Entries Tagged 'Employment' ↓

‘Small’ Sioux Falls Business owner says he can’t afford to pay more than $12 per/hr

When I hear these kind of cry baby stories I kind of roll my eyes;

While the average non-management wage was $12, “I can’t afford to pay teenagers $15 or $16 an hour – and they’re going to those jobs – unless I want to raise the price of pizzas by $2,” Porter said. “It gets to the point where it’s a whole to do for not much because it sucks all the profit out. The small guys are getting killed because we can’t afford to pay these large wages.”

Well maybe you need to charge more for your pizza and make a better pizza? Mr. Porter calls himself a small guy. That’s interesting since he owns around 6 fast casual restaurants in Sioux Falls and has a home valued at $600K. Yeah, real small potatoes.

A survey of restaurant workers done in the second quarter by Black Box Intelligence found several factors behind employees who quit their restaurant roles.

More than two-thirds of current and former restaurant workers said disrespect from customers is a factor in the labor shortage.

Nearly half said emotional abuse from managers contributed to their decision to stay or leave, with 15 percent saying they were sexually harassed by managers or co-workers, while another 15 percent said they were sexually harassed by customers.

I would agree that management in the hospitality industry in Sioux Falls is something to be desired. But that is the problem with a right to work state, business owners have full control of you as an employee instead of the other way around. This is why Noem does NOT support mandating businesses because she knows it would throw a wrench in our worthless right to work laws. This is about her protecting the ruling class NOT individual employee rights. If workers had more rights in South Dakota, ‘small’ businesses would have no problem finding workers, oh, and you really need to pay more.

Most employers in South Dakota CAN mandate vaccinations

There has been a lot of back and forth in South Dakota about all of our FREEDOM and LIBERTY that our Box of Rocks Governor has been spouting about, and how she doesn’t support mandates. Unfortunately, Noem has no authority when it comes to private employer mandates. The state legislature would have to change state law in order to prohibit private employer mandates;

Employment relationships in South Dakota may be ‘terminated at will,’ which means an employer does not need a specific reason to fire an employee. This is the same concept as an employee not needing a specific reason to quit a job. Generally, the only exceptions to this rule are when: A contract for employment exists.

Of course, you do have the option to quit if you don’t want to get vaccinated, but you can’t prevent your employer from mandating it and neither can the governor. When authoritarians talk about all the FREEDOM we have here, they are referring to the ruling class, NOT us.

My suggestion is to just go get a shot or a doctor’s note if you are too high risk to get one and you don’t have to worry about your employer mandating it.

Low wages in South Dakota? Get out!

As if this story is ground breaking. I do appreciate the update in our dismal wages, high regressive taxes, and high cost of housing, but this has been going on for decades;

State and federal data routinely show that:

  • South Dakota employers pay some of the lowest wages in the nation.
  • A high number of families pay an excessive portion of their income on housing.
  • The state has a regressive system of taxation.
  • Many workers are not seeing their pay cover the rising cost of living in the state.
  • Meanwhile, the state is seeing a sharp spike in the cost of housing and health care, two critical components of living a happy life.

I will admit over the past 5 years or so I was able to quit my part-time job and only work one full-time job and make a decent living wage. I am also debt free. But this didn’t come from not working hard. I worked around 60 hours a week for over 20 years and I have NO dependents. But sometimes I wonder how much better off I would be if I just got paid a decent wage.

When I moved to Sioux Falls in 1991 my first job paid around $4.20 an hour.

Let’s face it, as long as we keep electing Republican business owners to the legislature we will continue to have regressive sales taxes, low wages and unaffordable housing. We need a progressive state legislature that stands up for workers.

I know, I am dreaming.

I have suggested to Sioux Falls city councilors that they institute a wage listing ordinance that forces businesses to list there minimum/maximum wage in a job listing for the Sioux Falls metro. Research has shown that not only will employers pay more they will get better and more applicants. It’s not just a win for workers it is a win for businesses.

It’s time we stop screwing around, especially in Sioux Falls, and invest in our workers.

We need to stop incentivizing businesses with TIF’s and Tax rebates in Sioux Falls

As I said a few months ago, it was baffling to me why we would give a $94 million dollar TIF to incentivize businesses to come here. First off, it is pretty obvious we don’t need anymore job creators currently;

To find out more about what might be going on, I reached out to Secretary Marcia Hultman, who leads the South Dakota Department of Labor.

