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Miami-Dade County is running on fumes due to indecisiveness: Employees caught in the middle

I will make an attempt to be the voice of reason as it relates to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, The Board of County Commissioners and the prospective union leaders and its workers, approximately 30,000+ strong.

Time is of the essence so let’s cut through the chase and present the data and prayerfully the Lord will give you the wisdom, understanding and revelation to look beyond the immediate to the long term and determine if 5% less is worth possibility losing 100% of your paycheck.

According to “The Bureau of Statistics, Florida increased their workload by 98,100 over the course of 12 months from [11/2010-11/2011, yet the unemployment ratio was 11.9 in 10/2010 and 10.00 in 11/2011 or -1.9, down .4 since 10/2011.

Florida stats show the number of people employed from November 2010 – November 2011, to be 7,183,600 & 7,281,700, respectfully, an increase of 98,100.

According to “ Find the Data , as of May 2011, the number of people in the labor force were 1,323,042; the number of Unemployed in Miami-Dade were 180,993 and the number employed in Miami-Dade were 1,142.049.

If you are fortunate enough to land a government position, it is common knowledge that chances are, greater than not, you can work within the administration until you retire, as long as the rest of the county or state remains fiscally sound.

Each year, every employee is painfully aware of budget time as the standard rumors began to swirl. Example: The administration is putting together a list to be presented to the director and subsequently, approved by the designated administrators. In past years, the county would always find monies to balance the budget and everyone is safe for another year.

But that scenario changed a few years ago and unfortunately, there will not be a bailout for Miami-Dade County and its employees this year. The county is broke, operating in the red. In the world of business that constitutes only two options, “declare a state of emergency” or “bankruptcy”. Case in point: Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California declared a ‘State of Emergency” when he found himself in an impossible numbers game.

Unfortunately, due to the economy and its slow job growth and massive foreclosure numbers, the monies once generated by these entities no longer exist. Because of the dire situation that Miami-Dade County finds itself in, they can no longer support its present employee base, some 30,000 strong and must find a way to balance its budget, which includes making some painful cuts in the process.

Should employee cuts become inevitable, formulating the list of displaced employees, (the politically correct term for being fired) is not an easy task, as almost all employees are protected by a union; unless they fall under the “exempt category” whereby the county will remind them that their employment is at the mercy of their employer, who is not obligated to have a reason for their termination other than “tag, you’re it” and as they proceed to ceremoniously hand you the coveted letter, listing “budget constraints” as the reason and/or remind you that you reside in a “”employment at will” state.

Thus the pecking or bumping system is put into place to determine, who can bump whom. The politics kick into high gear and the employees that are close to someone in authority over their superior start calling in their favors and the race began.

If you are without an umbrella and haven’t marched to the beat of their drums and you didn’t socialize outside of the building with higher ups, chances are, and you will surely be on the list. In past years, the budget rumors would reach its peak and dissipate without much fanfare and everyone would collectively breathe a sigh of relief and go about their business until next fiscal year.

In 2012, everyone from the janitor to the Chief Judge will have to learn how to constantly “think outside the box.” There are no hidden dollars waiting to be discovered. The Federal Government is not coming to Miami-Dade on a white horse and colorful cape to bail Dade County out.

The top administrators and its superiors will have to find common ground or I foresee, not hundreds but thousands of employees getting pink slips in the near future.

Best Regards to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, The Board of County Commissioners, The Union Representatives as well as all the employees of Miami-Dade County. Dade County finds itself at a crossroads. Which will you take: The familiar path or the road less taken?

“Happy trials to you . . . until we meet again!”


January 13, 2012 - Posted by | Community News | , , , , , , , , ,

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