The Greensboro City Council got into a lengthy discussion about how to treat city employees in today’s world at the annual council retreat on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Although the discussion was long, detailed and certainly appeared to be a case of micromanaging, during the discussion held at the all-day session at Revolution Mill, councilmembers ignored one of the elephants in the room.
The discussion centered on providing employees with flexibility, with a focus on whether employees should be allowed to continue to work from home.
City employees were forced to work from home and not a single city employee was laid off because of the work restrictions during the pandemic.
It does put the city in a quandary because, during the pandemic, employees were told not only that they could effectively do their jobs from home but they had to do their jobs from home. It’s difficult to now say that they are unable to work effectively from home.
Since the City Council only has two employees, the city manager and the city attorney, it would appear that the decision about city employees working from home should be made by the city manager for the vast majority of city employees and by the city attorney for the legal department. But councilmembers weighed in with comments and suggestions about how working from home should be handled.
Another part of the discussion was about providing flexibility and benefits to employees other than pay increases to encourage them to continue to work for the city.
The City Council has been told time and time again by Greensboro police chiefs and officers that take-home police cars are considered an important benefit by police officers. The City Council has been told repeatedly that one reason the Greensboro Police Department loses trained and experienced officers to other departments is because the competing cities and counties in North Carolina offer take home police cars to their patrol officers.
Despite being told that this is a benefit for police officers that would make a difference in recruitment and retention, Greensboro still does not provide take-home police cars for all of its patrol officers.
Providing take-home police cars for patrol officers, unlike deciding exactly where employees work, is under the purview of the City Council.
It makes you wonder how committed the City Council is to public safety, which the council continues to list as one of its top priorities.
There is a remedy to the council problem. The constitution allows for impeachment if the public has lost faith in an elected official
So I drove downtown on Elm st today and couldn’t help but notice all the painted graffiti on the roadway. It’s been there for 4 years. This little area is so congested with no room to make errors or mistakes while you’re driving. I’m not sure what’s written on the road… it’s it could be black lives matter it, could be illegal lives matter, could be cops lives matter, but it completely covers the DOT approve lines on the roadway which is I believe to be a federal law. I have a hard time seeing the lines and causes a hazard to drivers. This needs to be addressed or I will file a complaint with DOT.
John, there is very limited commitment on anything from this city council.
The pandemic is over. Either return to your office or place of work or be terminated. That is how it works in the real world.
Actually, the real world has taken to remote work or at least hybrid work. Technology has come a long way. Keep up.
Just another ploy to defund the police. Who would not want a GPD auto parked in their neighborhood overnight?
This is no brainer. In my working days if my employer said return to the office and be physically accountable at work, I did just that. If not, I would have gotten swift kick in the butt out the door. There were numerous people just waiting to replace me. But times are different. The work generation of today make their own rules. They know if they are dismissed they will be compensated by government handouts. And again, who is standing outside waiting to replace them? They are standing on street corners and riding the roads living off the system.
Unemployment is at a 50 year low. Not as easy to replace employees these days. Remote work has become an employee retention strategy.
I think that they should also put to cops to one car save money and provides back up
Good idea! Where you gonna get the cops?
This council is only interested in MWBE Everything and bilking the tax payer out of as much money for their pet socialist projects as possible. They do not support the police department and have demonstrated that time after time. This council is a waste but continues to be voted into office after many instances of hiding how they do business. One of the council members waited until after the election to move into a high end retirement complex that is a non profit and pays no city or county taxes so the council member pays no city or county taxes except for vehicle taxes but continues to vote on how taxes dollars are spent.
Police officers and fire persons have to go to work. Since council members like Hightower only wants to give raises to everyone who works for the city instead of addressing the real problems with police pay and benefits it would only be fair to make everyone that works for the city to bring their ass to an office and work. Let’s make sure we treat all city employees with fairness and equity. So get to work!
The problem with this council is they don’t like or support the police. But, they are the first to call them if they need them. They are liberals who want the police to be social workers, without guns, or badges, or protective vests, etc. And the council doesn’t want to fund police take-home vehicles, but are more than ready and willing to fund local “non-profits” to ensure they get the votes they need to stay in office. If you did an investigation into the non-profits, they are probably related to each other in one way or the other. Wonder what the total income is for those on the council who supported the non-profits all these years. . . .getting “consulting” fees in return for votes.
But they don’t call 911 like you or me. They call directly to a chief or captain. Therefore m, they do not know the response time or quality of life one of the commoners receive.
Its an ID 10 T interface problem driven by a total lack of common sense and an inate desire to turn Greensboro into Portland or San Francisco.
I’m pretty sure the PD is up over 130 vacancies now. They have lost almost a dozen since the new year and at least a dozen more are in the process of being hired elsewhere. They just fired 3 for sex crimes too. That along with the inevitable Memphis backlash, and lackluster benefits package will surely inspire new recruits to seek out the mediocre agency that GPD has become. (Insert sarcastic eye roll here.) Lastly, with a grand total of 12 or so rookies about to graduate from academy, things are not looking good for the old GPD.
Meanwhile, deep inside the Ivory Tower of Police Headquarters, the GPD brain trust is about to do an emergency restructuring in an effort to stave off the effects of their staffing crisis. Make no mistake though, all they are doing is putting band aids on bullet holes. They aren’t stopping any bleeding. I guess it’s more like chopping off an arm to slow the spread of the poison after it’s already in the blood stream. They will be less effective and still be bleeding vacancies left and right, since nothing in this supposed plan addresses attrition.
All the while, City Council continues to smile and nod their approval as they defund the GPD simply by keeping their benefits subpar. Nancy even did some Fox 8 interview the other day touting the GPD’s take home car program. I can’t tell if she really thinks it exists or knows that it doesn’t and just lies to the people because she understands that they are too numb to care. Either way, that place is doomed.
And where is the police union in all of this? Sitting silently. Celebrating small losses and calling them wins. Hiding behind the skirts of the very council that has kept the agency they represent a lackluster shell of it’s former self instead of calling them out for their lies and half truths. Come on GPOA. We haven’t heard a peep from you during this entire crisis. It’s time to earn those salaries that everyone’s dues are paying for. Step up or step down.
What Union? We hear nothing from the MEC of this group. Grow a pair! Stand up for your union members, stop bowing in fear to this mayor and council. Your members need your support and direction! As a former AFL/ CIO MEC representative and current teamster we would not allow this to occur to our membership.
When I see the photo, the “Good, Bad, and the Ugly” come to mind.