Entries Tagged 'Employment' ↓

Lennox Man accused of Child Abuse is City of Sioux Falls Technology Manager

At least this time it wasn’t in the Police Department;

Technology • Larsen, Daniel W • Information Tech Infrastructure Mgr • $ 107,702.40

You have to start wondering about the Culture overall within our city when it comes to the workforce. Maybe Mayor TenHaken is correct, maybe the city’s employees do need an overhall in culture. I’m just not sure he is the man to do it. I also wonder if he is found guilty of the charges if he will not ‘work another day’ for the city.

UPDATE: But the Sioux Falls City Employee Bonuses were NOT a political bribe

UPDATE: I guess the SF Police Union endorsed Poops also. This is no surprise that both unions endorsed him . . . they know who they will be negotiating with over the next 4 years and it would be a very bad political calculation to endorse one of his opponents when they know they are probably not going to win. But I would be curious how many of these city employees will either NOT vote (because they are not registered, don’t care or don’t live here) or will vote for one of his opponents. This is just political theatre and little else.

I know, I am as shocked as you . . . not!

The membership of Local 519 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has overwhelmingly voted to endorse Paul TenHaken for his re-election bid for Mayor of Sioux Falls.

During the Mayor’s tenure in office, he has prioritized the needs of the workers of the city of Sioux Falls, and the general membership of Local 519 believes that he will continue to put the needs of the hardworking public servants of the city at utmost priority.

Local 519 President Jason Ness said, “We have enjoyed a good working relationship with the Mayor’s office through many rounds of contract negotiations and we appreciate the Mayor’s desire to ensure that the employees of the city of Sioux Falls are paid appropriately and are treated with respect while they do the difficult work of keeping the city running.”

The labor movement is strong in Sioux Falls, and Local 519 looks forward to a continued healthy labor management relationship with Mayor TenHaken.

Recently Appointed City of Sioux Falls Director flaunts new ride

Last night a foot soldier told me he saw one of these pull into the gas station. It was a brand new Denali. Who stepped out? A newly appointed department director. The list price on these can run anywhere between $68-$82K. If you are making payments/insurance you are looking at about $1,400 a month.

This person asked me if the city is paying for the ride? I could not answer that for sure since this director doesn’t run a pencil pusher department and could possibly need a city funded vehicle.

Either way, that’s quite the ride. I have seen other directors in similar positions drive vehicles like this that had city plates (I wish they would have checked).

But let’s assume for a moment that it was their private vehicle. I have argued for a long time that city director’s pay is over the top, they are paid like banking executives. I think this person probably checks in at around $138K a year plus benefits (they were promoted from within their department).

See the latest 2022 salaries HERE. Our highest paid city employee only got a $6,400 raise this year. Poor thing ($262,579). Hope they can afford the mortgage payment on their newly constructed McKennan Park mansion? Maybe we need to start a Go Fund me page?

There are around 45 city employees that make $90K+ and 92 that make $100K+.

Does the City of Sioux Falls really have a full-time employment shortage?

When you factor in the city having well over 1,000 employees, it is hard to fathom that they have a retention and worker shortage problem. I clicked on this web ad today and out of 27 positions, only 8 are full-time and the remainder 19 are part-time.

My guess is if you are only looking to hire 8 full-time people when you have over 1,000 current employees, you are sitting pretty good as an organization. Ironically, besides more officers, that we supposedly need, and a mechanic most of the other positions are not really applicable to the service of the public when it comes to infrastructure and public safety (really the only main expenditures a city should have). Does the finance department really need another accountant (as of 2021 they had 6 in the finance department) or a Librarian (they have 9 with 40+ Librarian associates) I will agree though hiring a full-time counselor is a good idea since the current private contractor we are using has a counselor director that is a Federally convicted criminal.

I’ll say it again, the retention bonus had nothing to do with retention, it had to do with an election and a mayor who has done almost absolutely nothing for 4 years for either the citizens or the city employees and is trying to play catchup 30 days before an election.

So are City of Sioux Falls Union Reps admitting they have failed their members?

This story gets more confusing by the minute, first the hussle-bussle on Cory’s site;

They received a 1% COLA last year, this cannot wait. – Kooper Caraway, president of the South Dakota Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Well Mr. Caraway, whose fault is that? It’s certainly not the taxpayers fault. You are the chief negotiator. Unless you have been living under a rock, economists have been talking about how the economic recovery will go, they have predicted inflation, employment issues etc. This is not some surprise. So why didn’t you negotiate this to begin with?

