Friday, January 14, 2011

TYC, DPS gave administrators untimely pay hikes

The Texas Youth Commission earned the ire of legislators and many of its employees this week with revelations that the agency gave raises to its highest paid central office staff, all of whom make over $100K, reports Mike Ward at the Austin Statesman. "What the hell were they thinking?" asked state Sen. John Whitmire. “The state doesn’t have the money now to be paying for big raises like these, especially for employees who are making more than $100,000,” he told Ward.

In the comments, Don Dickson of the Texas State Troopers Association (a frequent Grits commenter) points out that the Department of Public Safety did the same thing last year. Another commenter referenced this article from WFAA-TV in Dallas giving more detail about the DPS pay hikes, which ranged from 21-43% for top brass, compared to 3.5-10% for top employees at TYC.

TYC's timing was worse, but DPS' raises arguably are just as problematic. DPS' real salary shortfall is with frontline troopers, not top brass. At the Texas Public Policy Foundation event yesterday, Whitmire mentioned that DPS troopers are 300 officers short of full staffing because their pay isn't competitive with larger Texas police departments. Giving raises to brass while front-line troopers' jobs remain vacant because they pay below market rates makes no more sense than the raises at TYC. Given legislators' reaction to TYC raises, I wonder if they'll demand DPS roll back recent administrator pay hikes as well?

MORE: From a discussion forum at the Texas State Troopers Association:
This what the Legislature needs to know:

In 2008, DPS had 9 employees making over $100K per year and 26 employees making over $90K per year. By 2010, DPS had 49 employees making over $100K per year and 57 employees making over $90K per year. The salary for DPS Officers from the rank of Trooper through Captain remained the same, the positions at DPS receiving the huge 25% to 43% pay raises were Directors,Commanders, Majors, and Managers, and many of those positions were newly created positions.

143 comments:

Robert Langham said...

Activities like this are why Texans think their government is still full of fat and waste. This raises the guys PAY at the worst possible time, and also their retirement.

Anonymous said...

Why is Whitmire so incensed? He only gets this way after the fact. He ought to have a better handle of things. Where was he when Rissie Owens, Chair of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, got a monster pay raise a couple of months ago. Damn, I'm so tired of his whining. Laurence Coleman, his criminal justice man in his office, should know about these things.

JuanValerioAntonio said...

Townsend defends the raises as necessary because the executive staff are "doing more work." In my nine year service to the agency, I was never able to use that rationale to get a raise. It's funny that the logic that applies to the top dogs doesn't apply to the rank-and-file.


It's also a fallacy to argue that these raises are necessary for retention. Most of these high-level managers are career state workers. They aren't going to hop to the private sector and abandon their rule-of-80. They have about three employment options on all the planet. Curtailing raises in this down economony won't lead to their departure.

Val Antonio
-Attorney at Law
-Ex TYC employee (CCS programmer)

Anonymous said...

One of those guys doesn't even have a college degree and, in my opinion, is totally incompetant. Those people's function is to make sure nothing but sunshine is pumped up the backsides of the lege. Apparently, they have done a good job, so maybe they do deserve the raises.

Anonymous said...

This is probably the most demoralizing article I ever read about TYC. It really shines a light on TYC's administration. Two words come to mind: corrupt and greed. This decision is irresponsible at best, and IMO, a reason to oust the brass, and place TYC back in conservatorship. I know many that work there that haven't seen a merit increase in over four years despite absorbing the duties of those laid off under a RIF. In fact, everyone that's left TYC Central Office for a non-RIF reason hasn't been replaced. Townsend says there are budget concerns. Well now, we all know what those concerns were - they were concerned about padding their own freaking wallets! What a shame. I bet there are lots of folks who are just outraged over this bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I recall many years ago hearing that some of the top DPS officials had fully equipped patrol vehicles that were only used for commuting back and forth to work. These individuals had no patrol duties and did not respond to calls. Does anyone know if this is still the case. It seems that is one place they could cut the budget.

Anonymous said...

From the Statesman:
"The disclosure triggered immediate anger among legislative leaders, who revealed that they are considering a plan to require many state employees to take a pay cut — 5 percent for those who make more than $50,000 a year, 10 percent for those who make more than $100,000 a year."

Here we go again with "shotgun approach" by the legislature. The definition of insanity is to keep doing something over and over again that never works.

Anonymous said...

If Townsand is defending the raises due to "doing more work" why aren't the field workers receiving pay raises? Ever since the RIFs and vacant positions the non-executive staff have had to add to the "other assigned duties section". So why did TYC notify the staff that NO MERIT raises whould be avaiable?

Charity said...

As a parent of a TYC inmate I was disgusted when I read this news. I have been trying for four years to get him better treatment and they always tell me how underfunded they are.....bullshit.

DarthVelma said...

I'm not at all surprised to see that my former boss (a holdover who has been with the agency for years) was not among those who got a whopping raise. I'm not mentioning the department, but she's at the same level as those who did get raises. Guess it's all about who you know.

I've only been gone from Central Office for about 3 years and I don't recognize any of those names. Wowee.

Anonymous said...

"I've only been gone from Central Office for about 3 years and I don't recognize any of those names."

That's because none have been in office for more than three years yet Townsend calls them "tenured." What a joke huh?

And everyone thought Cherie Townsend was a steal when she came on board, and as it turns out, she's a crook. Warns the TYC of budget woes coming, future RIFs and cutbacks, no merit increases and so forth, then behind closed doors pads her staff's salaries. It's just plain ass corrupt as all can get and she needs to be removed from office.

Anonymous said...

Same ole' TYC. Roll back these raises and fire Townsend for her continued incompetence.

Anonymous said...

I was talking to some employees who say that a committee from Central Office, called themselves the operations review team will be in Houston all this week to figure out their jobs. This is a one week retreat to figure out their jobs, if this is true an investigation should happen. If you have to justify your existence, good probability you do not need this team.
Not to mention they had 15 employees who had to fly in or travel long distances, overnight and per diem for a week. The questions begs, who is running the show, and why is this occurring during a budget crunch. This is second hand information and I cannot verify the truth of this, but would like someone to look into it.

Anonymous said...

10:24

Dumbass, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results...Crawl back into your hole.

Anonymous said...

"What the hell were they thinking?" asked state Sen. John Whitmire. “The state doesn’t have the money now to be paying for big raises like these, especially for employees who are making more than $100,000,” he told Ward.

What do you expect Whitmire? You budget these agencies the money so you don't think they are going to spend it? Don't want it spent on pay raises? Line item it and tell each agency so!

Yes Mr. Whitmire, what were you and other leges thinking in 2009when you required my school district to give all teachers a one time $800 pay increase?

My district doesn't have the money either but you said we had to do it and who had to pay for it? School district taxpayers. Even with the so called school property tax cuts it was estimated that it would cost $9 billion more over two years than taxes meant to offset them would bring in.

Where were you and the lege when TYC spent that large sum of money on officer furniture and remodeling?

Most state employees got an 8% pay raise during the last session while the overwhelming majority of Texans saw nothing of the sort.

