Category Archives: Economy

Washington State DSHS employees enjoy ‘fun’ workshop despite budget woes

dshs

MyNorthwest.com: Despite a gloomy budget outlook, Department of Social and Health Services employees from around the state will be in Tacoma this month for an all-expenses paid workshop that promises to be both “fun” and educational.

Community Services Division (CSD) employees were sent an invitation to the all-staff workshop on June 3, just one day after DSHS Secretary Kevin Quigley sent a department-wide letter warning workers to prepare for potentially crippling budget cuts.

quigleyIn the June 2 email, Quigley said the department projected a funding gap of between $1 billion and $2.5 billion for the 2015-2017 biennial budget.

“Alas, this contributes to the more disheartening news that we will be asked by the [Office of Financial Management] to create budget reduction proposals,” Quigley wrote in the email obtained by KIRO Radio. “I’m sorry the news is not brighter, especially in light of how much you and our clients have already endured and the great work you are doing to stay focused every day.”

The very next day, Community Services Division employees were sent an invitation from CSD Director Babs Roberts. CSD is a division of DSHS and is primarily responsible for public assistance benefits, such as food, medical, and housing for families in need.

“Community Services Division is hosting a ‘One CSD All Staff Workshop’ in August 2014,” read the invitation, which was sent to KIRO Radio by an anonymous state employee. “This will be a great opportunity to meet and network with staff from around the state and have some fun too!”

KIRO Radio spoke with Roberts about the timing of the invitation. “I don’t think I understood that the timing happened exactly like that,” Roberts said. “Certainly I can see where [the timing] would be odd, would seem inappropriate.”

While the workshop was optional, 2,160 of the division’s 2,765 full-time employees RSVP’d for one of three, two-day sessions, the first of which was held Aug. 20 and 21 at the Tacoma Convention Center.

When asked in July how much the workshop would cost taxpayers, a spokesperson for DSHS estimated the cost at around $285,000. When pressed further about whether the estimate included projected airfare, lodging and other expenses, DSHS upped the estimated cost to $600,000.

According to numbers provided by DSHS, costs include $17,500 for guest speakers, $65,377 for catering, $125,186 for lodging, and $101,566 for employee per diems.

Roberts defended the cost of the workshop and said it is a good use of taxpayer money, especially given the agency’s looming budget shortfall. “We want to ensure that we’re using public dollars, taxpayer dollars, in the most efficient and effective way possible. That means investing in the resources and the staff that we have to ensure that they know what they’re doing, that they’re doing it well, and they’re doing it efficiently.”

Roberts said the employee engagement workshop will save taxpayers money through increased productivity, accuracy, and improved employee wellness. “The workshops are focused at making sure that staff have some ability to hear their leadership talk about the mission, the vision, the goals. How do we measure our success?” she said. “Because that will engage them. People who are engaged in the work that they do will do better at that work, and that’s what we want is employees who are engaged and who feel valued and heard.” According to Roberts, it has been more than five years since CSD employees attended an engagement workshop of any kind.

Asked if she would still consider the workshop a good use of taxpayer money if her division has to cut services to the public or furlough employees, Roberts reinforced the importance of employee engagement.

DCG

California State government errors give employees $6.3 million in unearned leave

Tax dollars at work...

Tax dollars at work…

Sacramento Bee: State agencies gave their employees nearly 200,000 hours of unearned leave credits worth almost $6.4 million over five years, and the self-inflicted taxpayer expense will only grow until the government fixes the errors, according to a new state audit.

Accounting mistakes, misinterpretations of labor contract requirements and a lack of accounting controls at state agencies and the California State University are to blame, State Auditor Elaine Howle said in the report. Meanwhile, it’s likely that some overpayments to departed employees can’t be recouped, she said, because the recovery law is vague.

Chiang

Chiang ranting about Hope and Change or something like that.

Most departments highlighted in the audit agreed to fix their leave-accounting systems. State Controller John Chiang’s office, which collects the leave data that auditors analyzed, embraced some fixes but said others were unworkable or redundant and questioned the audit methodology.

Chiang’s acting chief administrative officer Tom Yowell also said in a response to the audit that the number of problems is so small compared to the billions of dollars in leave credits tracked that Howle’s audit “suggests that the leave accounting process is operating at over 99.99% accuracy.” (Common Core math: $6.4 million waste + employees not reporting overpayments = excellent accuracy!)

