Thursday, July 20, 2006

Going to work -- and -- what time is it?

Fingerprint time clock angers city works union

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The workers who patch and clear Pittsburgh's roads, maintain parks and repair public buildings may soon have to start and end their work days by being electronically fingerprinted.
News article hit on Tuesday. Heard Honz Man interview Koch Tuesday afternoon. Posted this on Wednesday. But it appears to be with a Thursday time stamp -- to prove a point.

No matter what, the technology and rules can be adusted and broken. People will out-fool the fool proof. And this isn't even billed as being fool proof.

If a worker lies about when he or she shows up and goes home -- send the person home forever. Termination would work wonders.

I happen to give the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Koch, our newest member of city council, who has been a public works employee for 25 years, when he said that there was NEVER any instance of one worker signing in for another in his Public Works Division.

But I'm all for an embrace of technology. Let's use it in an area where there will be a better bang for the buck.

A $70,000 fix for a problem that doesn't exist to much of a degree that could be fixed with a pink slip that costs a nickle is not worthy. How about if the $70k went to something more significant.

The folks in Hazelwood area I talked to a couple nights ago were tickled to get $5,000 for a ball field fix up from a grant. That came as a kid wrote a letter that talked about the horrid conditions of the fields she and her friends needed to play on. That $70 k could go a long way when applied to 14 various ball fields, for example.


Anonymous said...


There are plenty of bad apples (or I will call them sows that are in the public trough) in that crew...and the stolen gas from the public works department is proof positive of that..funny how that news story just faded away. Given the cost of gas now, that story would be major news.

Anyway, we should employ technology where it can be used and if it saves money, well then it is well worth the expense. This is no unbudgeted money that is being allocated, so I'm all for it.

IMO, the labor union says that it is a change in rules is bs, sorry guys, your gravy train is ending. Show up with your finger.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Stolen gas can't be fixed with finger print technology.

That is part of my point. The ones who will take what is not theirs will take something. So, if it is not hours -- it will be something like gas, or tools, or pavement for a driveway -- or something. There are just too many things to monitor. Give a little trust -- then when that is broken -- fire the evil do-ers.

I'm 100% in favor of the employment of technology -- as you say -- if it "saves money." If it just costs and does not have any hope of being worth the expense, then don't do it.

The $70k is $70k, budgeted or not. It is still OUR (taxpayer) money. I am NOT for spending money just because it comes from my backpocket rather than my wallet or purse.

The union thing -- I'm with you in that the gravy train needs to end. I'm okay with new rules. I'm skeptical as to them doing a BS ploy too.

But, let's be sure to do things that are really going to help.