In a bit of news that should come as NO surprise to anyone who has been following the AOC these past couple years, Amy Yarbrough of the Daily Journal reported in an article today that the AOC’s budget for temporary employees has soared in the middle of one of the worst financial crises that the California superior courts have ever faced.
While courts up and down the state have or are planning to lay off regular staff employees, the AOC has been on a hiring spree for the past two years spending well over a million dollars to two temp agencies.
From the article.
According to records provided by the State Controller’s Office, the AOC paid two staffing agencies, Wollborg Michelson and AppleOne, $843,674 in 2006. By 2008, well into the economic downturn, payments peaked at $1.37 million.
The agency’s spending on temporary workers dipped last year to $1.29 million, records show, but that figure is still 53 percent higher than in 2006. More than 20 of the temporary staffers have worked at the AOC since July, according to an internal agency document; one has been on the payroll for about a year.
Of course if you’ve been following this blog since its inception then you’ll know that I’ve touched on this issue of the AOC continuing to hire temporary employees while claiming to have a hiring freeze. Then the AOC eventually hired some of those temporary employees and placed them in job positions that nobody had a clue about or placed them into positions that other AOC employees said they were unqualified for.
Again, a portion from this morning’s article.
The AOC said in September that some of the new permanent staffers were needed because the agency was taking over responsibility of courthouses in the 52 counties, and building new facilities to replace dilapidated ones. AOC officials said the freeze included an exemption allowing for the hiring of positions deemed critical.
The internal AOC document indicates that in recent months, the agency has assigned six temporary workers to the Office of Court Construction and Management, the division responsible for the inherited courthouses and construction projects. The rest have been stationed throughout the agency, including nine in the Finance Department and nine more in Human Resources.
Needless to say this article does nothing to repair the lack of faith or trust that court employees have for the AOC. What goes for the rest of the state in terms of layoffs, furloughs, and slashed wages doesn’t necessarily go for the AOC which appears to change the rules whenever it feels it’s appropriate for its own needs.
AOC spokesman Philip Carrizosa defended the use of temporary workers, saying the extra bodies were needed to continue important projects.
“The AOC saves money by using such workers as needed to continue work on badly needed projects even in light of the current freeze on hiring except in critical positions,” he said.
Important projects? Whatever could those “important projects be?” And why should the AOC’s “badly needed projects” be any more important than the badly needed projects and increased work loads that all of the courts have had to suffer since the inception of court closures and furloughs?
Isn’t it, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?” Except in this case everything for the AOC is good and everyone else’s goose is cooked.