I will also say that I have never heard of a non-management union employee of the city living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe it is happening, but you truly need to supply proof. You have not.

But it didn’t stop them from bullying a mayoral candidate;

In a statement to the Argus Leader Wednesday afternoon, Islam said “since [the ordinance] was advanced to a second reading last night, it should be approved on March 1.”

Do they deserve this? I am not sure. But if they do it isn’t because inflation suddenly reared its head it’s because the original negotiations were horrible. Who accepts a 1% raise even in normal economic times?

But I will argue it still goes back to whose money this is. The taxpayers. Why are we so quick to hand out bonuses when this money could be spent on much needed infrastructure projects for the very people who paid in the money?

I am astounded how this has become so complicated and convoluted;

• The union messed up in the original bargaining agreement

• They want to save face

• The timing is horrific, so they make excuses

You can spin this how ever you want to, you can bully candidates, but at the end of the day a spade is a spade. This is a bribe right before an election and any other assessment is hogwash and circumvent.

City of Sioux Falls Employee Bonus Bribes moves to 2nd reading

While it is no surprise this is advancing, there were quite a few surprises last night. I was encouraged by the council’s discussion and the public input. By the look on the mayor’s face last night you could tell he was very uncomfortable discussing this because it is pretty obvious to everyone what this is, a pre-election bribe to city employees negotiated in total darkness.

I don’t disagree with the bonus, I disagree with the process.

UPDATE II: Is Mayor TenHaken considering City Employee Retention Bonuses?

UPDATE II: Today I heard chatter that the city employees have been openly talking about the bonus they may receive and many are happy with it. One employee mentioned this recently happened in Rapid City;

After two failed motions by the Rapid City Council Monday, 430 city employees will receive $500 in COVID-19 bonuses.

The Rapid City Council voted 6-4 to approve the bonuses for non-public safety employees who worked during the pandemic in 2020. 

Notice they are calling this a Covid bonus. I can see why it almost didn’t pass. While Sioux Falls virtually had NO shut down in the private sector a large portion of Sioux Falls city employees were allowed to work from home.

I also find it ironic that Mayor Poops is considering such a bonus (like Rapid City) after receiving this endorsement;

In the police briefing today it was mentioned that new recruits would get a hiring bonus. I am not opposed to this, because it is a normal practice for the private and public sector to offer hiring bonuses.

But it got me thinking. I thought I heard TenHaken talk about this recently;

“Our city employees are seeing the bonuses and incentives and work-from-home opportunities and every kitchen sink being thrown at employees … so we have to continue looking at how we’re being aggressive in retaining our people and making us an employer of choice,” he said. “We have to get serious about how to compete with the private sector. I have a lot of unfilled positions causing stress for the city.”

First off, besides the corner of 8th & Indiana and a couple dozen panhandlers, the city is running just fine. If we are short on city staff, it certainly isn’t being seen. Day to day operations are not any different then pre-covid.

I don’t know how the city could possibly give retention bonuses. I don’t think it has ever been done before. It would also be a troubling move for the city union(s) to accept a bonus instead of a raise. A bonus is a one time payment that really doesn’t do much to advance your salary. Every year the city council rubber stamps a property tax increase by a certain percentage, and based on their argument this is good because that compounds over the years. Raises also work that way. It would be much better for city employees to negotiate a permanent pay increase instead of a lousy stimulus check from the city and signed by Poops.

I also don’t think it is appropriate to give retention bonuses to current city employees. Studies have shown that current city employees are already some of the best paid in the region AND further more, the city is not a for-profit institution. What would this bonus be based on? Tax collection? Which is also concerning because that means we are collecting too much if we have money to throw around for bonuses to employees who are only measured by their service instead of profits. Also consider around 30% of city employees don’t even live in Sioux Falls or contribute to the tax base.

Further more, where are we at with tax collection last year? Does the mayor have some kind of inside information he is not sharing with the public and a bucket of money he can just throw at the city employees. Why not spend the money on fixing more infrastructure?

But the biggest red flag is the ethics of giving out bonuses right before a city election. It is nothing else but a huge bribe for the city employees who are eligible to vote in April. I’m not even sure that is legal?

