Friday, January 30, 2009

City's Labor proposals...aka: UGH!

It appears Mayor Bloomberg has warned labor unions in the city that they must renegotiate their contracts or risk loosing 23,000 jobs. Most of these are going to come out of the Department of Education. No doubt they will push back and we will all come to some sort of understanding that does absolutely nothing for us but push back the inevitable.

When are we going to face the problem of wasted resources and uninterrupted bullying by our countless labor unions. Do not misunderstand me, I am all for people making a living and improving their quality of life and doing so in a collective manor if they absolutely must. However, I also expect you to accomplish that without compromising the well being and resources of the community at large.

Take for example my attempt this week to renew one of my dogs city licenses. Last years form indicated that I should use the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's website to renew said license. I went online, pulled up the web page, proceeded to search for my dog's license under his name and the license number that had been assigned him a couple of years ago and guess what: "Our search resulted in no known record."

Great! Awesome! I tried countless variables of the pets name, license number, web browser, etc etc... The end result was always the same, we can't help you, please call 311 with any questions. So I did, and a lovely lady attempted to help me after having me on hold for ten minutes (it helped that I was making this call after 8PM otherwise the hold time might have been eternal.) It turns out, she had absolutely no idea were to start and she also had no idea how to find the telephone number to the Department of Health either.

I would be very curious to know a few things:

1 - How many millions of our city taxes have been spent on building the Department of Healths' website and database?

2 - How many people are manning the 311 call center around the clock and how much do we pay them?

3 - And why are we considering axing most of the city employees out of the Department of Education (read teachers) when there are so many other areas that are clearly under performing?

Don't misunderstand me, I do believe that our city's educational department is in dire need of restructuring. I also understand that the changes needed will take a very long time to draft and implement. However, I also understand that slashing headcount from the Department of Education could very well mean forcing parents to divert energy and focus away from providing for their families in a time of great need.

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