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From the good people at UE local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union:

UE 150 protestA new report released by UE local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union highlights the need for ‘Safety, Rights and Raises’ for state DHHS employees.  The report details new information about horrible understaffing, vacant positions not being filled,  alarming turnover rates, along with Department of Labor wage data showing how far behind state employees are with their salaries.

DHHS employees, all members of UE local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union from Cherry Hospital, Caswell Developmental Center, Central Regional Hospital and Murdoch Center but representing workers in all state operated facilities, met with DHHS Sec. Wos and her administration yesterday.

‘We are glad that Sec. Wos is committed to continue to dialogue with workers, ‘ stated Regina Washington, developmental technician from Caswell Center. ‘However we are upset by her insistence that certain upper classes of workers deserve raises compared to direct care staff, who are the lowest paid and who receive the bulk of the injuries and stress. ‘ Read More

mccrory1106It’s hard to say yet whether this will become “Salarygate” Part Deux or Trois but whatever you call it, Gov. McCrory seems to have taken  another remarkably tin-eared step today with his special announcement that more than 3,200 state employees in “high-demand” fields will get pay raises out of a “salary adjustment fund.” 

Sorry to tell you Governor, but there are a hell of a lot of other hard-working state employees out there who are in “high demand” — high demand from the mushrooming number of students they teach each day, the fast-growing number of potholes they fill, bathrooms they clean and prison inmates and mental health clients they supervise and serve.

The Guv may claim that these raises are a response to “market forces” but as we found out from the public’s overwhelming reaction to the original Salarygate, at some point common sense ought to trump the “genius” of the market. Unfortunately, this appears to be yet another in a long list of incidents in which the McCrory team is demonstrating that it possesses very little of this precious commodity.

Health and Human Services Sec. Aldona Wos has a busy day planned for tomorrow, with back-to-back meetings with lawmakers who want to ask her about issues that have earned her, and her department, plenty of criticism and negative attention in recent months.

Below are the agendas for the two legislative oversight meetings. The first deals with the technology issues the department had with its troubled food stamp delivery system (NC FAST) and Medicaid payment billing system (NC TRACKS.) (Read these Associated Press stories on the food stamp and Medicaid billing problems for background.)

The afternoon meeting, beginning at 1 p.m., will dig into the $22,500 and $23,000 raises she gave to two 24-year-old members of her staff and high-dollar personal contracts that have awarded at DHHS. It’s likely Wos will be asked as well about a $37,000 severance settlement that she made with her former chief of staff Tom Adams,  who only worked for a month in the political-appointment job.

The agendas are below, and audio of the afternoon hearing will be broadcast here. It’s likely that WRAL or other media will have live steaming of the meeting as well. We’ll update this post once we find out.

Morning agenda:

DHHSleg2 by NC Policy Watch

Afternoon agenda:

 

DHHSleg1 by NC Policy Watch

 

The Henderson Daily Dispatch has called for the resignation of North Carolina Health and Human Services Director Aldona Wos. According to the editorial dated yesterday entitled: Wos must immediately resign post:

“Aldona Wos must immediately resign her position as the secretary of our state’s Department of Health and Human Services. If she does not, Gov. Pat McCrory has to make the decision for her.

Wos helped raise money for McCrory’s gubernatorial campaign last fall. Her department’s hires are foul-smelling of campaign worker exchanges. The governor’s campaign against a corrupt culture in Raleigh has long left the station.

Allowing her to continue disables McCrory’s integrity while she digs a deeper hole.

Wos is responsible for a department with nearly 18,000 employees spread in 30 divisions and offices, 14 facilities and a budget of $18.3 billion. She took the job for $1 in annual salary. Everybody, whether qualified or not, with connections to her is raking in the dollars.

State leaders have tightened the grip on money, particularly for the unemployed and the education system. Free spending by Wos’ department cripples any sense of balance in McCrory’s governance.

Our confidence in Wos is irrevocably broken.”

After listing her numerous foul-ups, the editorial concludes this way:

“Until Wos is gone, the cycle will repeat.

And North Carolina can’t endure any more of her egregious and reckless actions.”

Click here to read the rest of the editorial (the site may require you to register, but it’s free).

Public Policy PollingThere’s been a fair amount of buzz about Gov. McCrory’s plummeting poll numbers of late. As Under the Dome noted this morning, Public Policy Polling finds that the approval rate is now all the way down to 35%.

There’s been less reporting, however, about some interesting issue-based results in the new PPP poll. As Kevin Rogers of Action NC tweeted this morning, the poll finds, among other things, strong (better than two-to-one)  support for raising the minimum wage to $10/hr. It also finds overwhelming opposition to the salaries bestowed upon Gov. McCrory’s former campaign staffers (8% “For,” 73% “Against”) and plurality opposition of 39% to 34% to a new casino in Cleveland County.

Read all the results by clicking here.