Lynch Layoffs

With the State Employee Association turning down the contract offered to them with 19 furlough days Gov Lynch now must follow through with his alternative option, layoffs.

Now I'll start by saying no one ever wants to see layoffs but once in a while they are necessary. 

In the private sector, when times are good companies begin hiring.  They create new positions and hire positions to make life easier for everyone in the office but that position created may not be one that's truly needed.  Unlike the developer or assembly line worker who actually create something of value that helps generate income for the company, the new position may just make it easier to report on sales or keep the building cleaner.  They are nice to have and all those working there appreciate the work being done but in the end the positions may not actually bring profit to the company.

When times are bad companies need to tighten their belts and in doing so they look to cut the fat from department payrolls.  They look at each position and determine which ones bring in value to the company and which ones don't.  The nice to have positions that make life easy for those around them but do not bring in profit are unfortunately cut but that allows the company to improve and grow.  Getting through the hard times often times leaves the company stronger and able to grow even more once the good times come back.

When it comes to government, it's not often we see this.  When times are bad they seek reasons to continue to grow.  NH for the last few years has done this.  Despite warnings from Republicans, the Democrats in charge of every branch of NH government continued to grow and grow and grow.  Only now that the entire nation is at the verge of bankruptcy and the state is left bleeding money do they find they need to find ways to stop the bleeding.

Lynch attempted to stop the bleeding with a band-aid which would have covered up the problem temporarily but the union rejected it.  Now he's forced to step up and do what he should have done from the start and trim the fat.

And while Lynch finally steps up and makes the right choice, the union fights back apparently unaware that they work for the tax payers instead of the other way around.  This is demonstrated in the Union Leader article found HERE.

"Even under the threat of massive layoffs, our members have stood strong in their fight for a fair and reasonable solution to this budget crisis," said Gary Smith, president of the State Employees Association.


Smith said Lynch has other options instead of layoffs. They include not filling 1,359 vacant positions, tapping some $76 million in the Rainy Day Fund and eliminating the "rehired retirees" -- retired state workers hired as consultants who, Smith said, earn $74 an hour.

How many $74 an hour consultants does the state have?  Perhaps that too is why we've gotten into the problem we're in now.

But here's the real kicker...

Chuck Koontz, a Health and Human Services employee who works in child-support enforcement, voted against the contract.

"If you're laid off, you can always get rehired, but if you agree to a pay cut, no one's going to come around and increase your pay," said Koontz, who sits on the SEA board of directors.

That folks is the mentality of the average state worker.  That is why they voted down the contract.  They saw it as a win win.  They know if they are cut they'll simply apply for a different position or come back once everything blows over.  The know full well the budget will shrink for the short term but bounce right back to it's full bloated level.

What I'm finding the most interesting in this whole thing is how it's playing off.  Typically it's the Republicans who are left being forced to tighten the belts and the Democrats who support ever growing government can easily paint them out as the bad guys.  Lynch is a Democrat so which side will be left looking like the villain in this one?