To you state employees out there....You don't like what your making? Quit and see how hard it is to find another job. Matter of fact, I'll help you pack.

One more thing Mr. Whitmire...I'm more concerned with the fact that you spent $90,000 of your campaign contributions on tickets to Astros, Rockets and Texans games.

Your comment sir as to these pay raises makes me wonder "what were you thinking?"

Anonymous said...

This week myself and approx 30 other Central Office employees were called to a meeting by Mr. Smith. In this meeting we were told that most of you will no longer be here but we will try and find you jobs out in the field. One of the employees asked about a position that is being interviewed today, a Manager IV that pays over $5000 a month, if the interview process will continue based upon the fact that some if not most in this room will lose their job. Mr. Smith said, "well of course we will interview for this position".
I am a single parent and I know most in this room have similar hardships, but to say on one hand we will lose our jobs but you will not freeze this job or at least wait to see the fall out, is one of the most un-caring irresponsible things a "Leader" of this agency could do. Ms. Townsend were you aware of this

Anonymous said...

Last August, Townsend sent an e-mail to all TYC employees announcing that several field staff would receive a 3.5 percent increase, and then announced "Employees who are not eligible for this adjustment include teachers, Teacher Aides hired before 9/1/99, OIG criminal investigators whose salary is based on parity with Salary Schedule C, and all employees physically located at Central Office or Central Office Annex."

So no one in Central Office got the increase. So to circumvent that order by the ledge, she goes behind closed doors and quietly takes care of her people. This is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

1:31.......you are in a common situation with state, county and local governmental entities......cuts need to start at the top, not at the bottom......that's the problem in Texas school district administrations too!

Anonymous said...

I bet you could fire everyone of those people that got the raises and the agency would still run as smooth as it is now, if not smoother.

Anonymous said...

Merge all state law enforcement agencies under DPS and do away with those agency administrators.

Anonymous said...

1/14/2011 12:29:00 PM wrote:
- - -
Dumbass, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results...Crawl back into your hole.
- - -

And, the current action of the lege in a blanket cut of salaries is a different approach than they took before with a blanket RIF that fixed nothing? The lege is insane, and you need to tell your mommy to wash your mouth out with soap.

Anonymous said...

Where are the priorities?

Just another example of how pay amongst adminstrators dispares with line worker pay

I hope this link will post. It's at the Texas Tribune in case it doesn't. This is alarming. A school superintendent with 33 students making 100K. Just one of many examples. Lets not even mention football coaches.

Texas lege.......It's time for some relief here!

How Does Your School Superintendent's Pay Compare?

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/how-does-your-school-superintendents-pay-compare/

Anonymous said...

The 90% of the commissioned employees in DPS live on a salary of 45-65K per year depending on years of service. It takes 20 pluse years of service to reach a 65K salary. This includes all ranks of Trooper, Sergant pay grades including Agents, and Texas Rangers. Meanwhile the top brass of DPS, those Major and above have salaries ranging from 90-215K per year after their 20-40% pay raise they recieved in 2009. They have no investigative or law enforcement duites. They spend their day telling everyone else what to do. They call themselves managers or directors. Placing more workload on the Troopers, Agents and Rangers. If anyone needs a pay cut it is the brass. If the Leg cuts the pay of Troopers, Agents and Rangers they will see a mass vacancies at DPS. DPS already has 386 vacancies as of last months PSC meeting. The attrition rate is 10-15 officers per month due to workload, poor working conditions and poor benefits. These true officers are some of the most overworked and underpaid employees I have ever seen. The workload and travel requirments these officers are placed with is unreal.

Anonymous said...

2:46.....I'm surprised you don't want some cost of living consideration considering the difference in cost of living depending on where you live.

When you retire, don't you draw about 80-85% of that 65k figure? Is your medical insurance paid for while working? What about at retirement? How much is that training DPS gave you worth when you go into the private sector? You know like accident reconstruction, fderal motor carruier safety coordinators, heads of private security for companies, etc? And what about that retire-rehire program...you know drwawing your retirement while still working?

Do you need help packing while you look for that other job?

Anonymous said...

2:54.....2:46 here to reply. You are correct about DPS retirement and health benefits. DPS has a rule of 80 like all state agencies. The retire - rehire program has been put on hold and is very limited in its uses. You are correct the education that DPS has given its officers is outstanding, that is why it is important to retain those officers, the rank and file who conduct the investigations, and provide police services to Texas. DPS spends thousands of tax payer money educating those officers. Once DPS officers reach 10-20 yrs of experience they have all the training they need to go into the private sector and make more money. However it is vital to have those experienced officers to conduct investigations, training, patrol and all aspects of police duties. We have all dealt with a young rookie officer and an older experienced one. Most of the time things go better with the experienced one. DPS is suffering from the same problems as many State agencies, low pay and increased work load on the rank and file while management enjoys a very large salary. Morale is low at DPS due to this hence the large number of vacancies and high attrition rate, which in turn puts more work on those who stay. It is a vicious cycle. Can you blame a guy for taking his knowledge, elsewhere for better pay and working enviroment. These are decisions the legislature faces.

Anonymous said...

To the tyc employee's. I'm getting tired of reading comments directed to the youth like misfit's.It keeps showing me the true nature of the agency. And why it is sunk.These misfits is the reason you even have a salary(job).And yes, as I agree Admin salary is to high when their just the paper pusher's, and the lower level people dealing with the youth are getting paid low wages.I feel is sickening. But does any of it matter at this point? They will be out of a job soon.Not sad about that. But am sad for the few good employee's whom dont see the youth as misfit's.And not sad to see the employee's go whom cant see these youth has kept them a job for this long.And if you can take 2 minutes of your day to talk crap in blogging about the youth. Then how are you treating them in a 8 hour day.Glad it's going goodbye!

Anonymous said...

Just imagine this same snafu multiplied by however many state agencies there are, plus the staffs of the elected. It's a rigged kleptocracy (remember when DPS wouldn't turn over their illegal surplus collected from the CCL administration?) that eats tax dollars collected at gunpoint.

Anonymous said...

so what ever happens to any of you guys at tyc, "don't take it personally." this is what i was told in 2007 when i was riffed.

if you get riffed, you quickly learn who is your friend and who is not your friend. i have not really talked to anyone since, so i do not really have any friends from 2007 tyc. you may experience not having any friends from those that you thought were your friends my experience was brutal and wrong. i have learned that a moral compass is needed. and i think a moral compass was and is lacking at tyc. i wish i could figure out a way to talk those that are likely to loose their jobs. i believe that many of you will have an experience that will be traumatic and that getting riffed will have a profound effect on you.

Anonymous said...

State jobs are mostly about feathering your own little nest, especially your retirement. Your underlings are disposable.

Anonymous said...

