State is always hiring
May 28, 2010 - By Katy Grimes
MAY 28, 2010
“The California Government is Always Hiring,” boasts an advertisement in Capitol Weekly newspaper. “Even during recent hiring freezes, the state hired 3-4000 new employees EVERY MONTH and accepting applications for over 1000 job titles at any one time,” stated the advertisement.
If you are looking for a job, the state of California is hiring… and apparently, the state is “always hiring.”
Atascadero State Hospital is looking for a Jewish Chaplain, the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department needs a plumber and the Department of Fish and Game needs a tractor operator.
Capitol Weekly recently devoted six pages and several hundred classified job advertisements, to the state of California.
In two large color ads, the newspaper advertises how to get a state job. “New State Jobs” is the heading of the other advertisement. “At any time there are almost 3000 employment opportunities in California Government!”
What about the state’s job freeze? Capitol Weekly’s advertisement states, “[E]ven during a job freeze supervisors can ask for their positions to be exempt from the freeze.” The ad also states, “[O]ver 50% of the positions listed are exempt because of the extreme need or the need of a special skill.”
Capitol Weekly lists available state jobs as well as how to sign up for the state exam. When asked where the state job information comes from, Capitol Weekly representatives replied that the information is provided by the State Controller’s office, as well as the Department of Personnel Administration and an “outside source” that compiles the job lists for the newspaper.
In doing a search into state job advertisements, the California Department of Personnel Administration links to available jobs on its Web site (Click here to view the State Personnel Board’s new Web page for Employment Opportunities and Related Information).
State job listings published in Capitol Weekly show a myriad of different state agencies including Child Support Services, Housing Finance Agency, Prison Industry Authority, Conservation Corps, General Services, Employment Development Department, Pesticide Regulation, Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), State Teacher Retirement System (STRS), Science Center and Parks and Recreation.
With 1.8 million unemployed Californians, it appears that the state is doing its part to help the massive unemployment problem. Or is it?
Lynelle Jolley, Communications Director for the Department of Personnel Administration disagrees. Jolley said that Capitol Weekly has “self-interest” in listing state jobs. According to Jolley, people looking for state jobs buy Capitol Weekly for the classified ads.
Jolley said that her agency has had a running argument for years with Capitol Weekly over their “inaccurate” state jobs listings.
According to Jolley, Capitol Weekly exaggerates available state jobs. She explained that there is no state job freeze currently in place. Jolley said however, that the governor did order state agencies to reduce agency payrolls by 5 percent, figuring that this could be achieved through attrition.
Jolley said that Capitol Weekly does not count new state jobs accurately; department transfers and employees returning from leave are all transactions recorded by the State Controllers’ office, but not necessarily “new jobs,” according to Jolley. She said that Capitol Weekly just grabs the Controller’s office “data dump” and cherry picks the job listings for publication. She also insisted that the state Personnel Board and state Personnel Administration are two very different agencies.
The bottom line is that regardless of how many state jobs are actually new – 1,000, 2,000 or 4,000 a month – the state of California has not really ceased hiring employees, even when a job freeze was in place.
Moving state employees around from department-to-department, and continuing to promote state employees is a shuck-and-jive, mole-game type of shuffle that is still costing taxpayers a tremendous amount of money. The hundreds of job listings in the newspaper and online on state agency websites prove that.
While private sector employers know the meaning of hiring freezes and actually have to live with fewer people doing the work, the state, with the knowledge and obvious approval of the Legislature, continues to hire very expensive public employees in an ever-expanding state government – the same state that is very near insolvency.
The demise of the California dream has been taking place at the knee of the elected legislators. The dream is in decline except for state employees, who continue to get promotions, new jobs, salary increases, and operate as if California is still a national leader.
But nothing could be further from the truth about the state of California. At some point in the very near future, the tipping point will finally cause the entitled state government to cease business as usual. State jobs will cease to be gifted to the entitled, elite California government lifers, and once again, government by the people, for the people will be the mantra.
I am still an optimist. Maybe.