Tuesday, June 9, 2009

COAST calls for Cincinnati to stop paying lazy workers

Last week, COAST reported on this story about two Cincinnati Pension department workers goofing off on the job, and breaking City rules when it comes to use of money.

Amazingly, while the City is facing a $40 million annual deficit, the City has paid the salary of these employees since January, even though they have both been suspended for poor performance.

COAST today wrote a letter to Council demanding that the City change its policies to expedite the firing of lazy City employees, and to immediately stop payments to workers who have been suspended for employment-related reasons.

The Cincinnati Enquirer today wrote this story detailing how it is common practice for deceased City employees to continue receiving pension checks months and years after their deaths. The suspended employees were responsible for purging deceased employees from the system.

Here is a summary of some of the contents of the personnel files of these suspended City workers that COAST pulled from City personnel records:
  • From January 1, 2005-January 1-2009 one severely mismanaged the City of Cincinnati's Retirement System by violating and mismanaging amounts of money up to or greater than $226,966.
  • During the time Dec. 29-2008-January 27, 2009 this same employee spent 71 hours of total work time or 52.65 of his available hours on non duty related websites as documented by the Office of Internal Audits' investigation.
  • This same employee was found not to complete assignments on time and that he was not present enough to complete the required amount of work.
  • A second employee was found to have severely mismanaged the City of Cincinnati Retirement System as evidenced by violating and mismanaging amounts of money up to or greater than $108,631.
  • This second employee failed to update 142 member's records in pension system. It was found that 254 retirees who are deceased in 2008 were still "active" in the health insurance program.
  • This employee only takes calls from known numbers. Voicemail is full. She bounces calls back to front desk frequently. Her customer service does not meet the primary goal of CRS-excellent Customer Service.
"The City's refusal to reform and cut costs is hurtling us headlong into a 2010 demand for a tax increase," said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd. "When they come knocking on the door for more taxes, we will remind them of their continuing and profligate waste."

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