By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Oregon’s policy for allowing government employees to work remotely in a completely different state has morphed into a system where employees simply live in sunshine states and vacation locations, never come into work and never plan to come into work. If they do come into work, they might just bill taxpayers for the cost for the travel.
The Willamette Week reports that the State Treasurer, Tobias Read, is demanding his employees show up at once a quarter and pay their own way. One government employee, who makes $115,000, says this is too much and has filed suit with SEIU union.
The Willamette Week states, “Deputy treasurer Michael Kaplan, Read’s point person on labor issues, says the agency has learned a lot about flexible working conditions from the pandemic and will continue to allow flexibility, but the department wants to be judicious.“Subsidizing the choice of where someone chooses to live is not likely something Oregon taxpayers, our pension beneficiaries, or the Legislature would accept as a cost of doing our business,” Kaplan tells WW.WHAT DO LAWMAKERS THINK?Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) has said the state should not be paying out-of-state employees’ travel costs. He thinks Read, a Democrat, is on the right track.“Both public- and private-sector workers knew the pandemic would eventually subside and some workers would need to return to their offices,” Knopp says. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be saddled with thousands of dollars in additional costs for public employees who moved to another state under temporary remote work agreements.” Read more.