My friend lives in Michigan and her husband is employed by the state prison working in the food sector. Meals for the prisoners and staff. He moved his family many years ago in order to take this job and he has been doing it over a decade.
He just got word yesterday that he and all of the others will be losing their job. Why? Because the state is ooutsourcing to private companies in order to save money. A bid was accepted and now they are just waiting to hear when their jobs will be over.
I feel terrible for my friend. They are very worried. However - I also see the other side. There are private food companies who can do this job for much cheaper than the govt was paying the current workers employed directly by them. It seems to be another case where govt workers were being paid more than the private sector and everyone thought that was great for a few years, until REALITY set in. The reality is that tax payer funding is not a bottomless pit. You have to be careful what you spend and not go all crazy feeding into demands for more benefits, more pay, more retirement money, etc. Because you are going to drain the system dry and things like this are going to happen.... Instead of keeping pay at a normal rate in line with the private sector, keeping benefits and other plans realistic and affordable (as in affordable according to the tax funding income), things went sky high and now the state can save a lot of money by canning it's own employees and hiring private companies instead at a set contract amount. It's really not a surprise.
If things had been kept realistic, perhaps these people would not be out of a job. If for a decade they have been making more than the private sector, things might be different. Or, for example, if they were not unionized (which they are because my friend mentioned union dues and how she thought they were supposed to help protect and fight for the jobs), perhaps the workers could have been offered something in line with the private sector wages and given the choice to keep their jobs but at lower pay and benefits.... but there is no choice now, they will lose their jobs.
It's been happening in Alberta at the provincial level and across Canada at the federal level too as govts try to reign in some of their spending. I think they could do a little more work like cutting down the ridiculous wages their top execs receive, but the fact remains that there are too many workers, too much money wasted and not enough to replace it. I have posted before about a cousin complaining that two people in his partner's office lost their jobs for the federal govt under Health Canada. But previously, he had posted that since his partner took the new job, he had helped save a ton of money for the region by being more efficient with how it was spent. I suggested that perhaps the other two who had been there much longer were canned because the govt realized how much money was wasted under their watch, proven by the newest worker, and therefore they were turfed. In effect, his partner set those wheels in motion by highlighting how much waste there was.
I have posted about people I know in my city who may lose their jobs under tightening of the belts for where money goes in the childcare sector. Only problem - I am not sympathetic because I have no idea why this person got this job in the first place. It didnt exist more than 5 years ago and we all got along just fine without a coordinator of services, because that's what she was. She worked for 5 years, raking in a good salary, which means she and any other coordinators across the province took that much money OUT of the pot before it reached the children and their families. I want that money back IN the pot. I dont pay taxes out of my behind in order to hire more adults to do jobs that do not seem necessary. I pay it to help people out or do things that are totally necessary and needed and benefit ALL. If I am going to be forced to pay taxes, I want to be sure that the money is used properly and efficiently. It hasnt been, and now the noose is tightening. The US is in far more debt than we are up in Canada, and they have a LOT of work to do in order to chop and save and curtail the spending. We ain't seen nothing yet. I feel for the families, but too many thought that having a govt job guaranteed their security for life. Things are changing partially because of that attitude and it's going to get worse. It's sad and scary but it HAS to happen that things are sorted out or we are all going down the toilet whether we work for the govt or not.