Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reflecting On Things

Posted by SpeakOutEid: The following is a comment posted by one of your fellow coworkers. I applaud Glen and the other IT personnel, who stood up and fought against Ane Deister and her cohorts to protect our rights. In the Help Desk case here is a group of employees who instead of “moving on” fought to effectively make a change. I encourage you to contact Glen for the complete Public Employees Relation Board’s (PERB) public document showing the 60 violations of labor law.

Side Note: Local and state agencies, along with the media are monitoring this blog. If you are still afraid to come forward and speak out against management than at least post a comment that will give these folks a direction as to where they should start investigating.

I am happy to see this blog site become a forum for communications and the sharing of ideas. I thank you all for your courage! Speaking of courage– I would like to thank the Association Board and you the Association members for your support in my fight against the District on the issue of Standby duty, Standby schedules and Standby pay. From the beginning of this ordeal, nearly a year and a half ago, the issue seemed to have turned into a personal vendetta which Michele Weimer had no intentions to resolve and together with Mary Lyn Carlton subjected Help Desk personnel to threats and retaliation. You’ll find on this blog the final settlement documents so you may judge for yourself. I’ve enjoyed implementing new technology at EID for the last eleven years but admit last year was the least pleasant! Since January, we have had another reorganization, the disbanding of the Help Desk and outsourcing of services. As to the cost of this little change; I will let the MountainDemocrat and Sacramento Bee ask the question, for the public ask the District Board of Directors.

As some of you have observed, Ane has brought “big business” to EID – so using her own rule book I say we do the same and move from an Employee Association to a Union! Please attend the next scheduled Association meeting and voice your concern to the Executive Board. I recommend the Association of Federal State and Local Government Employees (AFSALCE)because they can represent us all but will gladly listen to the Local 39, mentioned on this site. As you know we will be entering negotiations to renew our MOU next year. It is imperative we quickly create a short list, invite and listen, VOTE and have this new Union in place by early Spring 2008 so they enter into negotiations from the start. Also remember that a Five Year MOU is accorded to Management we trust – in this case we should take it off the table and offer a one or two year contract. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call to the District Board and our fellow rate payers that all is not well in the Republic of EID. We accept reorganizations and change but will not accept having our Employee Association and our MOU ignored and violated.

Some of you say it is not Management’s fault, that maybe it’s just a lack of communications. Some say it’s the devil in disguise or that the Board we supported has sold us out! I just say there’s a problem; it’s broke and needs fixing. So let’s start, on our side, by uniting and developing a strong voice that asks tough questions like: we have an Association of Employees, we have a negotiated MOU – what the hell are you doing ignoring it, circumventing it and violating California laws in the process and then promoting the people who violated the law?

Reading your blogs and comments I sense some of you have also been wronged- as I’ve been this past year. Yes there is anger that mounts in these situations; especially when you see your peers dragged into your affairs and then see middle management lie and cover-up. But caution – document, document, document and be patient and remember that California is a pro-labor state with agencies such as PERB ( and DFEH ( that can help and protect you. I welcome anyone in such a situation to call me at home and I’ll show you my documentation, my formal PERB complaint, what the Association supported and the 60 violations of law PERB formally served on the District. And I’ll tell you about the arbitration process and the final settlement. Let me encourage you by saying if you think you are right, do the research to ensure you are and then proceed! I’ll admit, now, that gloating is a nice feeling! But also remember that defiance has its price (I’m still wearing my head to toe body armor and shield to work). And don’t forget that most famous of all quotes – “I’ll get you my pretty” – its in their rule book too!

