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.