This is the end of the American dream, we will loose the worlds reserve currency , then comes the collapse , The government knows this and is trying to get every piece of gold before jumping ship. There is no hope. the government is feeding off innocent people. What more do you need for evidence? I owe 13 thousand dollars in surcharges all born from one no insurance ticket! They want every dollar left until the dollar is worthless. I'm 29 years old with severe heart problems because of this stress Ive caused in my irresponsibility. I'm just glad i will die soon from heart failure and not witness the full nightmare you all will!! The finical experts estimate, report that china and Europe will shift the worlds reserve currency from the dollar to the euro or a new system in 2 years!! what happens then? So whats the solution, There is none ! unless you can rebuild a empire of industry like we once had before we sold our souls!!! no we are all liars and scam artist and the rest of the world is getting tired of our lies. but hey i hope im wrong then my dying words will be hot air forgotten! i can only prey that that this is the case !! so now i live in fear of the DPS if they take me to jail i loose everything and Will rebel and fight who cares about the outcome , I'm dead anyway! the EKG i took at a free trial for pain medication came back very negative ! I can't wait to die! I have a disgust for all of you ! your selfish desires and Greed will get the best of all of you! i am no better , all i wanted was 9.00 dollars an hour to fix computers and a small space to rest and call home but they took that away ! damn i need another drink my chest hurts! I'm getting too worked up over all this , Nothing i say matters! my iq of 140 would say your such a fucking moron for letting life walk all over you! but i enjoy the pain and only ask for more , you fuckers who think your throne of gold is forever are about to be in for a major shock! i hope Im around long enough to see all you loose !

Professional response

I know none of this will make any sense to you. You will imminently pawn me off in a category that society has created to protect itself from disobedience. Fine i am that person , I don't believe in what the authority dictates. i am a critical thinker i find the leads myself and come to my own conclusions and ideas! This is insane! OR am I

Anonymous said...

"At the Texas Public Policy Foundation event yesterday, Whitmire mentioned that DPS troopers are 300 officers short of full staffing because their pay isn't competitive with larger Texas police departments. Giving raises to brass while front-line troopers' jobs remain vacant because they pay below market rates makes no more sense than the raises at TYC."

Question Grits....If lawmakers set the DPS budget and state employee salary schedules every two years, isn't Whitmire talking out of both corners of his mouth?

One other note. The Texas State Auditor’s Office put the problem in black and white week with a review comparing state law enforcement salaries to those of local police in departments with more than 1,000 officers.

How many departments are there in Texas with over 1000 employees versus those under 1000? under 500?
under 100? under 50? How about less than 10 or 5?

Many state troopers work in rural counties with sheriff offices and police departments with low personnel numbers, low salaries, disparate retirement and health benefits, poor equipment, poor or no training and hours of work because of the personnel numbers and are not eligible for overtime under FLSA (less than 5 law enforcement employees.)

And is the case with many of these rural agencies, they lose personnel to DPS because of better wages and benefits! Go figure that!lving door

Anonymous said...

Facilities would run the same without them all - in fact, what do they do? What happened to people working for a cause? Shouldn't ALL state employees be public servents and expect to work for pennies on the dollar anyway. After a decade of public service and knowing many others eligible for merit increases and continually denied my personal disgust is beyond what I ever thought it could be and further proof of continued corruption and waste of tax payer dollars.

Anonymous said...

They should be required to return theses funds to the state in addition to the cuts that r coming just like the bank executives had to do after they rec;d fat bonuses right after getting federal bail-out funds. Also these positions should be capped and controlled/regulated by the taxpayor, governer, whittenburg or somebody - visibly they can write their own ticket - Townsend should be removed for permitting such a thing.

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of college graduates who can't find a job right now at all who could spin in their office chair many circles faster than the big eight and would do so happily every day for a whole hell of a lot less money.

Anonymous said...

Right on 9:37!

Anonymous said...

Looks like to me since the big wigs in Austin are working so hard they deserve a raise, they might need to actually come and work at a facility directly with the kids and actually earn that money. Many of us talked today and feel like a bunch of idiots since we've been working a lot of extra hours and giving the state free time because we were told there is no money in the budgt---what a joke. I happen to be one of the many that do the job because of the kids--it's a good thing TYC still has staff like that because that crooked, underhanded stunt with the raises would have made many of us walk off the job. How about those of you in Austin that received the big raises, not giving a second thought to people killing themselves out in the field to make you look good, buy the staff matching shirts that say "SUCKER."

Anonymous said...

Anyone stupid enough to still work for TYC deserves to be labeled 'sucker'. This idiotic state of affairs has benn going on for ten years. If you stayed with this dreadful agency in this condition you asked to be abused. Don't ask for understanding; you made your bed with these Austin criminals, so shut up and abuse more kids.

Anonymous said...

All Staff at TYC should just walk out and let CO big money run the dorms.
Townsend, just lost any and all respect from the underpaid workers at TYC. Shut er down and do in now!

Anonymous said...

Okay, now listen up, TYC has been interviewing this week for various jobs, Manager IV, 2 Quality Assurance jobs, not to mention the PS III in CO. Manager IV reports to Dr Robinson, QA jobs report to Terri Dollar, and the PS III reports to James Smith.
Question, if TYC is downsizing why are they moving forward with these jobs? Leadership is surely needed at this point, you cannot tell staff we are down sizing and continue to hire for jobs based out of Central Office. If you have 250 CO based jobs now, and have told these people they will be gone, whats wrong with this picture. A true leader would have all job hiring from this point forward go to their office and hold the line.
Now, for us line staff out in the field, we would like to know how you can tell us one week to hold the line on over time and spending but then turn around and give raises to your top 8 employees? You are lacking in any creditability at this point. Maybe a retreat for all the top brass is in line for you to set your priorities and your vision for the agency before you move forward, and then actually follow through with these priorities. The wind of change is in the air and sadly most of you are clueless to what is about to take place.

Anonymous said...

Is this what Townsend means when she says she will be open and honest and keep us informed? Is staff really the most important asset TYC has or is it just CO staff? Now I see why she continually says we (the field) need not worry about the budget crisis or staff cuts and facility closings and focus on doing our jobs to the best of our ability. That way, we won't notice when she gives her cronies in CO pay raises. TYC hasn't changed a bit. Different crooks running the show is all.

Anonymous said...

Staff cannot be the most important asset when Central Office jobs are being interviewed to day and this week, while James Smith tells current CO staff their jobs are in jeopardy.
If Ms. Townsend really would like to save in creditability in this fiasco she needs to stop this madness. An all week retreat for the ORT team in Houston this week, after reading an earlier post I followed up on this and it is true. 15 members of the Operational review Team had a week long retreat in Houston, I thought we were in fiscal straights? Who approved this and why would you approve this. Executives telling CO employees they may loose their jobs but you move forward interviewing for vacant jobs in CO!! Someone needs to step up and do it pretty quickly, stop allowing your trusted divisional leaders to make these type of decisions.

Anonymous said...

At 10:46 "Many of us talked today and feel like a bunch of idiots since we've been working a lot of extra hours and giving the state free time because we were told there is no money in the budgt---what a joke."

Unless you meet the FLSA definitions of executive adminstrative or professional, you are eligible for overtime. To say you are working for free is absurd unless of course, you fall under one of those mentioned categories.