“What you are seeing and what we’re hearing anecdotally, the numbers really support,” she said.

They definitely do. The most current number she could pull for me Friday was 23,500 active job openings in the state’s database. Nearly 10,000 of those are in the city of Sioux Falls.

You read it correct, 10,000 available jobs in Sioux Falls, and we want to incentivize business to come here? It’s ludicrous. Factor in our schools are over crowded, affordable housing is a rarity (where we should be investing tax rebates) and building permits are through the roof. If anything we should be giving the tax rebates to the citizens to create more affordable housing and propping up our current infrastructure instead throwing it at Egg Roll factories owned by Koreans.

I also found this interesting in the article;

Another tip: You should list a wage with your opening.

“Statistically, if the wage is posted, even if it’s not the best, those job orders get more activity. If nothing is listed, the assumption is that it’s low,” Hultman said.

Nearly every business I talk to has increased pay, some significantly. Frankly, that’s not a bad thing, to me, in a state that has struggled with persistently low wages in some sectors.

I have often said the city council should pass a city ordinance that any job listed within city limits should have the minimum and maximum pay listed in the ad.

It’s time to end most if not all TIF’s in the city and tax rebates for the supposed (low wage) job creators and start helping the people who live and work in this city with more affordable housing and propping up infrastructure, and we can do it without welfare to big business. This is what happens when you have a partisan greedy mayor on cruise control and a former developer executive running the city as Chief of Staff.

Ironically, when she left the city the first time she met me for coffee. She told me the deciding factor to leave the city, besides the last mayor being a total jackass was that she was forced to write the Sanford Sports Complex TIF which she felt set a bad precedent for TIFs because of it’s size and that it was NOT for housing or blighted property. Funny how her feelings have changed on the Tifiliciousness of TIFs and doesn’t seem to bothered by the bad precedent she set.

Budgeted Compensation for different City of Sioux Falls departments

Notice who has the highest averages and who has the lowest? No wonder the city struggles with hiring seasonal workers.

This information was supplied and compiled by Mike Zitterich

The $15 an hour Minimum Wage is a Joke!

While some may be surprised that I do not support it, it is for other reasons. It should be $18-20 an hour and it should take affect within two years with four 6-month steps. There should also be an automatic inflationary COLA every year.

If they pass a Federal $15 an hour minimum wage, it won’t take fully affect until 2025. What’s the point?!

There is also a lot of misinformation out there about how this will kill businesses and cause mass unemployment. Not the case, when states have raised their minimum wages they did see an initial hike in unemployment, but in low wage jobs, after a year they actually saw economic growth and the GDP in the state rising. Believe it or not, when you pay people more, they spend more, and it helps the economy. What an amazing concept!

You also need to understand that this only affects large businesses who participate in interstate and international commerce. Like Walmart or Amazon. Ma an Pa’s Ice Cream Parlor in Bumf’ck Indiana won’t have to pay those wages.

And now for the obvious reasons this is the right thing to do. The large corporations who can afford an $18 an hour minimum wage, CAN AFFORD THE WAGE. They make Billions while paying very little Federal income taxes then turnaround and expect the very taxpayers who do pay their taxes (us) to subsidize their low-wage workers in the form of Medicade, SNAP and and housing. It was once estimated that because of the low wages Walmart pays its workers, EACH store costs taxpayers $1 million a year in worker subsidies. Why not just pay workers a living wage?

The upside is a boon in economic growth because instead of the top 1% sitting on all the wealth in our country, the workers would be spending it!

I guess I have never understood the argument that we need to starve workers while the top 1% sit on loads of money they will never be able to spend. It’s NOT a socialistic concept, it’s just good economics.

City of Sioux Falls 2021 Salaries

I just started digging into this, but here are my first impressions.

DOC LINK

LINK TO PAST SALARIES

Once again the highest paid city employee, the head doc over at Falls Community Health (where you currently can’t receive a Covid vaccination) received a $10,000.00 a year raise. She now makes around $256K. I guess I shouldn’t complain, she got more last year with a $18,000.00 raise.

But what is more interesting is how a 3 year employee has garnered a $13,624.00 raise over two years. Shawn Pritchett the finance director was making $166,316.00 when hired, the following year (2020) he was making $171,940.00 and now is getting paid $179,940.00.

