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Government The Almighty Buck IT

NY To Replace IT Vendors With State Workers 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-can-only-end-well dept.
dcblogs writes "New York state plans to replace as many as 500 IT contract workers with a new type of temporary state worker. The state estimates it can save $25,000 annually for each contracting position that is in-sourced. This is the result of a new law creating 'term appointments,' which strip away some hiring and firing rules that apply to permanent state workers. These term appointment workers are employed 'at will.' Term appointments can be up to five years and workers get state benefits. Proponents of this change said a state IT worker might earn an average of $55 an hour, including benefits, while the state pays its contractors an average of $128 an hour for workers in similar jobs."
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NY To Replace IT Vendors With State Workers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2010 @03:36PM (#31456078)

    On the surface this sounds like a good idea.

    Employees are more loyal, and generally care more about the work they are doing than outside contractors.

    I have mixed feelings about creating the positions as a special semi-temporary group. Its good in that it allows the state to actually hire needed people, but it sounds like they are second-class employees. Only here temporarily. Not really part of the team, but expected to work extra hard in the hopes of someday getting to be a real employee...

  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday March 12, 2010 @03:38PM (#31456102)

    Contractors have inflated pay to deal with the fact that they don't have steady employment (which in our fucked-up benefits system means you don't have reasonably priced healthcare, insurance, or retirement savings.)

    So yeah, this is a win for IT workers. It's a loss for standard state employees, but these IT workers get a steady job with decent pay where they once had high-paying jobs, most of the money from went was thrown into basic necessities, not to mention looking for new jobs.

  • by RulerOf (975607) on Friday March 12, 2010 @03:43PM (#31456166)

    and the cost to the state will be more than $55/hour including benefits...

    Well... duh. Assuming 40 hours/week and 4 weeks/month, that's 160 hours. I know a man who's recently retired and has some serious risk factors that put private insurance for him at $600+ per month, so assuming he's the high end of that... it's what, just under $4/hour more?

    Round it up to $60/hour for the pay+benefits for each man hour they incur, and they're still more than halving their costs. That sounds like a win to me, and I'm not even into finance.

    Still, are you claiming this is a bad thing? I personally think that IT departments should be insourced, but I guess I've never seen objective research that says such practices are wholly beneficial (or the other way around).

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday March 12, 2010 @03:52PM (#31456294) Homepage Journal

    Oh, you don't like "free markets"? The government shouldn't look for ways to save money?

    It's funny how quickly the most staunch conservative turns into Michael Moore as soon as it's his well-being that's threatened.

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:09PM (#31456548)

    Government work is kind of a weird bag. I recently did some contract work for a government entity.

    On one hand, yeah, some of the employees evinced a level of laziness that could not long survive in the private sector of small to medium size. (My experience is that larger corporations and government have similar ratios of useless employees.)

    On the other hand, the really shitty part of being a public servant is that you have to deal with the public. Probably, most of the people you deal with in your daily life are reasonably sane, mature, and normal. You might start to believe, as I once did, that everyone is like this. I assure you this is not the case. The people I was working with were in a department that had nothing to do with the criminal justice system, and yet, on virtually any topic you could bring up over lunch, they would be able to relate at least one and usually several work stories wherein either someone tried to shoot someone else, or someone urinated on something they shouldn't.

    I can honestly say that in the duration of my career, primarily in the private sector, that no one has ever tried to shoot me or piss on me.

    So... I can also see why it can be hard to keep good people in government work, too.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:11PM (#31456588) Homepage Journal

    And "right-to-work" laws really mean

    It's not accidental that most of the "right-to-work" states were also the states that loved slavery so much that they seceded from the USA and went to war.

    Since they can't legally own people any more, they pass "right-to-work" laws that are really "right-to-abuse workers" laws.

    Also interesting is that the "right-to-work" states all pool at the lowest end of the education rankings. They are also the states with the highest divorce rates and the highest rates of teen pregnancy and illegitimate births.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Friday March 12, 2010 @04:30PM (#31456892)

    Yea, like those socialist countries don't have some serious problems..... Socialism sucks

    You know, in the 21st century, using supposedly negative terms like "socialist" are pretty tired. The USA is one of the most 'socialist' nation-states going. The USA spends more per-capita on health care than bogey-man "socialist" countries like Canada and spends billions (trillions?) buying banks, car manufacturers, you name it.

    In the USA, the government sticks its nose into who can marry who, spends billions of your dollars saying what drugs people can use, asks me at age 43 for ID when I try to buy a bud lite, posts stupid useless warnings on foods & menus, has ridiculous zero-tolerance policies at schools, goes crazy if Janet Jackson's tit 'slips out'... (think of the children!) and on and on. You won't find many more socialist nanny-states in the world than the USA...

  • by Narpak (961733) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:14PM (#31458298)

    (My experience is that larger corporations and government have similar ratios of useless employees.)

    My experience is that such useless employees tend to accumulate in middle management making life miserable for workers and customers alike. Not to imply that there aren't useless employees among workers or higher administrators; it's just harder to hide incompetence when you either have to do actual work or make actual decisions.

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