If you don't fall under one of the three, you should contact the US Department of Labor and file a complaint.

Anonymous said...

They drove a bunch of rats out of TYC in 2007. That was good news. Now, who do we have running the place?

Anonymous said...

Rick Bishop has not even been with TYC a year yet but yet he has a raise already?

Cherie Townsend said it's OK to give these people a raise because they're doing extra duties because of less staff? There is less staff because TYC's population is less than half of what it use to be.

Shameful, especially to those in TYC that have been with this one agency for a long time that barely make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

7:41 I don't think you are insane, but I think you need someone with a sympathetic ear to listen. A lot of people are going through a tough time these days, but yours seems to be a little tougher. As a critical thinker, you probably aren't very religious, but there are many clergy men and women that will offer a free ear. You don't have to believe to have someone listen with a sympathizing heart. It's just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

We had a new supervisor for about a month, Tim Howard, director of parole and halfway houses and he quit last week. Could it be because he was with us only a month and did not get the in house raise that others were getting?
I wish I knew, he really seemed to care and understand the situation we were in. Once again we have no one over these critical area's and we are saying step down programs are the most important to the youth. Why would a person with his credentials leave after just one month, we really would like to know, and by the way this has never been announced, why is that?

Anonymous said...

Most of the time incompetence exposes itself. Funny how that happens. If incompetence was illegal, we would have to build many more prisons to house the so called administrators. There is consequences for mis-management even though there is none for student misbehavior. Maybe this could be a lesson for the youth to learn from. Thanks for the teaching moment.

Anonymous said...

I think Freakonomics illustrates the problem well in the explanation for why drug dealers live at home with their moms. They quoted an OG who said something to the effect that you can't share too much of your wealth with your subordinates or they'll think you're weak and s--t. That's the mentality of most bureaucrats. The unmitigated arrogance of Townsend to think she and her inner circle deserved a 5 to 10% raise when no one in the field has ever received more than a 3.5% is gangster mentality. What she did might be legal, but it is reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

With this one action, Cherie has been fatally damaged and will probably retire or be terminated before the session is over.

Anonymous said...

Hey, bring Haris back to run TYC, since he was so honest and looked out for staffers. He and his cronnies are better than Sherry and her thugs.

Anonymous said...

Pay raises for those at the top (and for those below them who kiss and cover their a$$es) go on in our state agencies because there is no accountability. It's great this came to the attention of legislators, but our state agencies are such a mess (incompetant "leadership") that I don't forsee anything changing. Townsend will likely have to go, because problems are not supposed to come to light (that's what the big bucks are for).

The Texas Tribune has a site that lists all state workers' salaries. Just type in the name.

Don Dickson said...

Grits, thanks for noticing my comment in the Statesman. Wow, wish I had noticed your blog entry before it generated 48 responses!

Over the summer I was interviewed by a reporter for WFAA-TV in Dallas about pay raises and new hires in DPS management. I pointed out to him that the new hires were largely dictated by the recommendations of the Sunset Commission last session, and the million-dollar management study conducted by Deloitte Consultants, all of whom believed, (and with substantial justification), that the DPS org chart was much too vertical.

I told the WFAA reporter that the Department had probably benefitted by many of these hires and by flattening its org chart, and that if it was going to be hiring a bunch of assistant directors and deputy directors and assistant deputies and deputy assistants, it was somewhat refreshing to see the Public Safety Commission and the Department brass committed to paying competitive wages to attact good people.

Well, despite my defense of these actions, PSC Chairman Allan Polunsky just about bit my head off in public session for also making the point that there was growing resentment among Troopers, "where the rubber meets the road," who see all these swivel-chair-jockeys getting fat raises and breathtaking salaries while their own standard of living remains stagnant or actually declines as their health care costs rise precipitously.

I honestly don't begrudge a lot of these folks the salaries they're getting. DPS needs a lot of administrators, and it might as well attract and retain good ones with competitive wages and benefits. My only point is that it is long past time for the state to make the same commitment to its commissioned officers.

(And when you contrast DPS with the game wardens, who earn the same pay and benefits but have zero commissioned vacancies and no recruiting problems, you start to wonder if it ain't the working conditions that are really at the crux of the matter.)

BTW, DPS is now nearly 400 officers short, and continues to lose them faster than it can recruit new ones and grind them out of recruit schools (which also have very high attrition rates).

Anonymous said...

Whitmire is confused or hard of hearing. He heard someone say he's a demagogue and he thought they said demigod.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:07....... TPWD is not just about game wardens but more about attracting tourism. Currently the TPWD is more interested in game than in parks, more interested in hunting and fishing than in taking care of our parks. Over the past three bienniums, the Texas State Legislature has cut parks spending. Parks receiving less funding can’t grow, can’t improve, can’t even maintain themselves. Needed cost-cutting measures are forcing park officials to make do with inferior equipment, fire employees and occasionally even close.

While park funding continues to suffer, game warden salaries increase.

How many commissioned officers is TPWD authorized versus what DPS is authorized?

BTW and you probably know this, TPWD is very political when it comes to hiring. You got to know someone to get in, I mean politically know someone. Someone has got to pull some real strings for you to even be considered!

TPWD parks are the ones who are the stepchildren of that organization. Very

Don Dickson said...

I don't know the total strength of TPWD's commissioned officer force, but I figure it's a few hundred game wardens. The game wardens are a completely separate animal from the rest of TPWD, they're purely a law enforcement group, and I think they're largely insulated from the policy matters you mentioned. You say that TPWD hiring is highly politicized....I don't have any knowledge of that, but I do know that it's very difficult to get an invitation to the game warden academy. They turn away several applicants for every one they accept. And together with DPS and TABC their commissioned officers are on the Schedule C salary chart. I think it's worth asking why one agenda has no vacancies, no recruiting or retention or morale issues, and another agency offering the same pay and benefits has big problems on all three fronts.

Anonymous said...

easy fix, fire them all without pensions. That will make up for the extra bucks on the paychecks.

Anonymous said...

What baffles me is that TYC supervisors , come time for our evaluations, say there is no merit money . Then say be glad you getting the 3.5% cost of leaving increase. Oh, and then comes the TYC Supervisors famous line "Your doing a good job, just keep doing what your doing." I would like see how many raises these supervisors have received. And how many raises their buddies they supervisor get. Funny how TYC spent money galore for teleconference equipment for all TYC. Apparently to do away with having to travel for training. Staff is still traveling and the equipment is collecting dust. Ms. Townsend had a meeting with the Supervisors for all TYC facilities,
telling them there would be cut back, and it would be starting with Central Office. We've gone thru several so called Directors with not sense of Direction except for their "HUGE" direct deposits. They RIF positions in Central Office and what happens, "renamed" positions get posted and they are filled again. Looking into the TYC directory there are currently about 20 directors positions, many managers, executive asst, clerks, its endless. Oh, and when the so called Central Office with no sense of direction visit the other TYC facilities, their visits are "brief". I guess those that have relatives in the nearby areas of the field office, just claim "expenses" by just going by the field office to make an appearance. "TYC your doing a great job, keep doing what your doing." LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

Most of the complainers here are simple ingrates. Be happy that you have a job and be more loyal to supervisors and Austin leaders. Volunteer to work and cover vacant positions for free. This field is about helping youth and that includes taking a licking once in a while. Be happy with your work and support TYC fully. To expect less is not on the menu. Be grateful for what you have and shutup the complaining.

