Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Hire Or Not To Hire: That Is The Question

Over at Milwaukee County First, we discuss whether Milwaukee County should hire the extra nursing staff which was included in the 2011 budget. But methinks some of the county officials are looking at it all wrong:
In 2010, the overtime at the mental health complex is projected to be $4.3 million. The County could use at least some of this money to hire more staff. With the hiring, it could cut down on overtime costs, as well as FMLA costs. FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) has been accelerating due to workers being injured or just plain burned out, stemming from the high levels of overtime they’ve been putting in.

Not coincidentally, the higher use of FMLA also equates to higher overtime, as that the already depleted work force has to cover those out on leave.

Another reason the new hires are needed was shown this last year with the numerous incidents of sexual assaults at the complex, inmates leaving the complex only to assault neighboring residents and the slue of lawsuits stemming from these and other similar incidents.

Perhaps Supervisor Dimitrijevic and Mr. Heer are asking the wrong question. Instead of asking if the county can afford hiring the extra staff for the complex, they should be asking can the county afford not to hire them.

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