Oregon’s bloated middle management

Oregon Transformation

The state’s largest public employee union has made multiple calls for Oregon government agencies to get control of their bloated middle management.

“Moving Oregon Forward,” a 2011 report by the SEIU, points out that the worker-to-management ratio is currently 5.7-to-1. In Texas, the ratio is 11-to-1.

A conservative estimate by the SEIU suggests that by improving the current ratio to 6.7-to-1, the state could save $22 million in the General Fund and $58 million in All Funds for the 2013 fiscal year. This would go a long way in dealing with our continuing budget shortfalls.

What the SEIU left out of their initial report was one of the largest parts of our state government: the Oregon University System. As you can see in the illustration, the management imbalance is even worse in OUS than the rest of the state government, with a worker-to-management ratio of 2.4-to-1.

Front line workers are the face of our state government and the ones that provide direct value to its citizens. Cutting bloated middle management is one way front line state workers and state services can avoid being the subject of future budget cuts.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Employee Unions, State Budget | 23 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • truetipster

    When it comes to the Oregon University System, these claims are simply absurd, because they are so misleading.  Whatever the extent of “administrative bloat” may or may not be, most of those “administrative” personnel are non-unionized service professionals — not management, middle or otherwise.  Likely examples:  campus health centers; student advising; career (job-placement) centers.  The SEIU knows this very well and is simply making an attack on non-faculty, non-union professional staff. 

  • Chana Cox

    While it is clearly true that administration has grown far too rapidly in every level of government, Truetipster’s comment is spot on.  The simple distinction between “workers” and “management” does not reflect the reality of the work being done.  The SEIU assumption is that ONLY union members work.  Are faculty not workers if they are not unionized?  

    An argument can be made that many of the non-unionized service professionals are not actually needed.  But then an argument can be made that many of the unionized workers are not needed either.  Universities, like government in general, have expanded well beyond their original mandate to educate. 

  • JoelinPDX

    You can pretty well bet that following the SEIU recommendations in its report will result in one thing: More money for the unions. Yep, state government has become entirely too bloated and a lot of the middle managers should probably just be dismissed. But somehow I get the idea that isn’t part of the union strategy for dealing with the problem.

  • NuttyProf

    Truetipster is spot on.  Just more lies.  No matter what side of the fence we are on, can’t we just all stick to the truth?  “The truth will set you free.”

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Damn! Some of those raises at UO are sweet! 

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