Anonymous said...

@ @:24 "I think it's worth asking why one agenda has no vacancies, no recruiting or retention or morale issues, and another agency offering the same pay and benefits has big problems on all three fronts."

I don't think DPS has the public support like that of TPWD. Most TPWD officers I believe have a desire to enter and stay with the job because of a love for the outdoors.

Unlike being a trooper, being a game warden is popular. Let's face it, there's a big difference between being cooped up in a DPS cruiser on the border and in the metro areas working wrecks and arresting drunks versus what mother nature has to offer.

Game wardens did their job adequately for eighty years before a college education
became a job requirement. The role of the game warden has not changed as a result of the
degree requirements; however, the number of applicants has decreased sharply.

Perceptions of Texas Parks & Wildlife Game
Wardens about Effectiveness of Law Enforcement
Programs

http://ecommons.txstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=arp

Anonymous said...

@ 2:24

http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/81streports/tpwd/ser.pdf

Here's what I'm talking about when I say TPWD has public support.


Constituents think very highly of Texas Game Wardens – Responsive Management wrote
“Considering the enforcement nature of game warden duties, their job approval ratings are
incredible.” About 99% of freshwater anglers, 93% of saltwater anglers, 93% of hunters, 96% of
boaters and 97% of landowners who came in contact with a game warden agreed the warden was
professional and courteous.
• Most stakeholders believe the game wardens’ efforts are effective in controlling illegal activities
– About 78% of licensed freshwater anglers, 81% of saltwater anglers, 79% of hunters and 84% of
landowners agreed game wardens are effective in controlling illegal fishing, hunting and other
activities in Texas.

Anonymous said...

FYI 3:24 The teleconference equipment was bought with a Technology in Education grant and was supposed to be used to provide distance learning for the students. I never saw a student anywhere near that equipment.

Anonymous said...

Can't we find some way to blame Sarah Palin for these TYC raises?

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is to blame because she's an elected official-no wait, uh--she's in charge of-what is it she in charge of? Never mind.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how James Smith exists in TYC. He is the head person over all of youth care issues,security, treatment,you name it he is the supervisor and a lot of the issues JCO staff deal with from day to day. I can honestly say I would like to know what has be done to make this agency better. I know he brought redirect to us and did away with BMP, so all you staff who continue to get assaulted while the youth who did this gets out in a week, he is your answer. Conextions, he is your answer, so why is he telling staff they may lose their jobs or get moved out in the field, heck maybe he can become a JCO himself and then realize what we do out in the field, this is not Maryland.

Anonymous said...

I believe James Smith was one of the Pope's people who managed to miss the bullet when she got exorcised. He is an impressive individual. I met him after sending him an e-mail to him questioning his judgement concerning a hire he manipulated. I'm curious how he became a person earning six figures with no apparent credentials.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the complainers here are simple ingrates. Be happy that you have a job and be more loyal to supervisors and Austin leaders. Volunteer to work and cover vacant positions for free. This field is about helping youth and that includes taking a licking once in a while. Be happy with your work and support TYC fully. To expect less is not on the menu. Be grateful for what you have and shutup the complaining." - Employees to Upper Management

Anonymous said...

As long as they are looking at this, someone ought to do a request for these people's pay when they started and any other increases they have gotten. My hunch is they have gotten annual increases while the rest of us have to take turns every few years with what little there is for increases.

Anonymous said...

Can someone find out if James Smith even has a degree? It's not on his resume on the web site and everybody elses is. So heee is the reason for the riots (ooops disruptions) because the youth have no limits or consequences.

Anonymous said...

none of the people in central office would last a week in front line positions....expecially JCO positions.......they are educated but ill equipped to work with youth directly.........

Anonymous said...

this is just sad and takes away from the dedication of the few loyal and "great" staff TYC still has i am glad i am no longer a part of the "team" backstabbers and self involved greedy people at the top you should be ashamed of yourselves........

Anonymous said...

to say that people working in these positions should be happy to have a job and should work for pennies on the dollar.....ask yourself if you would do what u do for free.....if u say yes................u are a liar...

Anonymous said...

What does a person with a Master's Degree, a license (LCSW, LPC, LCDC), and five years experience make in the business world, such as for a hospital, school, or company?

Anonymous said...

So many people make comments like fire them without pension, make comments about the union and ERS. As a 12 1/2 year State of Texas employee, I am a member of all the unions available, I have a 401K and retirement building. I did not have these in the private sector. I work for smaller wages than I did in the private sector because of the guarantees of everything listed above. I know acrue 12 hours annual leave every month and longevity. I don't get this because of the agency I work under, I get these because I work for the State of Texas. All state employees get these same benefits.

The budget will balanced on our backs and lots of RIFs because of budget cuts. I wish that we could all call in sick for one week with a blue flu, shutting down the highway department, the drivers license offices, the food stamp offices, etc. and see how many you would find out the state runs on our backs.

We haven't had a cost of living raise in several years and legislature took money out of our ERS pension fund several years ago and refuses to put it back. And they want us to be tough and suck it up.

Don't whine, organize and join the unions.

Anonymous said...

I made my big exit from TYC in early 2008. I was the last holdout in my dept and couldn't take another moment. I can't believe TYC is dealing with the same issues 3 years later! What a waste of $$ and who has been rehabilitating the youth while the same bs was going on? I tried to warn my TYC friends to jump ship then...should have listened.
Sincerely,
one of the "rats" lol

Anonymous said...

The lege, with all it's insight, has made unions for state employees illegal, same as they have made it illegal to have a deficit. Funny thing about laws; people continue to break them. The not so funny thing about it is that only the poor and middle class ever have to pay for their crimes.

Anonymous said...

Call in for several days???? Hummmmm, I think you may be on to something. Used to staff would say, no to a "group" call-in. Now, I'm not so sure.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that it will just hasten your imminent demise. Those six figure people will be the ones turning out the lights and living large on their pensions. Jimmy Carter said it best with "Life isn't fair."

Anonymous said...

The move by DPS Director Steve McCraw to substantially boost pay for top brass was a wise and shrewd move and has effectively bought the loyalty and silence of upper management during the ongoing effort to transform the Texas DPS into the Texas FBI, meanwhile morale and confidence in DPS leadership continues on a downward spiral in the rest of DPS.

Anonymous said...

So where is the oversight? Aren't legislators and governor appointees supposed to be watching what's going on with our state agencies using taxpayer money? Conditions where I work have so degraded that it is unrecognizable from ten years ago. I think that's part of the plan, degrade, do away with, state workers. Leave just those at the top, and maybe the bottom, to dole out taxpayer money to where legislators/governor appointees want it.