If any of this is true (who knows with all the babbling Paul does in the interview), I encourage the Unions to reject the bonus and ask to go back into negotiations for a percentage increase instead and throw this bribe back in Poops face.

UPDATE: This was just posted on the SF City Council agenda for Tuesday informational. So there must be something going on? Bonus or Raise? We will see.

*Some of my city hall moles have told me there is something else brewing. I guess there was some secretive meetings held this week with (some select) councilors and directors in Poops Quarters about some kind private/public partnership with developers and a possible higher education institution. Probably to assist TenHaken’s Tool Team at DSU? 🙂

Living Wage in South Dakota should be at $22.50 per hour

I have been advocating for a long time that living wage in South Dakota, especially Sioux Falls should probably be nipping the heels of $20.00 per hour, imagine my surprise when this report came out;

This means that of the 50 states, (Puerto Rico and D.C. are not included) South Dakota is one which costs the least to survive in. But how does a $9.95 minimum wage match up to a $45,000 living wage?

Assuming a 40-hour work week, and 50 working weeks per year, a $9.95 wage comes to $19,900 per year. To match the living wage for South Dakota, the minimum wage would need to rise to $22.50/hour.

Our cost of living adjustments are also very high (notice housing);

While we have a governor who blabs about liberty and freedom and a mayor who decries ‘wage inflation’ you can tell the reality is that we lag very far behind and don’t look to their supposed leadership to help the situation. It’s time to start electing representation that wants to make changes instead of coddle the business elites, hospital industrial complex, and welfare developers.

Mayor Poops now wants to be Senator Poops

Who says PTH can’t handle leadership? In 11 short minutes he lays it on thick of what he would do if he were Senator on the Belfrage show today. He said if he was a senator he could NOT support the Build Back Better plan because the money isn’t being appropriated correctly and will only increase inflation. This coming from a guy who spends tax dollars and covid money on TIF rebates for low wage egg roll factories, parking ramps, condos, butterflies, tennis courts, ice rinks and seating for a private non-profit movie theater all the while asking for a 30% raise. Yeah, what a fiscal conservative!

He also says that we need more childcare in Sioux Falls, But look what is in that evil BBB Bill;

The bill directs money to providing free universal preschool for all three and four year olds, which the White House has dubbed the largest expansion in education programs since the creation of public high school.

He also complains that businesses can’t just keep giving raises to compete for workforce claiming that is unsustainable and calls it ‘wage inflation’. Ok, Mayor Tightwad, what’s next, an $10 an hour work mandate? When wages go up, those workers spend more money which equals a better local economy unlike the businesses who employee these folks sending the profits back to communist countries tax free and never circulating in our local economy. He really needs to stop hanging out in his garage rearranging his medals and trucker hats and needs to take a basic econ course.

In fact the bill also has solutions for affordable housing, something he can’t seem to grasp;

Increased spending on housing affordability will go towards building more than 1 million new rental and single-family homes. The bill aims to reduce cost pressures by providing rental and down payment assistance through an expanded voucher program.

It seems Poops needs to figure out how to run a city before he aspires to be Thune Jr.

While Hospital Execs walk away with millions in South Dakota nurses are paid nearly dead last

This of course has been going on for a very long time;

South Dakota nurses are paid the second worst, on average, in the nation.
That’s according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average South Dakota nurse is paid nearly $61,000.
California nurses are the highest-paid.
They make, on average, nearly $121,000 a year.

Every time I hear someone bring up teacher pay, I often remind them that most middle-class professions in South Dakota pay about the same in South Dakota, dead last. Ironically, it seems exec/nurse salaries fall in line with admin/teacher pay in South Dakota. Pay those at the top as much as possible and throw crumbs to the rest of the minions.

Until we actually elect a ‘peoples’ legislature that will re-legislate employee/worker rights we will be a slave to these kind of wages. I also find it ironic that this story didn’t come out right after hospital execs walked away with millions for quitting.

Also notice that almost ALL of the bottom 25 in pay are RED STATES! I know, SHOCKER! Cheap ASS trickle down policies. It’s a good thing states like California can subsidize our nurses with Federal benefits like SNAP, subsidized housing and Medicade so the executives can walk away with millions in South Dakota.