION AND FEAR. With the last business day to Christmas, the described “Black Friday” was about facing layoffs of governor-elect Thomas Broderbrick, in his pitch to make “Minibrick State Great Again” mantra, several state agencies with highly bureaucratic power suddenly lost it yesterday. 200 minifigures would learn on Monday, that their last day to report to the State was on Friday. No one in the Governor’s Office or the Transition Office returned our calls or refused to comment. WARN notices required by state Labor laws were issued earlier in the month, and to comply, the MIS government issued another notice for nearly 400 positions would ether be reduced or be dismissed. “The State is trying to clear out the payroll now so by the end of the fiscal year in June, they can say ‘oh hey, we laid off the swamp’ and look we have a surplus, lets pay it back to the taxpayers so we can cut the expenses because we were able to do so!” says Steven Clickford, a manager at the Office of Information Services.
OIS was the agency that took the most hit of layoffs in terms of salaries and wages. An agency of nearly 60 minifigures, badly managed during the Blizzard of 2015, and was under investigation by the Joint Legislative Auditing Board in late 2016. The information technology agency was still not efficient according to a follow up audit to be published in early 2019. The agency currently is now down to at least 35 minifigures with several key staff permanently dismissed from duties.
Clickford prior to Friday afternoon, was the single-handed minifigure behind the Unified Communications Unit; handling nearly 60,000 telephone circuits related to the bureaucrats. “I quit [from] a short stint in broadcast journalism to return back to I.T. only because the state was so desperate for someone with logistical backgrounds and ability to write out documentation well and help guide the state through visual graphic presentation” he said. “With the current administration, they are acting like micro managers”
“I was between a wall and a hard place in recent months, especially after the election, and I had done everything in my power to ‘pay it forward’ to transfer knowledge so the state can reduce the cost on telecommunications. Unfortunately the state didn’t return the favor.” – STEVEN CLICKFORD, Former Unified Communications Officer [No I wasn’t an “Officer”!]
Another state employee that became a past tense, suddenly learned his fate on Friday. Dave DuPont, a procurement agent at the Department of Transportation showed some resentment. “I don’t understand why someone in 22 years with strong performance could loose his job while I know some patrol officers who are not efficient in their job. I am all for data and performance reviews“ he said, “but I do not like how clearly competent people with no records or notes in their files could just loose their job – like that” as he snapped his claws.
Dupont said “I was not unionized, and everyone in my department wasn’t, some who got the notices were not tenured, there is a lot of questions on how they were able to be dismissed. Clickford said “I was between a wall and a hard place in recent months, especially after the election, and I had done everything in my power to ‘pay it forward’ to transfer knowledge so the state can reduce the cost on telecommunications. Unfortunately the state didn’t return the favor.” Clickford fears if the state doesn’t have proper control on reducing telecom costs, the costs will go up to nearly $10 million by the end of Fiscal Year 2022. “One member of the I.T. Council told me, well if a phone system breaks, just go to cell phones.” Well, I have one and you can see I get one bar in this place, good luck for making important calls on just an iPhone.”
An employee wished to not be named said at this rate, the job market will be getting a pinch. “If the State is cutting on payroll, that means they will be cutting services, and towns will be picking up the tax impact, and as a result any public sector jobs will be scarce.” Clickford says “The state will be mum and will refuse to admit that these ‘layoffs’ are actually ‘buyouts’ as we won’t be able to apply to work here again, and this is all ‘financial engineering’.”
From The Copenhagen Courier, Saturday December 23rd, 2018