Thursday, May 20, 2010

Termination proceeding for DWP employees is NOT the story.

Posted by CotoBlogzz 05-20-2010 09:45

DWP General Manager Austin Beutner said that of six suspended six employees last month after a KCBS Channel 2 / KCAL Channel 9 aired an undercover story showing  the  workers buying beer, drinking in a park, drinking while driving and entering a strip club, while on the job, DWP would start termination proceeding on two un-identified employees.

The employees now have two weeks to respond to the charges.  Bob Cherry, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union that represents the employees, would not say whether the employees would contest the charges.  And THAT is part of the story.

Consider that since 1934, governmental entities in California have been allocated most public works architectural and engineering contracts because courts have interpreted Article VII of the California Constitution and its predecessor, former Article XXIV, to give civil servants a first right to these projects. The Legislature attempted to circumvent Article VII in 1993 by drafting legislation that provided exceptions to the constitutional provision, however the California Supreme Court criticized the legislation as "inartfully drafted" and affording " no  legitimate basis for disregarding the constitutional restriction on private contracting." (Professional Engineers In California Government et. al., v. Department of Transportation, 15 Cal. 4th 543, 553 [1997]- this is akin to Andy Stern Heaven!

Now, in the private sector, the evidence uncovered by the KCBS story would be considered irrefutable and all the employees involved would more than likely be terminated on the spot.  In this case, these “civil servants” have been suspended with pay, then legal counsel is available to them courtesy of the union – sort of like what happens with incompetent teachers.  Any ideas how long it takes to fire an incompetent teacher for cause?  At least one year if, the school district is smart! - This in part, is why public sector organized labor is California's Public Enemy One of  Three!

What does Mr. Beutner do?  He says that of the roughly 10.000 workers at the DWP, he thinks the bulk of them do their job!  The operative word here is “thinks” – not that he “knows."  Invariably when we ask managemet for metrics to make sure union employees are doing their jobs, as is the case with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, for instance, the answer is "we do not collect this information"
So, what makes Beutner think the bulk of employees do their jobs?  Did he think the suspended employees were part of the bulk or not, and if not, why did he not do anything about it?

This is yet another example of the unintended consequences of parasitic bureaucracies.

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