Anonymous said...

you can say "file a complaint" about working frr free all you want, but you don't work there and are you someone who could afford to NOT work thereafter? Because you complain and you won't have a job, no one can protect you, they will make it all about you, say you broke policy, etc. Then you get in trouble. They will not approve any OT and/or pay it but if your job isn't done in intirity and they keep piling it on, you will get in trouble-written up or fired for not doing your job, completion is demanded at whatever cost.

Anonymous said...

Been looking for a new job for the past decade, apply, interview and never get any offers - last I checked, I can't afford to out=right quit and not have the income although plenty of times I would have loved to.... I now question whether or not anyone will hire someone from Tyc... yes we are suckers aren't we?

Anonymous said...

Funny for such financial struggle they TYC continue to maintain layers of duplicated supervisors in business services that were added as a result of west tx scandle so business services could say they regionized TOO and how necessary was that? Then all these layers of supervision (and subordinants)all went to what was thought to be the same training last week... what happened to travel cuts?

Anonymous said...

2 7:45am....then quit gripping if you are not willing to use the legal remedies available for overtime compensation.

Anonymous said...

8:07 what 7:45 told you is there are no legal remedies. You've missed the point of this whole thread. The people at the top can do as they damn well please. That's why they were able to promote a sociopathic perv with twenty write-ups and ignore the people trying to tell them they had a problem. He would still be there if he hadn't pissed off a volunteer who he didn't have any power over.

Don Dickson said...

To 8:07 who suggests that state employees exercise their legal remedies for overtime issues, you need to read up on a U.S. Supreme Court case called Alden v. Maine State Police. The Supreme Court ruled that state governments have sovereign immunity from employees' lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

You got some other kind of remedies in mind? We're all ears.

Anonymous said...

A Woman's Touch

Juvenile inmates can make inviting targets for sex offenders--and women are the most frequent perpetrators. Is the Texas Youth Commission ignoring the problem?

Texas Observer
by Laura Burke
Published on: Wednesday, September 01, 2010

This article described two incidences of sexual contact between TYC staff members and TYC students. It then says:

“Neither incident has received much attention until now. Beaumont’s local news station mentioned Simpson’s arrest once. One reason, experts say, is that sexual abuse perpetrated by women is often seen as relatively harmless, if not consensual. It’s also seen as taboo. “We don’t want to talk about female sexual deviance,” says Karen Duncan, author of Sexual Predators: Understanding Them to Protect Our Children and Youths. Women, Duncan says, “are not supposed to be sexually attracted to kids.”
Those perceptions don’t jibe with reality: Nationwide, 95 percent of sexual abuse allegations in juvenile correctional facilities were against female employees . . . “

Anonymous said...

To 7:20pm - Don't bring Maryland into your mess! At least you have your full salaries in TYC. We've been furloughed along with temporary salary reductions for 3 yrs. CA and other states have been furloughed worse then us. We don't whine, complain and blame because "some" of our salary is better than nothing. We can only wait it out and prove that our agencies are worth it.

And, get your facts straight, James Smith started at the JCO level and worked his way up the chain through hard work. The difference is that he could handle a unit without assaults and riots when you obviously cannot. He made great changes in GA and MD before TX "recruited" him. If you don't want him...don't worry, he'll be okay and you'll be in the same boat a year later blaming a different person. Oh yeah, TYC will be abolished by then.

Our agency has its problems but I would never be happy to see it gone. You people are amazing. Be careful what you wish for TYC employees because you just might get it...you ask for it to be abolished two years ago...Happy Abolishment Day to you! Now what?

If the kids don't respect you, you're the problem not your CO. TYC has gone through many administrations over the years and you all have whined about each one. How do you contribute to reforming the system? Nobody wins when the staff play "victim" all the time instead of stepping up and doing their job. You act like your CO is sending subliminal messages to the kids to assault staff and take over the units. If you're the one working on the unit, how can you blame anyone else when you don't control your unit. COs in adult corrections work alone on tiers with 200+ male inmates and don't lose control. You have KIDS! Its your house...if you let kids run your house then you need to move out!

I don't agree with raises for executives or anyone else during these tough times but whether they make $100,000 or $10,000...you still need to MAN UP like all the other juvenile justice employees in the country control your facilities.

Anonymous said...

10:34 am. I retired from TYC because I could see the train comming down the track. My doctor said I added years to my life and this was the best decision to make.
I agree that those that post should not single out people to vent about. But the issue I strongly disagree with your post is the part about controlling and getting respect from the kids in TYC.
In years past this was possible to do and working at TYC was rewarding. When the Legislators came in and took all the control away from the staff and gave the power to the kids stopped every adult working for TYC to have control.
The lack of strong leaders on units that were afraid that they too would lose their jobs if they did not fire you on the spot for simple things. Kids now run the show at TYC and they know it. When you give these "inmates" all the power you are helpless. If you try to gain control, you will be fired for policy issues. The JCO staff have no chance in hell to gain respect from anyone out there in the field.
I was not a JCO, but I saw how the kids were taking control and it became a saftey issue for me and I had never been afraid to work for this agency until then. Afraid of losing my job, health, or being attacked by a group of students. I am glad I left.
In the adult prisons, the guards are in control and they can do 100 times more to gain control than TYC can. All staff can do is watch because if they touch they are breaking policy. Then after the riot is over, most are fired for some policy on taking a kid down to gain control.
Just like the kid that was hanging himself and they were told to watch him til the swat team came, the swat team never came. The staff finally cut the kid down to save his life and said to hell with the top brass and their orders to wait! Yep, that is true as true can be.

Anonymous said...

10:34: "We can only wait it out and prove that our agencies are worth it."
Waiting it out, in my case, has been a mistake. Our agencies are worth it, but not with sorry, corrupt, incompetent leadership. That's not going to change anytime soon given our current political climate, which is also not going to change anytime soon. Things are only going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I have been Raped by this state!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:34 These Juvenile's have nothing to do with CO, Administrators.I see nothing but whining and complaining and blame about their jobs within tyc.And have you ever heard of a saying to get respect you have to give respect.Have you ever tried that? Your probally the ones who also blame parents for their kids being out of control.Which in return, you even have a job.These kids have made your employment possible.Without the youth there never would have been a tyc agency possible.@8:22 What the hell do you think a consequence is? Do you go home at night? sleep in your room with your bed? Go to movie's.stuff your face with McDonald's,call you family off your cell phone any time you feel.Did you spend Christmas exchanging gifts,Did you have a nice Thankgiving dinner,Did you sleep in any this week? Watch TV late at night? The list goes on and on. tyc is the consequence stupid ass.And even worse punishment is probally looking at you ass every day.

Anonymous said...

I must say I work for TYC and I love my job. I am not happy that the top tier individuals obtained large raises while the agency is hemorrhaging lay offs. I hope that I can keep my job but I think that if I am laid off that I will obtain employment elsewhere. I have seen the best and worst of human nature in this agency.

