When Rick Michigan becomes Michigan Governor Snyder his first task is to fulfill the prophecy inherent of economics. He must weigh cost and benefit. Interestingly the situation and circumstances that define this first task was directly mandated by the Granholm administration,
That very week, 3,500 state employees will have left their jobs after accepting an early retirement incentive package. Their departure will bring the number of state workers accepting the incentive package to 4,755 – including those who already have retired or will do so Dec. 1.
That means Snyder, who campaigned on the need for cost-effective government, will have a head start on achieving that goal.
And because 44 percent more employees took the offer than expected, the state should see more savings in its coffers than the $81 million projected in September.
But it also presents a headache for Snyder and his staff as they decide how many of those vacant positions to replace and minimize the inevitable disruptions caused by the loss of experienced employees. The state now has a total work force of about 53,000.
“There’s no doubt it’s a brain drain, but it does give the opportunity to hire new people at presumably less money,” said Senate Fiscal Director Gary Olson, who is among those taking the retirement incentive after serving 32 years with the state Legislature.
When the administration of Gov. Jennifer Granholm pushed through the early retirement package, it anticipated that many of the vacancies would be filled on a 2-to-3 ratio… “There is always a concern when you have an early out, in terms of the experience drain,” said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Snyder. “It’s an issue we’re aware of, but we really have to get the agency directors in place first. We won’t know what the replacement ratio will be until that is done.”.. at least one agency – the Department of Human Services – already is taking interviewing applicants to replace the caseworkers who are leaving, said Edward Woods III, the agency’s spokesman. Under a federal court order, the state must replace child welfare caseworkers on a 1-to-1 ratio to maintain a certain level of caseworkers. Woods said the goal is to minimize disruptions in the agency of 10,000 employees as it deals with the loss of 1,306 veteran staff members.
Even so, Ray Holman, a former DHS caseworker who now is spokesman for United Auto Workers 6000, which represents 17,000 DHS caseworkers and other state employees, predicted it will be a rough transition for the agency and its clients.
“Those jobs are really complicated,” Holman said. “The training period is quite a while. Even if they are replacing them, there is going to be lag time until the (new employees) can take new cases.”… it remains unclear how much additional money the added retirements will provide, partly because Snyder’s team has not determined how many will be replaced.Officials of both the House and Senate fiscal agencies say they cannot project new budget savings. But the state likely can apply new budget savings toward a projected $1.4 billion shortfall for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2011. (Scott Davis • firstname.lastname@example.org • November 15, 2010 )
In any case it is all simply projection. You also tend to get what you purchase. On the other hand we really could discover that we can get by with less people and that all of the jobs do not need quite as much experience to accomplish successfully.