Thursday, May 5, 2011

State workers disparaged

Posted on Thu, May 5, 2011 at 4:00 AM

I am a state employee looking for work. I enjoy my job now as a research analyst, I like my coworkers, and I am generally happy here. I do not, however, seem to deserve the respect of the 62nd Montana Legislature, led by the Republican Party. For this reason, I write this open letter to any employer who will reward me for my skills, knowledge, abilities, motivation, and success.

One argument the legislative leadership made was that our state salaries were much higher than the average Montanan’s. While this may be true, I have an economics degree and two years of postgraduate work in communication studies. I have worked as an economist, regulatory analyst, government affairs director for a local building industry association, and now a research analyst. I have also taught myself Bayesian econometrics, data mining, and GIS mapping over the last year. In addition to these self-taught skills, I excel with SQL, Crystal Reports, MS Office, and the statistical package R. I have worked on performance metrics, economic analysis for policy makers, coalition building, cost estimates, and data quality assurance. Such unique and specialized skills are not available to the average Montanan but are ubiquitous to the average state employee. The legislative leadership argued that no one in their districts got raises. No one? That is difficult to believe. Ultimately, though, I’m not looking for a new job to get higher wages, I’m looking for a new job that rewards me. I’m a motivated self-starter who could make nearly twice as much in salary in the national market. I love Montana, however, and would like to stay.

The legislative leadership wanted more spending cuts so everyone’s tax dollars could be used for fewer services than they receive now—not lower taxes. I have a much stronger sense of civic duty than the leadership. I strive to provide the best, peer-reviewed work possible to my management so that it may serve the public. Improvements and customer service development drive most of my work. I want to work for someone who values these ideas too, rather than someone who’d prefer I cut corners and do more with less.

Is my request for a new job unreasonable? Do I come off sounding whiney? Consider for a moment the scrutiny state employees face. Consider that our paychecks are used as pawns by people you elect—not our management! I love my job. I love Montana. I would love to work for someone who appreciates that and rewards me accordingly, not someone who dismisses me and my work based on ideology.

If my skills, knowledge, and abilities interest you, please feel to contact me. My résumé is ready. If you have a job for me, I’ll be handing my notice to the state and walking out the door.

Ryan Morton


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