Entries Tagged 'Employment' ↓

City of Sioux Falls Big Salary increases even with slow tax revenue

We are still waiting for the last month to come in on the financial reports, but it looks like we are hovering around only 1% growth in tax revenue from last year.

But it didn’t stop our CEO (Mayor Huether) from giving huge raises to some directors, ironically the same directors that were involved with controversial projects like the Downtown Parking Ramp. It seems the good soldiers who followed marching orders were well rewarded.

(Raises are Approximates rounded to nearest thousand)

Turbak, Finance Director; $6K (he got a $10K raise last year)

Leonard, City Attorney; $5K

Ketchum, Director of Community Development; $5K

ONeil, Community Development; $5K

Bofenkamp, Community Development; $5K

There were some others that got some questionable raises also. Even though crime continues to increase and the minions in the police department only got 1.5% the chief received a good raise;

Burns, Chief of Police; $4K

The Director of the Public Health, Dr. Tinguely, the highest paid city employee ($204K per year) got a $11K raise and one of her assistants, Collura got $5K.

Read all about here; 2017-Wages, 2018-Wages

South Dakota, the land of opportunity and awesome wages – NOT

So Puerto Rico got devastated by a hurricane last year, and jobs are sparse for its residents (who are American citizens). No worries, Huron to the rescue;

By some counts, nearly 2,000 Puerto Ricans were leaving every day, and in that exodus, some mainland U.S. companies were starting to see an opportunity of their own — a new answer in their ever-evolving struggle to find workers who would perform lower-rung American jobs.

And if you think things were bad in Puerto Rico, welcome to poverty wages in SD;

Luque told them about the work — that it was repetitive, physical, “not always pretty.” He told them about the wages — $10.00 per hour, jumping soon after to $12 or $13. He said the company would fly them to South Dakota and slowly deduct the flight costs out of their paychecks.

They need workers so bad they can’t even pay for the flight cost. Funny how everyone in Pierre stands around with their fingers in their butts wondering why sales tax revenue is down, it’s simple math, if people don’t have money, they don’t spend money.

City Employee defends mayor on diversity with FB comment

The comment was deleted, but not before it was left on Jolene Loetscher’s FB page in response to my comment about the mayor throwing mayoral candidates under the bus for not taking a stand on the parking ramp. I pointed out that Jolene did take a stance on the topic;

The person who left this message recently got promoted to the diversity department. I’m not sure if I have ever taken the mayor to task for diversity, I’m also not sure what he has done for diversity, maybe she is right, not sure. I will agree I have been critical of some city employees, but that criticism is usually pointed at a certain department, a director or policy. I agree that the city employees work hard and have the best interest at heart, unfortunately their fear of Hizzoner stifles them sometimes.

I do know that my conversations with individual employees (retired, supervisors, firefighters, police officers, etc.) haven’t been happy with how their boss has been running the city. In fact many of them are very angry with his performance, to put it lightly, and can’t wait until he is gone. Obviously those who report directly to Mike, like this person does, have an appearance to keep up, and I get it. I just suggest they stop drinking the mayor’s kool-aid in the new city hall cafeteria and stay off of FB in the middle of the night.

Sorry, It’s still about wages

Here we go again, another ‘woe is me’ story from a retailer/hospitality employer who cannot find good help;

“I’ve honestly never seen it this bad anywhere else,” another told me.

They were talking about their struggle to hire staff – a theme I’ve heard repeatedly the past few years but one that has become extreme in recent weeks.

My recent conversations about hiring struggles have involved retail jobs. The industry is experiencing a bit of a perfect storm, with several new stores and restaurants opening while others ramp up seasonal hiring.

I’m deliberately not sharing the names of the businesses I’m referencing because I don’t want to create the impression that their hiring struggles mean they are undesirable places to work. I actually don’t think that’s the case, based on what I know of their businesses and what they shared about their wages. I just think they’re caught at a time when pretty much anyone who wants to or is capable of holding a job has one.

One manager I talked with last week has hired for stores in seven states and said he never encountered challenges like he is here.