I have seen a 5'4 female JCO's breaking up fights between 17 and 18 year old gang bangers (one was 5'10 and the other was 6'02). She was brave to do so and many of the commenters would not be brave enough to do the same.

I have seen staff members walked off for selling drugs and numerous other crimes/policy violations.

I have seen JCO's that are highly respected by the youths even when the line staff members have next to no authority to keep control of their assigned areas.

I have seen a JCO knocked out by a swarm of youths. Thank God the main actor in that situation was arrested and imprisoned in the adult system by OIG.

This agency may not be long for this world. We have our own villains and heroes in this agency.

I would like to see better training and more authority given to JCO staff members. I would also like to see more training and discipline regarding use of force issues. By "discipline" I do not mean firing the staff member all of the time. I mean by training them to be disciplined and effective when the use of force or self defense is necessary.

Treatment has to be prioritized as well. Effective treatment... However treatment can only occur when staff are in control of their facilities.

With the leaders that have been forced upon us; perhaps this agency will not survive. All of these incidents began with the leadership of TYC not the line staff members. It was not a JCO that sexually assaulted youths in Pyote. It was two TYC administrators.

I was looking for a career when I found this one. However I will be saddened for the good staff members that have bled for their state with no thanks from anyone.

To those good staff members: I appreciate the sacrifices that you make every day. I appreciate the fact that you make low pay with great burdens. You are heroes regardless of what some of these ignorant commenters say. You are not the cause of this agency's troubles. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the legislature, the governor, and the appointed leaders of TYC.

The kids and the line staff have in fact, been raped by the state.

Anonymous said...

Tyc employee's are some of the laziest people I've ever encountered in my life.

Anonymous said...

01:16 Is the most ignorant commenter on this thread....

Anonymous said...

@1:08 I have also seen a 6'2 staff member dislocate and break a youths arm at 4'11 with a weight difference of over a hundred pound's. And he did not get sent to prison. There was no resistance from this kid. He was just pissed off because he was pulled from another dorm to do transport to security because of staff shortage.Just think if these type of incident were not have been taking place for years. We probally would not be facing budget cut's, merger's,Bad reputation's. There would be more fight to keep this agency from everyone.And those good staff would still have a job.

Anonymous said...

Investigate IRD

Anonymous said...

01:08 responding to 01:36. Not an excuse, but a true statement:

In any instance where one human being holds authority over another there is a potential for abuse. There is not prison system, school, private company, nation, or government that is except from this rule.

The main issue that I see in TYC regarding use of force is that the current restrain system "handle with care" is hazardous to youth and staff members. It has basically only one hold and all of the youths know how to defeat it. This prevents staff members from restraining the youth "within policy" and forces the staff member to "innovate" new techniques on the spot. Most of the abuse that I have seen where bones where broken were from this antiquated, ineffective, self defeating, state taught martial art... If you could call it that.

So what ends up happening is that they kid will end up jerking away from the staff member prolonging the incident until more youths get involved. The staff members who are wanting to conclude the incident quickly then resort to an unauthorized technique. This results in a great amount of injuries for the youths and the staff members.

Staff members in TYC are ill trained when it comes to effective restraint techniques and they are not allowed to use them.

It is important to note that there is no policy authorizing a staff member to defend themselves with the exception of OIG which operate under a different set of use of force rules (basically the same as a state trooper as one of them put it to me).

Of course staff members are not taught self defense techniques and do not know where self defense ends and an assault begins. This ignorance and ill training is the basis for most of the violations of the youth's civil rights in my experience.

Nice corresponding with you.

Anonymous said...

I mean "exempt from this rule."

Anonymous said...

10:34 AM, if he was so effective in these other states what lured him to Texas? I know the trail from other states prior to coming to TYC and most were amazed that he was promoted to this position. When you speak of JCO's, bottom line is the rules of engagement are set by CO, not by those of use in the field, we do not make "Redirect", we are just the ones assaulted and live with these rules. I have spent 10 years on the front line and know who makes the rules we have to abide by, and it is not our local Superintendents. The reason we are in dire straights whether you want to believe this or not is based upon top end decisions not local. From your thread it appears you work at CO and your job is dependent upon pleasing others, when was the last time you saw a co-worker assaulted and see the perp walk out of security two weeks later with a smile on his face?

Anonymous said...

Certainly the training issues exist, but their existence comes from the corruption from which this thread was started. Whitmire asked, "What the hell were they thinking?" I think it is obvious that they were thinking "let's get as many golden eggs we can before they they kill the goose." These people move all over the country taking these positions based on padded resumes and belonging to a club that most of us don't know how to join. Whitmire is part of that club. He's been "serving" (such a joke) in the lege since the early seventies. How many golden eggs to you think he's collect over all those years?

Anonymous said...

Without effective leaders.... We are all but lambs to the slaughter....

Anonymous said...

TYC employees, except for the butt suckers, have always been lambs. Too bad, but true.

Anonymous said...

I'm selling my entertainment center as a result of no merit increase in over four years.

What, dear Reader makes my Entertainment Center so much more special than others? Aside from the faux wood grain and authentic faux granite looking "stuff" that coats the main section, I tell you that it is an amazing piece of furniture. It does not slice, dice or julienne, but it does have one amazing feature: It acts as Ninja repellent. Take a look at the photos. Go on, look. Not one ninja anywhere. Those pesky ninjas are always in the bushes, trying to assassinate you? Then this my friend is the the furniture for you.

Oh, but I hear your argument already, they are *ninjas*, they would not show up on film. Well I used a high speed camera and at the time there was minimal cloud cover, so I think its safe to say that if anyone could capture the fleeting essence of a ninja mid-attack, its my little nikon coolpix.

But I digress. After attaining this Center and installing it within the confines of your home you can breathe a weary sigh of contentment as you can watch the ninjas curse at you from the outside as you revel in the unending Snorks vs. Smurfs marathon you have been dying to hold. Where at its conclusion you can stand, turn to like Russel Crowe as Maximus the Roman gladiator and scream at the unwashed and fetid masses "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED????"

Let me know, I will even help load it. Good luck, first come, first safe from ninjas.

Anonymous said...

Anyone in this agency who could tell me exactly what positions another had from another state is either the person himself posting or someone he has brought along with him. Please stop the he was a JCO and worked the floor routine, this is not Kansas and he is not Dorothy.

Anonymous said...

To 6:19pm - To say that "most" in GA and MD were surprised is nothing but a lie. Employees from those states wouldn't have much conversation for someone who talks about kids the way you do.

And, please...stop acting like the kids in TX are so much different or more dangerous than the kids in the DMV (DC/MD/VA) or the other states. Wake up...you work in juvenile corrections. The kids are locked up because they are a threat to public safety. Who told you that this job wouldn't ever be dangerous? Who told you that there won't be serious incidents. Some of the greatest juvenile justice employees have been injured and even killed (similar to one of our dedicated teachers in MD who was raped and killed by a 13 yr old kid in a facility). "One" kid who is awaiting trial now. And the facility's employees went back to work and didn't hold what he did against all of the kids by labeling them perps, rapists and murderers.

