On Monday, the County CEO Tom Mauk released the proposed County budget for 2009-10. I just caught wind of the proposed layoffs for the Orange County Probartion Department for the 2009-10 budget year. In an email to County workers OCEA general. Manager Nick Berardino describes what’s on the way for the rank and file.
“Once again the department plans to balance its budget on the backs of the rank and file.Â Today OCEA met with Probation executive management and the CEOâ€™s office to discuss impacts of the departmentâ€™s plans on OCEA members.Â We asked the department if it had any plans to eliminate or condense any management or executive management positions â€“ the departmentâ€™s response was an emphatic, â€œNo!â€Â
“We asked why not, the Chief coldly responded â€œbecause weâ€™re Â notâ€¦â€Â In our February discussions with the department we were told that any pain necessary would be felt across the board.Â That was not the case in February, and after todayâ€™s meeting it is clear that it is not the case today.”
The Probatrion Department proposes to lay off 99 rank and file employees. There will be no reduction in managers during this round of cuts. With a reduction in workforce of almost 100 people, it is incomprehensible that the department cannot proportionally reduce its management staffing levels.
“It is a sad day for juvenile justice in the County, and a sad day for justice in the department.” Berardino wrote. “We must continue to fight this illogical, wasteful proposal. Now more than ever, itâ€™s time to chop at the top.”
It is clear from their proposal that county executive managers have absolutly no clue what they are doing. County workers understand that during these tough economic times layoffs may be necessary. What they do not understand is why county executives are choosing to spare managers any share of the pain.