First of all as a person who has worked on and off in retail/hospitality for over 20 years I will agree with many of things they are saying. There is a limited workforce pool, there is also a lot of people who can’t hack it (multi-tasking). There are also other issues, like drug and alcohol problems, and low-income parents who can’t afford child care. It’s hard to weed some of that out, I understand. But one thing I have learned from working in this industry, THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE. Often times they work twice as hard as their co-workers, never are late, never miss shifts and never call in sick. The problem is a lot of these businesses are not willing to compensate the GOOD ones more than the crappy ones. You can create polices to weed out the bad ones, once you do that, PROP up the good ones, that means giving them the best shifts, better pay, bonuses, etc. Good employees in this type of the industry know when they have hit a plateau, and if you are not willing to pay them more, they’ll be gone in a flash. The GOOD ONES are not afraid of hard work, they just want to be rewarded with a living wage for their efforts.

My advice; if you employee one of the good ones, and they ask for a raise, GIVE IT TO them! The cost for replacement and lost business isn’t really worth it. Also, service industry people talk, in fact, if they are NOT working they are talking about their job with their peers. If you are a good employer that pays well, they WILL tell their friends, that mostly likely are THE GOOD ONES to. I would never recommend a person that didn’t work as hard as me, I don’t want to work with lazy bums either.

It’s not just about getting GOOD employees, it’s about retaining them once you have them. Pay them what they are worth. As we used to say in the industry, compliments don’t buy groceries.

Did the city lose a longtime building inspector?

I guess I don’t see a lot of job postings from the city for this position. I think many of the inspectors work for the city for a long period of time.

Hundreds of Layoffs coming to a major employer in Sioux Falls?

I heard last night from a source that a major employer in town is going to let the hammer drop soon. My source says maybe this coming week. And this isn’t just a handful of people, I was told hundreds.

That is all I am privy to say at this point, because I don’t have ALL the details. But this person said it will probably be worse than the Capital One layoffs. I have a feeling they will try to hide this from the media, but I think it’s going to be difficult.

At this point it is a rumor. Let’s hope I am wrong.

Working Poor w/2nd jobs are now called ‘Hustlers’

Gotta love the media, now people who ‘dare’ get a second job are ‘Hustlers’;

A recent survey from Bankrate shows that more than 44 million Americans now have what’s known as a side hustle.

The definition of ‘Hustler’;

an aggressively enterprising person; a go-getter OR a prostitute
So now people who need a second job to make ends meet are just considered ‘aggressive’ and ‘prostitutes’.
But here’s the reality folks, the South Dakota Department of Labor’s latest statistics from 2014 Census data show South Dakota had the highest percentage of people who work more than one job.
Why do you think that is? Let me sum this up for the SF Development Foundation, The SD Department of Labor, Mark Mickelson and Governor Daugaard – South Dakota’s full-time employment doesn’t pay SH*T! Get it?

Should South Dakota State Law change to help with wage increases

Wage collusion has been going on in Sioux Falls and the State for quite awhile. Would a change in State Law or even city ordinance that requires all employers (big and small) to show either the hourly wage or salary in an employment ad that is posted within the state or city help matters? Would it hurt?

Neel Kashkari, President Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis at Rotary

Neel spoke today at Rotary Club of Sioux Falls Downtown. He asked the audience to challenge him with tough questions.

He felt that if you are struggling finding workers or complaining about it, it is NOT that the workers don’t exist, but the wages are not high enough to attract them.

“If you’re not raising wages, you’re just whining.” (about finding enough workers)

I have consistently stood by the argument that when you pay your workers more, they spend more, which boosts the local economy, which in turn boosts the bottom line of your company. The middle class is more likely to spend more than they will invest or save if they make more, while the rich tend to put that money away where it doesn’t circulate as much.

Hey Stupid, it’s still about the wages

You can give away all the free tickets to a free outdoor concert or unlimited mimosas on center court of the EC, doesn’t matter, if young people want to move back to Sioux Falls to continue their career that decision depends on something else very important;

“There’s other things that hold people back from moving back. Like pay and benefits,” she said.

She expects her husband will take a pay cut when they return.

“He’ll most likely get paid less than in Alaska,” she said.

We can talk all we want about the cost-of-living differential, but it’s still important to note the perception here is that financially they feel they will be less-well-off.

WAGES! WAGES! WAGES! So often we like to talk about low unemployment or affordable housing, but let’s face it, over 40% of the full-time jobs in Sioux Falls don’t pay a living wage. Though we have two of the largest industrial hospital complexes in the region, our pay for healthcare workers is still some of the lowest in the nation, so yes, her husband would have to take a pay cut, a big one.

While there is lots of things to do in SF, some of them free, like recreation in our parks, it still costs money for entertainment. I’m sorry, but the 700 lb. gorilla in the room is still the lack of good living wage jobs in Sioux Falls, not entertainment and recreation.