Thursday, October 6, 2011

Every position at Metro charity downgraded to "coordinator" or "specialist"

Down is the new up
All the jobs at Metro Social Services have been changed. Yesterday, the charity announced to staff that almost all of its employees would be downgraded from manager and officer levels to coordinator and specialist levels. Those who are already coordinators or specialists will now become volunteers. The plan, created by the Human Resources and Finance specialists (formerly, the directors of those departments), will save the charity nearly half-a-million dollars in payroll costs.

"This is really going to make up for our recent government funding cutbacks," said Leadership Specialist and former Executive Director Sue Snidely. "By reclassifying each person's job at the lowest paid level possible we'll be getting much more bang for the buck."

Under the new system, the manager of community services will become the community services coordinator and the manager of client education will come the learning specialist. The fundraising officer will become a fundraising coordinator and the ten community services officers will become the services specialists.

Snidely says the charity will save at least $47,000 and a free parking space by downgrading her to a specialist classification. Under the new system, she will be expected to do the same work at roughly half the salary and two weeks less vacation.

"I'm really excited about this change, especially about getting new business cards," said Snidely. "I'm sure I can do an even better job with less compensation."

Ten employees will now be full-time volunteers. Snidely says reclassifying them was a bit more tricky. "After we downgraded everyone to the lowest possible level we had a very strange organizational chart. Something had to give. Then I had a brainwave and we came up with the idea of downgrading the existing coordinators and specialists all the way to volunteer status. That way, they'll still be beneath me in the hierarchy."

The one student placement position was handled by changing their classification to that of indentured servant. "They pretty much are slaves anyway," noted Snidely.

Snidely said the impact on morale has been very positive. "The staff have all been worried about what impact the government cutbacks would have on us. Now, they can rest assured that they all will be able to keep their jobs," she said. "When I told them at a big staff meeting they were all silent. That's the kind of determined spirit I was expecting from them."

Another part of the new system will involve adding more administrative tasks to the new coordinators and specialists. Each person will now be expected to clean their own part of the office, empty their own garbage and scrub their part of the floor with the charity's polisher once a week.

A second part of the plan, which begins next month, will see the charity's clients downgraded to "people seeking information instead of services". That is expected to save the charity another half-million dollars.