Several years ago, now retired Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth suggested that Sioux Falls City Councilors impose an ordinance that requires employers within the city limits list their salary in want ads. Not only is it a good idea, employers who do list wages usually get better and more applicants. We all know why some don’t list the salary, because it ain’t squat and most people see thru the ruse and don’t apply. Senator Reynold Nesiba is proposing such a thing statewide;
A private employer with one hundred or more employees shall disclose in each job posting the hourly or salary compensation or range of the hourly or salary compensation and a general description of all benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired, promoted, or transferred applicant or employee. Such disclosure shall not affect the applicant’s ability to negotiate compensation or benefits.
As you can see, this would only affect larger employers. While a great idea that has proven to have beneficial opportunities to employees and employers it will likely die in committee because one of the legislators wives on the committee will cry about paying her 10 year old niece minimum wage to make goat cheese soap candles in the barn.
Shawn Pritchett, who has served in the role of finance director since late 2018, will now also be the director of innovation and technology for the city, following the council’s unanimous approval of TenHaken’s appointment.
It is getting pretty obvious that PTH is struggling to recruit people to work for him, which he even admits;
TenHaken called Pritchett an “obvious choice” for the role, and candidly noted that he was “0 for 3” in directors of the department during his administration, which he said was one thing that made him want to look inside for a new director.
He is actually ‘0 for 12+’ when it comes to directors. I have lost count. Why is it that people either don’t want to work for Paul’s administration or only last a short time?
Maybe he needs to start merging other department heads? Like Fire and Police? Parks and Rec with Entertainment facilities? If we can’t find people to work for this mayor maybe we could just consolidate?
Well, yah gotta know employees are NOT happy about a holiday furlough when they blatantly set up a Go Fund me page;
Gannett, which owns the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Aberdeen American News, is requiring all of its employees to take a week unpaid over the holidays. This decision affects 15 journalists.
The funds raised will be distributed evenly to help cover the lost income during the furlough week. Many of the journalists affected are young and not from the area. They are worried about not being able to pay rent and their bills while still being able to go home and see their family. This fundraiser aims to help them enjoy the holidays without stressing about rent payments.
Gannett has been doing this for several years now and it should be NO surprise to the employees. I guess over the years I have personally just gotten used to NOT getting vacation, insurance benefits or holiday pay from several of my employers (mostly hospitality). While I agree it sucks, one week unpaid is not the end of the world. If you can’t afford to miss one week’s pay out of the year, you really need to take a closer look at your finances.
UPDATE: I was informed that this page was setup by a NON employee for the employees of Gannett
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.Â
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;
â€œOur city employees are seeing the bonuses and incentives and work-from-home opportunities and every kitchen sink being thrown at employees â€¦ so we have to continue looking at how we’re being aggressive in retaining our people and making us an employer of choice,â€ he said. â€œWe have to get serious about how to compete with the private sector. I have a lot of unfilled positions causing stress for the city.â€
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.
*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? 🙂
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.