Don’t get me wrong, it is an important position, but first off what did he do to deserve this kind of raise, and secondly, while he is the chief accountant for the city he has 29 minions working for him. He isn’t an accountant, he’s a manager and he should get manager pay.

One of my conservative friends said it best to me awhile back and again today when we were discussing this topic, “No one should make more than the mayor.” Mayor TenHaken’s current pay as chief administrator and manager of the city and employees is $130K a year. Think about that.

There was also this little change up. TenHaken eliminated the GIS department and now is calling them the Civic Analytics department;

The manager got a $5k raise and one of her minions got a $4K raise. But why the name change? And what are they doing?

What amazes me the most is that in the middle of an economic downturn in which the city lost tax revenue last year we would be giving these enormous raises while the average city employee got a whopping 1% raise.

City of Sioux Falls hires wanted criminal

Trust me, after reading about all the BS going on in our state yesterday it would be easy to miss this;

Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office has issued a news release concerning the arrest of 35-year-old Josheua King for a warrant issued by Sand Bernadino County, California:

On 02/17/2021, the Sioux Falls Area Fugitive Task Force arrested Josheua Alan King, 35 years old, on an arrest warrant issued by San Bernardino County, California in 2018 for the following offenses:
4 counts of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Minor
1 count of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child of 14 or 15yrs of age

Josheua King was arrested at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls where he was a part time employee. Prior to his arrest, Mr. King was also employed at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Ok, a couple of things to unpack here. Does the city do a criminal background check before hiring people to work around our youth? Heck, even a simple criminal background check would have told us he had a warrant out for his arrest, for around 2 years. If you search the city salaries, Mr. King is listed in the 2021 wages report as making $14 an hour as Midco Maintenance, in the 2020 wages report he is NOT listed, so that tells us he was hired last year something long AFTER the warrant was issued.

Thank goodness the SFPD apparently got a tip hopefully before he committed any crimes at the MIDCO.

I can’t speak for the hospital he was employed at, they are a private entity, but I am concerned they didn’t check his background either.

What is also disheartening wasn’t like he had a previous record that he was already convicted on and time served, he had an ACTIVE WARRANT!

I will be honest with you that I have never had a lot of confidence in our HR department, they have 4 people in the office that make over six-figures yet they don’t do simple background checks!? There needs to be a full outside investigation on how something like this happens. The council, while normally doesn’t get involved in the Mayor’s business, when the mayor and his administration does NOT do their jobs they need to intervene. If I was them I would pass a resolution to audit the HR department.

If I were a parent of young children that took my kids to the MIDCO I would be outraged. We need to get to the bottom of this before something like this happens again.

Folks, these are the things that happen when we don’t have open and transparent government! Apparently it is so bad they are even hiding things internally. WOW!

Will Amazon actually drive wages down?

Remember the promise of the economic impact we were promised from the Events Center? It has actually been a drain on taxpayers and most of the profits made at the facility go straight out of town to the performers and promoters.

Will Amazon have the same effect on wages in a town already with low wages in unskilled labor and very little unions;

A Bloomberg analysis of government labor statistics reveals that in community after community where Amazon sets up shop, warehouse wages tend to fall.  In 68 counties where Amazon has opened one of its largest facilities, average industry compensation slips by more than 6% during the facility’s first two years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In many cases, Amazon quickly becomes the largest logistics player in these counties, so its size and lower pay likely pull down the average. Among economists, there’s a debate about whether the company is creating a kind of monopsony, where there’s only one buyer—or in this case one employer.

While Amazon’s arrival coincides with rising pay in some southern and low-wage precincts, the opposite is true in wealthier parts of the country, including the northeast and Midwest. Six years ago, before the company opened a giant fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, warehouse workers made $24 an hour on average, according to BLS data. Last year the average hourly wage slipped to $17.50.

I have warned people that once Amazon opens it’s warehouse in Sioux Falls you will see the job market turn upside down, overnight. We should be careful what we wish for.

Mayor TenHaken is playing Secret Boss

Instead of doing other people’s jobs, maybe he needs to spend a little time in city hall doing his job? I would really like to see him help the guys in Water Reclamation, oh that’s right, he’s only good at spreading manure, not cleaning it up.