Cheers and Godspeed!
Glenn Purkett, Placerville, CA


An Encouraging Outcome for EID Employees
On May 2, 2007 a settlement was reached between EID management and the EID Employee’s Association (representing personnel of the Information Technology Support Division) and arbitrated by the Public Employees Relation Board (PERB), a State of California agency created to resolve and enforce government code regulations and public employee labor law. In the terms of the settlement (see attachment) EID management has agreed to pay Help Desk personnel a lump sum payment for past denied and unpaid standby time. Management also agreed, in this settlement, to expunge retaliatory reprimands issued these employees and referencing the grievance served. Management also agreed to revise the annual performance appraisals removing any and all mention of the grievance and reprimands. Additionally, District management agreed to reduce a “3-day suspension without pay” to a written reprimand and to return one day’s suspended pay but stopping short of completely admitting the suspension was an act of retaliation. Because the employee is still under the supervision of the managers who refused the standby pay and then retaliated against these employees, EID management has agreed to assist transferring the employee to a different position provided qualifications are met. Lastly, management has agreed to finally recognize the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), dated 2004-2009, and apply its standby provisions to all represented employees.

The subsequent disbanding of the division and the outsourcing of Help Desk services, during January 2007, and after the serving of this first PERB complaint, were not addressed in this settlement.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pass It On

I thought I would start this week’s posting with a quote:

We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. Sandra Day O’Connor

As I talk with coworkers I continue to get the comment that people are afraid to post to this blog. I completely understand this fear. Each day at work I wonder if this will be the day that Ane and her “friends” will figure out who I am. But then I stop and think about the fact that this blog is not all about me. (I have to admit that sending a bit of fear into those abusing their power has given me pleasure.) This blog is about trying to stop the wave of fear and immoral acts going on at EID.

Although you might be feeling helpless I am here to give you a way to take back some of the power we have lost over the last few years. This is my challenge for you today, if you are afraid to post to this blog then do the next best thing. Start sending this blog address to your friends, neighbors, county officials, other water agencies, vendors and state agencies. Start letting people know that what we have to tolerate daily just to work for EID is no longer going to be accepted.

Despite what Ane may think she does not control this county and she does not control our Board of Directors. The board is an elected body of people chosen to represent the needs and concerns of this community. And if the current board can continue to ignore the very employees that work at EID, then it is time for them to go. The EID Association supported and helped Mr. Fraser and Mr. Wheeldon back in 2001 when they were first appointed. If we can help get two board members elected than we can also help get them removed in this year’s election. But this can only happen with YOUR help. Start “Speaking Out”! Upper management has ignored us; the board has ignored us, now it is time for OUR community to realize exactly what they have been paying for.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Time on the Beach

First I would like to thank everyone who has been posting to this blog. Your comments are truly being heard. I watch management daily spinning a bit out of control with worry about what is being posted on this blog by those of you willing to speak out. For once we have a real form to communicate with each other and to the public without fear of retribution.

Many of you have spoken of employees being put on Administrative Leave (or what we call “Time on the Beach”) for unknown and suspicious reasons. These money-wasted actions are occurring through out the District, and they are happening to hard working and dedicated employees. So why are employees being sent home for days, weeks and even months with rate-payer dollars paying their salaries while management does their “investigation” of the employee? One simple reason; they stepped on someone’s toes. And we can all guess at whose toes those are.

My question for you today is a bit involved and may take time for some of you to determine the answer. I am interested to find out just how much the rate payers are spending each time an employee is put “on the beach” or given 3-days without pay. By my calculations I figure in the past five years the rate payers have paid somewhere between $300,000-$350,000 (keep in mind I’m aiming low with my numbers) in my department alone. I came up with these numbers by taking into account the following factors: 1) Wages paid to an employee as they sit at home waiting for the District to formulate a lie that can be used to control them 2) Payments to outside contractors to investigate/fabricate the allegation. 3) Overtime paid to other employees to cover the employee who is out (Yes IT employees, the District does pay overtime to other employees. Just not your department.) 4) Lawyer fees: either salary paid to our own legal department or an outside law firm. 5) Lost production time (this one is a bit harder to put into a monetary value).

How much money do you believe has been spent in your department? Does anyone have a suggestion to management on a better way for this money to be allocated?

Side note:
To Janet Pollard,
I am sorry to hear about your altercation with Ane. No one deserves to be treated in such a way as waterwoes described it. Keep your head up and hang in there.

To Waterwoes,
You asked about how much the boss received this year. Can you say 6.8%.

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn