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Re: California State Employees' Initiative

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Richard_Ranous/OES(--nospam--at)oes.ca.gov wrote:

> Nigel,
>
> [...]

> There are many government based engineers who are excellent engineers.
> Like any place of employment there are also those who are less than
> satisfactory.  Government is no different than the private sector in that
> case.

Yep.  We're no worse than anybody else. ;-)[...]

> to the proposition's rather one-sidded evaluation process.  My concern is
> that the Division of the State Architect, the Office of Statewide Health
> Planning and Development, Caltrans, and a few other agencies who regularly
> employ engineers, will not be able to address all of these repairs in a
> timely fashion because they are set-up to respond to this immediate level
> of work.

There's a point I hadn't considered.  If the proposal should pass, I wouldn't
imagine it would take more than one such emergency to get the law changed, but
that first emergency would be pretty unpleasant for all involved.[...]

> engineers are represented by a union who negotiates the contracts.  The
> point here is that PECG will increase their power in California politics.
> How much is anyone's guess.  This increase in power comes at the expense of
> the profession and the public.

Unless...as others have suggested, that the profession comes together after the
vote is over, so that the union's putative power could be used to benefit the
whole profession.  I believe a strong profession, if it includes everybody,
benefits not only engineers, but the public as well, through better engineering
services.

> There will always be a need for engineers in government positions.  There
> are many types of public works projects which are done most efficiently by
> government.  There are also many types of projects which are done more
> efficiently by the private sector.  The system that is in place now for
> distributing this work may be flawed.  We should fix the system to work
> better, not throw it away so a union can gain more power.

Absolutely.  It's simply a case of using the best tool for the job.  Sometimes
that means a governmental agency, sometimes it means private consultants,
sometimes it wouldn't much matter which way you go.  In any case, though, we
should try to work together.

Nigel