Auditors found that from 2008 through 2012, employee holiday-leave mistakes in 79 agencies resulted in 127,000 hours of unearned leave credits with a value of $4.1 million as of last December. Wrongly applied furlough leave, sick time, floating holidays, vacation leave and annual leave (taken in lieu of vacation and sick time) accounted for another $2.2 million of unearned credits to employees.

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for example, gave one unnamed employee 516 hours of holiday credit for a single month in 2008. He was entitled to 16 hours. Officials didn’t catch the mistake until after the employee retired 11 months later and received $17,660 for the unearned credits on top of $12,200 he received for legitimately accrued leave. The Chula Vista Veterans Home incorrectly doubled some employees’ holiday credits.

The auditor said departments need guidance on applying leave balances, to improve accounting processes and suggested lawmakers need to clarify the law for recovering overpaid leave credits.

Fun fact about Chiang:

“California State Controller John Chiang became a hero to 200,000 state workers in 2008 when he defied Governor Schwarzenegger’s order to cut their paychecks to the federal minimum wage due to a budget impasse with the legislature had ended. (Brown later dropped the suit.)

Chiang called state workers at a Los Angeles rally the “innocent victims of a political struggle”.

Both the trial and appellate courts ruled that Chiang had violated the law in defying the Governor’s orders, but those rulings came down long after the budget impasse was over. On July 1, 2010 the state legislature again failed to pass a budget on time and Schwarzenegger again ordered Chiang to cut wages to the federal minimum. Chiang said he couldn’t carry out the order due to an antiquated payroll system.

“This is not a simple software problem,” he said. “Reducing pay and then restoring it in a timely manner once the budget is enacted cannot be done without gross violations of law unless and until the state completes its overhaul of the state payroll system and payroll laws are changed.”

Chiang became active in the Democratic Party after moving to Los Angeles in 1987 where he began his career as an IRS tax law specialist.

DCG

 

If Global Warming Exists Why Would They Have To Cheat…Yet Again

This time folks it seems like they have caught the Australian Bureau of Meteorology cheating. Hmm, would that mean the whole Gov was in on it?         ~Steve~

PS, but that’s not stopping Skippy. This is a link from Drudge.

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

———————————————————————————————

25 Aug 2014

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been caught red-handed manipulating temperature data to show “global warming” where none actually exists.

At Amberley, Queensland, for example, the data at a weather station showing 1 degree Celsius cooling per century was “homogenized” (adjusted) by the Bureau so that it instead showed a 2.5 degrees warming per century.

At Rutherglen, Victoria, a cooling trend of -0.35 degrees C per century was magically transformed at the stroke of an Australian meteorologist’s pen into a warming trend of 1.73 degrees C per century.

Last year, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology made headlines in the liberal media by claiming that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record. This prompted Australia’s alarmist-in-chief Tim Flannery – an English literature graduate who later went on to earn his scientific credentials with a PhD in palaeontology, digging up ancient kangaroo bones – to observe that global warming in Australia was “like climate change on steroids.”

But we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and lies.

Though the Bureau of Meteorology has insisted its data adjustments are “robust”, it has been unable to come up with a credible explanation as to why it translated real-world data showing a cooling trend into homogenized data showing a warming trend.

She wrote:

“Repetition is a propaganda technique. The deletion of information from records, and the use of exaggeration and half-truths, are �others. The Bureau of Meteorology uses all these techniques, while wilfully ignoring evidence that contradicts its own propaganda.’’

This is a global problem. Earlier this year, Breitbart reported that similarly dishonest adjustments had been made to temperature records by NASA and NOAA. Similarly implicated are the UK temperature records of the Met Office Hadley Centre and at Phil “Climategate” Jones’s disgraced Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Rest of Breitbart Story Here

 

~Steve~

 

Universities nationwide limit student employment to comply with Obamacare

obamacare

Campus Reform: Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is restricting student work because of compliance issues associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare.

In an email last week, MTSU President Sidney McPhee explained that “due to our interpretation of the reporting requirements of ACA,” graduate assistants, adjunct faculty members, and resident assistants are barred from working on-campus jobs that exceed 29 hours of work per week.

Now, they cannot take on multiple campus jobs.

“[E]ffective beginning with the fall semester, we will no longer allow part-time employees, or those receiving monthly stipends from the university, to accept multiple work assignments on campus,” the email stated. McPhee noted that violations of the law “could add up as high as $6 million” in penalties.

The Daily News Journal reports that graduate assistants are now restricted from picking up research work funded through grants to the university.

Michael Fletcher, a Ph. D. History student, told the Daily News Journal that his job as a graduate assistant, a position that pays only $14,000 annually, requires a 20-hour work week, but he is unable to attain on-campus grant-funded research positions like many assistants do.

“Last spring because of the ACA, the HR department issued a policy that the most we could work is 29 hours, which would be 9 hours above our assistantships. Now they’re saying we can’t do that anymore,” Fletcher told the Daily News Journal.

As Campus Reform previously reported, the University of Kansas has reduced the number of hours student employees can work from 30 hours per week to 20, a move to ensure compliance with the ACA.

“The revised [KU] policy seeks to balance the necessity for students to make academic progress while managing potential fiscal liabilities with ACA,” Diane Goddard, KU vice provost for administration and finance wrote in an email early this month.

Capping hours associated with on-campus employment is quickly becoming the norm. Since 2012, at least 111 colleges and universities have limited adjunct professor course loads, capped student employment hours, or reduced hours for part-time faculty according to a list compiled by Investor’s Business Daily.

hopeandchange4

DCG

“Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be”

Narcissist: Inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, ecocentrism.

Grandiose: Affectedly grand or important; pompous.

Hyperbole: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; an extravagant statement.

lauren bacall

After Lauren Bacall’s death, Daily Beast had an article describing her as “as a smart and sharp liberal and anti-communist” and “she was a worldview person”. They said she told Larry King in 2005 that she was “anti-Republican…A liberal. The L-word.”  Let’s examine some of that “total, total, total” best thing on earth shall we?

“You are welcoming to everyone when you’re a liberal (and anti-Republican)

tolerance2

palin2

  • Unless you are a woman who chooses to keep her baby with Potter’s Syndrome.
  • Unless you are a conservative woman (Playboy’s list of conservative women to hate f*ck).
  • Unless you are a conservative Asian woman.

Vile Palin t-shirt

palin3

  • Unless you are a conservative man.
  • Unless you are a former republican vice president.

cheney

  • Unless you are a republican governor who wants to protect his state’s borders.
  • Unless you are a rich republican who donates money for a new ambulatory care center.
  • Unless you are a conservative black man.
  • Unless you are a conservative black man on the SCOTUS.

thomas

  • Unless you are a black man who chaired the RNC.
  • Unless you are a conservative black man who runs for president.

cain

“Liberals gave more to the population of the United States than any other group”

  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Chicago.
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Detroit.

detroit

hopeandchange3

california

  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Boston, who will be paying for the “Big Dig” through 2038 (at a cost overrun of 190%).
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Multnomah County (OR) stuck in poverty (one in three Multnomah County residents earn less money than needed to meet their basic needs).
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the US student population when it comes to math, reading and science.
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the student population of Washington (Nearly every school in Washington is failing, at least according to the No Child Left Behind federal proficiency standards).
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the future US population (unless you think record debt is a good thing).
  • And lasty, liberals sure haven’t given us more of a population (Margaret Sanger would be proud).

proud liberal

DCG

5-Minute Management Course.

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel..’
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was that?’
‘It was Bob the next door neighbor,’ she replies.
‘Great,’ the husband says, ‘did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?’
Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2 :

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.
They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, ‘I’ll give each of you just one wish.’ ‘Me first! Me first!’ says the admin clerk. ‘I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.’
Puff! She’s gone.
‘Me next! Me next!’ says the sales rep. ‘I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.’
Puff! He’s gone.
‘OK, you’re up,’ the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, ‘I want those two back in the office after lunch.’

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.
Lesson 3:

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.
A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you and do nothing?’
The eagle answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 4:
A turkey was chatting with a bull.
‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy.’ ‘Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull. They’re packed with nutrients.’
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there..

Lesson 5:
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.
While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.
The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate..
Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who poops on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of poop is your friend..
(3) And when you’re in deep poop, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!
THUS ENDS THE FIVE MINUTE MANAGEMENT COURSE…

~Steve~                                                                   H/T Joseph