Rick Scott Continues Exploitation of OPS State Workers

One of the biggest ongoing crimes against workers in the state is the mistreatment of workers classified as “Other Personnel Services.” For years now, jobs have been shifted from full-time career service positions with benefits to OPS jobs with no benefits and much lower pay. OPS usually make a fraction of what career service employees make while frequently working almost as many hours and doing the same jobs as the career service employees. It seems like the whole point of much of the use of OPS positions to do high-level work is to exploit workers, cut funding and make government agencies less effective. Nobody benefits from the exploitation of these workers. The workers are harmed, the agencies are harmed and the clients of the agencies are harmed.

An example of this is a message that Gov. Rick Scott sent out to state workers today. He said that he was closing government agencies on December 23 in order to “honor” the hard work that state employees do and to save the costs associated with keeping offices open on low-volume days. What he doesn’t mention is that this extra day off, which many employees enjoy, just means a pay cut for OPS employees, who get no bonuses to cover the extra day off and who have no paid leave to cover the day off. Even if they want to work, or need to work because they need the money, they can’t have it. And it’s not like the cost of paying OPS workers to have that day off would make a significant dent in the budget. And it would certainly be in line with the holiday spirit. But Gov. Grinch doesn’t care, he thinks he’s doing a favor to the people by doing this.

Correction to eliminate factual error in the aside comment.

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3 thoughts on “Rick Scott Continues Exploitation of OPS State Workers

  1. I feel for the OPS workers but they agree to the terms of their position knowing that 40 hours is not a guaranteed thing every week. I am career service for the DOH and actually took a pay cut from OPS. Many of our OPS colleagues make more money hourly than even the vested employees. Also, I am not a huge fan right know of Governor Scott but if you read the statement from John Miles we are granted paid admin leave not having to use our annual leave for that day, It is a very small gesture with, probably, another motive to it but we will all take the day off with pleasure.
    Merry Christmas

  2. “David” doesn’t seem to have much of an idea of what’s happening in the State workforce. Yes, some *few* OPS workers (not the *many* “David” cites) get a slightly higher paycheck – in theory so they can afford to pay for their own health insurance. It should be noted, however, that this is by no means the case for the majority of OPS employees. Career service employees frequently go to that well, telling OPS how very lucky they are that they don’t have to pray that the legislature approves pay increases every year. I presume this is to assuage their guilty consciences. I have news for those people: OPS don’t get annual increases either. Not often, and certainly not much. Just because a performance review isn’t required doesn’t mean that an increase is automatic. I’ve even heard a supervisor tell an OPS employee that, since he (the Career Service supervisor) didn’t get a pay increase, NOBODY would get one that year. Nice, huh?
    By the way, “David”, 40 hours often *is* a guaranteed thing every week for OPS. It’s one of the most underhanded and sneaky moves possible, hiring full time, non-temp employees to do vital work for which there is no end-date as what is defined “other personal services” (i.e. temporary and part time non-essential positions). OPS employees who have the luxury of being able to work a little extra during the Friday-Thursday pay period will plan weeks in advance to try to compensate for potential lost time (such as working four 10-hour days the week of Christmas), double and triple checking with supervisors to make sure they’ll be able to do so. Having an extra day off dropped into the same pay-week means that these workers will have no chance of recouping any payroll losses, since no State office is open for the requisite 14 hour days they’ll need to work over the remaining three possible pay-weekdays.
    The job market offers slim pickings indeed, as I guess “David” hasn’t noticed from his ivory tower – or maybe he has. Very likely, he’s looked down his nose at some OPS worker and told them that they could love it or leave it, knowing full well that leaving a job in today’s economy means probably not having a job at all in the near future.
    It’s good to hear that “David” will be taking the day off with pleasure, appreciating the very small gesture that matches so perfectly with his very small heart and mind.
    So, Merry Christmas to you, David. I hope you get what you deserve.

  3. It’s true, OPS workers got the shaft on that day. There was some “misinformation” spread about some of the agencies informing OPS employees that they would be paid for that day off only to find out the next week that they were misinformed. They would not be receiving anything for that day or any other day beyond their hourly wage. I agree that accepting OPS employment is up to the individual but I also believe that it is accepted based on circumstances beyond the individual’s control such as the state of the economy and a lack of jobs with benefits.