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.