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Voice: Don't blame IID employees for non-action on cost-cutting

May 06, 2002

In response to your April 23 "opinion" I would like to present to one and all a more realistic version of your statements.

I agree with one of your points. The Imperial Irrigation District does have a history of letting any survey, study or fact-finding endeavor just die and fade from memory.

First, let's establish the fact that employees follow policy, not enforce it. The opposition to change may come from some employees and more likely from most of management, not as your "opinion" suggests.

I have been present at IID Employee Association meetings where employees have brought up that suggestions about efficiency and waste have been brought to management types. The employees are greatly disappointed that these things continually fall on deaf ears. Might this have an effect on morale?

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It is ridiculous to suggest that employees wish to control board elections, even if they could include their spouses. Please do the math. Presently IID may have 1,200 employees, maybe 80 percent registered, with probably 50 percent regularly casting a vote. On our last IID board elections all candidates received over 5,000 votes.

Statistics don't lie, but you can lie with statistics. Your claim of the average IID worker making $50,000 per year is such a statistic. Very few "workers" make that kind of money. The IID at best might have 10-12 percent of employees that may reach that level of income. These, of course, are the technical types in generation, distribution and communication. It is a well-known fact these people are underpaid when compared to a utility of comparable size.

Comparing the IID to the county employees is not fair to either side, but it does inflate your claims. In order to keep this kind of technical know-how, we must pay for their skills. You would need to lump all of management-type positions to approach IID "worker" average income to $50,000. Low wages is the main reason the Power Department. has trouble getting journeyman linemen or technical types to come from other utilities to work for IID's comparable low wage level.

I suggest you find out a bit more about official and actual practice of A and B car assignments and reimbursements for mileage.

The public does have a right to know. Let them read an unbiased and factual truth.

RICHARD MARQUEZ

Imperial

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