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Personnel Changes Abound, Iris Molina Issued Pink Slip

January 9th, 2016 · 27 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, News and Events

Several government administrative changes took place Friday, some financial, some political, some a restructuring. Assistant Chief James Nardozzi received his walking papers, four deputy chiefs will have new schedules, City Council President Tom McCarthy, deputy director of Labor Relations, was seen cleaning out his office, but has his exit negotiation been completed? When asked, he directed OIB to discuss with his lawyer, former Mayor Tom Bucci. The length of Big Mac’s health benefits have been a sticking point in exit negotiations. Also a casualty on Friday was decades-long city employee Iris Molina, director of Social Services, notified by Director of Labor Relations Janene Hawkins her services were no longer required “as a result of budgetary constraints.”

Molina has toiled in government service for about a half dozen mayors in a variety of positions.

“The Office of Labor Relations has analyzed your bumping rights and has determined that you do not have any bumping opportunities available,” Hawkins alerted in her letter.

The pay grade for Molina’s position is $124,110-$136,519.

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27 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    I always liked Iris. Not sure exactly what she was doing these days so I can’t comment on how important her job was or wasn’t. BUT if Ganim brings back the same position at approximately the same salary, then someone will be calling Tom Bucci.
    A female Latino terminated and replaced with a different title certainly sounds like the grounds for a wrongful termination suit.

  • Bob Walsh

    Speaking of Tom Bucci, am I wrong thinking Tommy Mac could be abusing his office again if he has provided Bucci with confidential information about other severance benefits the public is not privy to?

  • Bob Walsh

    But what a joke this is!!!
    Bumping rights for someone making $140K a year? You have got to be kidding me.
    But this is the result of Fabrizi and Finch abusing the city’s collective bargaining agreements so they can protect their friends.
    If Ganim and Chris Meyer are going to reform anything they should put this high on their priority list.
    Wasn’t that way during G1.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Bubba, I don’t understand what McCarthy wants, and why would he retain an attorney? Isn’t he just another political appointee who served at the pleasure of the former mayor, being let go by the incoming administration? That’s a practice that has existed forever. I really don’t understand what makes him different from the other employees being terminated. Explain please!

      • Ron Mackey

        Lisa, I’m sure one of the main items McCarthy wants in place is his medical benefits. No one knows better than he does the real high cost union workers pay for their health benefits. In fact union workers take-home pay is not increasing because they are paying a percentage of their health benefits so any pay raise goes in for health benefits.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Thank you Ron for responding to me. I thought when an employee serves at the pleasure of the mayor, he/she is not a part of a union, and why would his benefits be any different than someone else in his position? I’m just curious, I don’t want to appear to single Tom out.

          • Ron Mackey

            Lisa, I don’t know if you remember but former Police Superintendent Joe Walsh did the same thing, exit negotiations. Mr. Bucci is Monty Hall and it’s let’s make a deal.

          • Bob Walsh

            Lisa,
            Way back when we put together this ordinance with pay ranges, anyone covered by the ordinance was not a member of a collective bargaining unit.
            When Fabrizi was leaving office he allowed many of these employees into unions to provide them protection and job security.
            Finch added more. It is a total mess today.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Just rearranging the chairs on the Titanic, fire someone in Social Services making $124,000, then creating a job for another friend in a different dept for $130,000. All these “cost cutting measures” look good in the headlines, but what are we really saving?

  • John Marshall Lee

    (services were no longer required “as a result of budgetary constraints.”)

    Somehow I thought all the changes were meant to:
    A) Respect the Charter and eliminate “conflicts of interest”
    or
    B) Eliminate folks with City jobs who were Finch political appointees with no portfolio to show their work meant anything
    or
    C) Part of re-structuring of City workflow that could be seen on a new management chart with numbers of employees doing credible and necessary work to serve the public
    or
    D) Something else?

    But what are “budgetary constraints” without an announced and overall goal? Will such language make those employed even more restrained and fearful than before? And what about those who are already facing a holdup in what they had assumed were 2-3 years or more of contract settlements that are for the moment stopped? Big picture needs revelation. Big story to follow. Short stories indicating “cost cutting measures” will pale in headlines shortly. How to do more with less money available is the “brass ring” to be reached for. From what I have seen, some of the eliminations will not serve that purpose. Time will tell.

