Just got off the phone with SEIU 1020's RObert Haaland, who apologized for misreading the data, which we have now posted online, so all you budget wonks can go nuts and help us ordinary morals understand the City's hiring trends over the past decade.
Haaland now believes Newsom's manager to worker hiring ratio is more like 5:1, not 10:1, as previously blogged.
As Haaland told me, Controller Ben Rosenfeld just clarified that it's important to look at the gross number, not net number, which in the case of SEIU 1021, bumps up new positions to 771, and not 113 positions.
That said, Haaland still maintains there is a "a massively disproportionate number of managers, compared to workers," being hired.
"The justification being given to me is that the Municipal Executives Assocation accepted the furloughs, so they got new positions," Haaland claimed. "But at the same time they are saying that most of these "new positions' are in fact reclassifications, not new monetary positions, and tthat there are in fact only 14 or 15 actual new positions. But from our perspective, going from a manager to an executive is like being given a promotion or a raise, because it's up to Human Resources to set the salary."
Haaland further argues that if you look at the last three years worth of hiring data, and not just this year's bad budget year, then you can more clearly see a citywide trend of hiring more managers than front line workers.
Either way, this story continues to unfold, so stay tuned, and feel free to reply to this posting, with your insights into the true meanings hidden within the numbers. (And to think, they promised us that there would be no math!)
For instance, as Geoff Goodman, a research analyst with SEIU 1021, just emailed, the confusion comes from the fact that the Controller's report breaks out "adjusted" numbers for SEIU, but only gives "unadjusted" figures for executive management positions.
Using these numbers, say Goodman,, the number of funded positions for top-management, represented
by Municipal Executives Association, has increased by 45.2 percent in the last 10 years.
But if unrepresented management employees, who have grown at an even faster rate, are included this number climbs to 50.2 percent.
In contrast, the funding for the front line service workers that SEIU 1021 represents has risen a modest 6.5 percent over the entire 10-year period.
"In sum, " writes Goodman, "the number of high-paid top-management positions has grown at a rate of more than 7 times that of front line workers directly involved in delivering services, who earn some of the lowest wages in the city."