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Things Won’t Be Picking Up At The Courthouse

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on November 21, 2009

This past Thursday, a majority of the housekeeping crew at the Milwaukee County Courthouse didn’t show up to work. Thursday was the day after the County Board chose to sell them out in order to support Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign. I’ve heard a similar thing happened at other facilities, like the mental health complex.

While I can’t condone their actions, I can appreciate their lack of motivation knowing that their careers and their livelihoods were sold out from under them, just so Walker could score some cheap political points that no one will remember in a few weeks. It was probably emotionally harder for the ones that did show up, since Walker had his HR people pouncing on them with pink slips and offering them “other chances” at County employment, even though they are already one of the lowest paid groups.

What I found more interesting is the reaction of the right wing bloggers to this bit of news.

The unemployed Kevin Binversie thought it only verified why the workers should be laid off. If not showing up to work correlated to worthiness, then I’m sure old Kevin would agree that Walker deserves to be laid off too.

Patrick Dorwin said that he’d mail their last checks to them at their home. That’ll really show them, since that is what they were going to do anyway. Well, that is what they would do, except they required everyone to go into direct deposit when Walker contracted out for the over-budget-but-still-not-working-right-a-year-and-a-half-later Ceridian system.

But the oddest post was by Owen Robinson, who worried that this won’t make them attractive to the private company that would eventually take over. Take it from someone who has seen the county lay off hundreds of people before. The private companies wouldn’t hire them because they would be required to offer them the same salary.

Furthermore, based on our observations of the privatized housekeeping at the Coggs Building where I work, the turnover rate is incredibly high, both for the employees within said agency, and even for the agencies that are contracted to do the cleaning. I can’t imagine where the County is saving money by having to constantly going through the process of contracting with a new agency and then having to orientate each company to what to do and then monitoring them to do what they are supposed to.

And we have already seen how much more money privatizing costs anyway. So much for them being fiscal conservatives, eh?


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