The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 2, 2012
The State Worker's Top 10 of 2011: No. 4 -- Audit outs misdeeds

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for countdown 4.JPGPosts about government employee misdeeds draw plenty of attention and provoke debate over workplace fairness, public-sector standards vs. private-sector standards and the media's news reporting role.

Consider these comments from the fourth most-read State Worker blog item of 2011, "Audit reveals California state employee misdeeds and miscues," posted Jan. 18:

There are bad employees in both the public and private sectors. The difference is, in the private sector, dead weights are fired. The state just make excuses for the bad workers and go on with business as usual!

While it is fun to scream about these "abuses" in private industry not only would they probably go unnoticed, but the shareholders would never hear about them!

Waste in the corporate world shows up in the form of an income statement, and nobody is forced to be a shareholder.

These cases all seam (sic) to require quite a bit of hindsight which we all know is 20-20. The auditor's opinion and dollar amount make it sound like some supervisor should have acted immediately at the first whiff of abuse. The prison workers schedule should have been fixed quite a bit sooner. But seriously, if this the auditors best shot at exposing the state's expensive blunders, then you could do a statistical analysis and due to lack of confirmed abuse vs the number of complaints filed, conclude that the state is doing a great job of keeping waste and abuse to a minimum. So whats with the ultra negative headline?

You know what? All of these anti-state worker articles are going to lead to some lynchings. How about at least one article that shows any of the hundreds of thousands of good deeds that state workers do every day? If I see one more article about how stupid, rich, arrogant, and incompetent we are, I am going to vomit. They say we are stupid, yet 60% of us have college degrees. There are no burger flippers in state service. They say (astoundingly) that we are all fat cats, but it doesn't take a genius to take a look around and realize that state workers have no money.

Fair warning: More audits are in the pipeline that will reflect poorly on some state workers and some state departments. This blog will report on them.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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