Monday, March 17, 2014

Modernization won’t do what the consumer wants – Part III

Today we are going to look at another part of  the PLCB's plan for “modernization,” called getting "the right people.” That's what point #9 of the Executive Summary of "Proposed Statutory Amendments of the PLCB" calls it; have a look:
9) Changes to Staffing and Human Resource Management:
  • Restrictions imposed by the Civil Service Act and the Administrative Code impair the PLCB’s ability to effectively manage its workforce 
  • Allowing the PLCB to make employment decisions outside of Civil Service, and giving the PLCB the authority to classify or reclassify its own positions and set the compensation of all employees will give the agency the autonomy and independence needed to place the right people in the right positions at the right rates of pay. 
  • The PLCB currently pays the Civil Service Commission approximately $1 million dollars per year to administer examinations for store employees.
  • Appropriate employment, classification, and salary policies would be put in place to provide necessary controls and structure to the Board’s decisions. get the “right people,” they want to set different rates of pay. Obviously, it has to be a higher rate to get those people, otherwise those people would be here now. Equally obvious is that the PLCB believes that they can’t train or teach the people they have now, and currently don’t have knowledgeable staff that could fill the positions that the “right people” would fill. (They've had 80 years to work on it, but they're only admitting that failure now.)

Since these “right people” currently won’t work for the PLCB because the salary -- even though it's at the highest end of retail compensation in America -- doesn’t match their needs, who is going to pay for the increase? You know who: us, the wine buyers, the taxpayers, because we are the ones who have to cover the increased pension obligations that these “right people” will incur since they are being paid more. The PLCB portion of the pension deficit is $550 million and expected to go to $600 million by the end of this year. But that isn’t enough. All that extra money the PLCB says they will be making; some of it will have to go to pay for these “right people” and their benefits. How much will be left over for the General Fund? Anything significant?

The only benefits to this scheme are really to the PLCB and the people who work for them. We consumers still won’t get the convenience and selection found in other states even if our “right people” are wearing world class aprons.

Privatization IS Modernization.  Contact your legislators and tell them so.

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