Susan Koler: Respect workers
April 19, 2009
Yampa — I have been reading the articles written in the Steamboat Pilot & Today this week and the comments posted online along with them with regards to the county pay cuts and furloughs. One in particular caught my eye.
One person who wrote an online comment stated that he thought the county should lay off all the snowplow drivers until November. I thought to myself, “This man is brilliant.” The county should snap him up and hire him. Not only would the county save money by not paying these drivers while they aren’t plowing snow, they also don’t have to pay them to haul gravel, clean ditches, fix bridges or maintain roads. Of course, when this same man’s car is swallowed whole by a pothole, it will be OK because I don’t think anyone will really miss him, least of all a county employee.
I, on the other hand, have friends and family who travel these roads and wish only for their safety. And now that I think about it, there seems to be one or two problems with this man’s plan. First, when the time comes for these snowplow drivers to go back to work in November, are they supposed to quit their new jobs that they had to go out and find? And that’s only if they actually could find new jobs, which leads to a whole new host of problems, such as feeding their families, paying their mortgages and possibly ending up on welfare. I am sure that this man doesn’t mind how all that affects his taxes and mine.
The second major problem that I see with his plan is what happens if the county can’t hire these experienced drivers back. Who is going to fix all the things that the new and inexperienced drivers tear up while learning to plow snow? This includes signs, guardrails, fence posts, your car and the roads. And please, can we just talk about the equipment? Who is going to pay to fix that?
Let’s have a little respect for the men who take calls at 3:30 a.m. to make sure the rest of the county can get to work. While we’re at it, what about the rest of the county employees? What about their jobs? Some of these people have spent 30 years or more at their jobs. If that isn’t loyalty, what is? Don’t they deserve a little respect, too? People across the country are losing their jobs. And although big business doesn’t care, we as a community should.
Am I saying that there isn’t fat that can be cut? No, of course not. Anytime that you have more than one employee, there always will be ways to improve. So, let’s trim the fat and be on about the business at hand. Let’s keep valued employees and the strength that a solid community provides.
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