    • Phil Smith

      It’s called using the budget to further your political goals, like dumping a highly regarded police official to please your union supporters.

  • Bob Walsh

    Phil,
    Not the newer Joey G. Maybe the original Joe but not the new. He changed.

  • Godiva2011

    I’ll preface by saying I have no expertise in labor law/negotiations, but I am going to render my interpretation of the statement made in her termination letter. “services no longer needed as a result of budgetary restraints.” By making such a statement it indicates to me the position will no longer be available for anyone and is basically being eliminated in its entirety due to lack of funding in the budget. Therefore, the Mayor cannot fill this position with another person of his choice without risking a wrongful termination suit. Anyone else agree?

  • Godiva2011

    Just curious, is this woman in a union that can represent her rights in the event her position is possibly renamed (as camouflage) and filled by another person?

  • Mojo

    *** Sounds to me like City Hall is in a bit of turmoil, no? I can understand budget-minded planned cuts of different kinds in different depts in order to help trim some of the Finch political fat. However, making cuts just to cut is another story; especially if you’re cutting some of the personal who were doing exceptional good work and were not really political cronies one way or another. Joe, you don’t have to make all your fires and hires within 60 days of being in office! Take a little time to find out who’s doing what, for what reasons, how they got the job and how long they’ve been working. Who’s worth keeping for now and who’s just city dead weight that can be let go! You need workers who will be loyal towards doing a good job and will not be a thorn in the side of the city and new Mayor’s Admin. You’re only as strong as the people around you at work and at home! *** BE A PEOPLE’S MAYOR JOE, NOT A POLITICAL ARMCHAIR GENERAL! ***

  • flubadub

    I heard Ralph Ford was making the rounds at 999 Broad Street taking a count of the number of black employees. More drama to come.

    • Mojo

      *** If this is true then it’s not good for Joe’s Admin and it shows you just what type of friend or political acquaintance Ralph is with Joe. It’s Ralph’s favorite political pastime, playing the “race card” to force the Mayor to hire more of Ralph’s hand-picked friends! Let’s hope the Mayor slows down in hiring and firing workers and really takes time to access the workforce he has now, how well they do their jobs and exactly what other positions he has available he really needs to fill! ***

  • Steven Auerbach

    Maybe they will create two $65,000 a year jobs and improve the lives of two people. Marketing and development could use a couple of aggressive individuals, no? I wish all the employees let go the best of luck.

  • Nick Celio

    I believe all these cuts are smoke and mirrors. For example, the CitiStat department now has more employees than when Finch was in office. So much for “transparent.”

    • John Marshall Lee

      Nick,
      Thanks for this ‘heads-up.’ Where do you find info that indicates CitiStat has more employees than in the day when John Gomes was on deck? It would not be unexpected to find that “efficiency” desk to be used in a productive manner, but if the G2 administration were doing that, why would they not publicize their goal and people placement? It is not because they do not have PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICIALS, is it? Time will tell.

  • Dave Walker

    At-will political appointees are NOT entitled to ANY paid benefits after they are terminated. The taxpayers have been abused enough already.

  • Wingnut

    As appointed by Clinton, what benefits do you reap from taxpayers, sir?

  • Dave Walker

    Nothing! I am not eligible for ANY federal pension or health care benefits despite over 15 years of full-time federal service and 5-plus years of part-time federal service at top executive levels! ZERO is also exactly what City political appointees should get. That is the nature of such positions.

  • Tom White

    The lessons of years of oversight by the State-appointed Financial Review Board have been unlearned.

    Easier said than done, reallocating resources in an environment dictated by union contracts and political patronage should be the top priority.

    In my opinion, funding for non-essential city services only could result in considerable savings. Enough to balance this current budget that was constructed with overstated revenues and understated expenses? Not likely.

    The more difficult task would be acknowledging so many people, mostly with ties to the DTC, are unnecessary.

    Along the lines of JML’s call for oversight of the budget, perhaps a section in the monthly budget report that details positions eliminated or altered, resulting cost savings can be introduced.

  • Mojo

    *** Iris Molina used to look for and apply for many other city, State and/or Federal grants and funding or free aid to help fund her dept so she didn’t have to ask the pending admin or B&A and city council for much during budget time. Not too many dept heads do that at city hall for their depts! ***

  • Mojo

    *** Iris will be missed! ***

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