Anytime someone tries to point certain things out to you all, your standard response is "you must work in CO". The reason why you can't relate to what I'm saying because after 21 years in this business (adult and juvenile), I have never been assaulted and I know that I'm lucky. I am consistent, don't try to be the kids' friends or look down on them for being locked up. I haven't walked in their shoes. I know that at on any given day, I could walk up to a kid who has decided that he's going to knock out the next staff member who says something to him. I prepare for that everyday likes everyone else. I say a prayer and walk through the front gate. I know that no matter those people sitting in HQ can't help me once inside so why worry about it.

But you on the other hand, you're not in a specialized position...I and thousands of people all over the country who do what you do everyday without considering the KIDS perps. Yes, the majority are kids with a lot of problems but to call them PERPS???? You don't even sound like you enjoy the job so you should just leave the field and stop embarrassing the rest of us...and most of all, give up your position so that a dedicated TYC employee who likes their job won't be RIF'd. And to say that CO makes the rules not the local superintendents...DUH..the agency heads in all departments set the goals and policies and we follow them. Not just in TYC. THAT'S THE BUSINESS! However, I've never seen a policy or a program be the cause of so much turmoil in one agency.

The complainers at TYC are the same ones who said "we need a leader from TX because the outsiders don't know our state". Now...you all have turned on your leader who is from TX. What do you want now? Someone from Mars?

To the dedicated TYC employees - I pray that you make it through the transition and your new leadership recognizes you as the asset that you are. Please pray for us in the DMV too as we await our new administration.

Anonymous said...

Isnt all this just a matter of climbing the corporate ladder? Look at every corproration are agency. I've never known the prodution line folk's to make the same wages as the CEO president.Example GM If I worked on the assembly line Would I be paid as much as the CEO? Do I have less chance of getting injured on the job working with heavy equiptment? But if it was not for the production line you would not be driving a Chevy. Compare this to tyc staff,you have your top dogs,and you put out production. My Husband gets up everyday ,goes to a job to produce aircraft parts.Has to put up with a smart mouth arrigont jerk, who's Daddy owns the company. And while we live week to week.This man is bringing in 200,000 a year.If the whole shop would walk out they would be screwed. And the Military would be without the war planes.Does this seem fair? Honestly at times No. But this is business folks.The tyc agency is not no different. This is a fact of life. Just be glad you have had income, because the last time I checked unemployment rate was still pretty high.

Anonymous said...

Well said 9:38pm!

Anonymous said...

reply@8:29 I can only speak for my son in tyc. First of all he has never assaulted a staff at tyc. And he knows I would be very dissapointed in him if he did. As I constantly remind him the staff are just trying to make a living as we all are.But I can tell you this he is not stupid to these staff who are just there for there pay and like making these kids life worse than what it already is.Like he say's I know good people when I see them. And you are probally one of the good people. My Son talks alot about the good staff which are making a difference in his Life. So Im Grateful for you positive attitude. The kids must sense this with you, and Thank God you have not been hurt.I do understand some of these kids have serious triggers.So why do some staff pull the trigger. I observed this alot and I have also obsevered the staff who treat with respect and kindness the kids react positive.But come to work whinning complaining and running your mouth what do you expect. Then their whinning about being assaulted.They want to provoke, then cry when it explodes.I hope all goes well for you in this trasition of your life.

Anonymous said...

Your kid is probably just like you and you wonder why it is in TYC. Look in the mirror and think for once, why is my kid a loser like me?

Anonymous said...

@11:17 Thank You for proving my point. And this is probally why you will probally get you ass kicked by one of these loser.And you take a look in the mirror. I dont have to resort to abusing kids to make myself feel superior.Really the truth of it is your nothing more short of a renta cop wanna be.I bet you feel like the shit, I get to go to work and push people around, Grow Up! Quit if you hate the youth so much.You probally wont be missed.Oh ya it's because of people like you,everyone will be out of a job!I not only feel sorry for the youth,I feel sorry for your co-worker's you seem like a real winner to be around.If anyone knows this zit, pop him and get him out. Because he is morally damaging to any one thats good in tyc.And some of the youth, and parent's, appreciate the staff that give's a damn.Isnt there a personality test to hire? Because this guy's personality and attitude stink's. I can almost bet he has abused alot of the youth.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't expect to be paid with the people at the top of the corporate ladder either. I think the issue is that "those" people are not "deserving" or more "deserving" of a 10% hike than the people at the bottom. Unfortunately too, TYC even when they didn't claim daily money issues, has never been fair in the issue of merit money. It has always been based in favortism, discrimination and or the buddy system. I am glad this issue of what has occurred has been brought to the attention of the public and legislature, I just hope it also gets addressed in some fashion just as the inappropriateness of the Pope remodeling her office did. It is unfortunate too that these matters have to hit the media - "newspapers" specifically before anything does get done, if it even does then. The people (taxpayers) have a right to know what their tax dollars are getting spent on even when the spending is extravagent! Definately, there are some very, very good dedicated people still left in TYC who do really care about the kids, it is hard though for people who do want to work for a cause they believe in - to be able to find a whole lot of purpose in this situation other than greed, favortism, discrimation, buddy systems, etc. Again, people at the bottom deserve 10% merit/boost just as much as the people at the top - regardless of base salaries.

Anonymous said...

Lets stop with the finger pointing and bring this discussion back to the real issues;
does the top 8 at TYC deserve 5% and 10% pay raises while the field gets 3%. By the way the 3% was mandated by the legislature for State Employees, do not know who justified the 5% and 10% raises.
If they, top 8 CO staff, are in fact doing more work, would it be safe to say that most field staff are doing more work as well?
The basis of doing more work would mean TYC has grown in size, I was under the impression TYC went from 5000 institutional youth down to 1400, sounds like more money and fewer youth.
How can you look at a field staff and honestly justify these raises with any credibility?

Anonymous said...

reply@7:35 deserving of a raise probally not.And I agree giving such raises during a budget cut just plain stupid.I'm glad it came to light and proved the greed. But that was my point in my first comment the front line and assembly people do all the hard work to make a Agency are Coperation. And ceo's and President's etc.. are the one making the big bucks,big raises.Somehow it dont feel fair. When the real people deserving of the pay raise are at the bottom. There are some that strike lol.

Anonymous said...

I say if the state were a "FOR PROFIT" industry then sure - such as in retail when a retail store does well, the managers will usually see a "bonus" at the end of the year. But, even the workers on the front lines in retail are getting nickel and dime raises (nickel or dime by the hour increases) when they are reviewed. It just doesn't seem to me as a governmental agency that any Executive Director should have the power to have even permitted such a thing, especially with budget issues and known cuts/lawoffs and closures coming. I agree I am doing more paperwork today because of "new" programs, new forms, additional required forms, and duplicate paperwork, new requirements etc. and being "merit eligible" and have gotten a nickel or a dime more an hour sure would have gone a lot further in my book over the years. If the state had a fat, productive year, and plenty of funds to go around, I could see them getting 5-10%

Anonymous said...

Clearly retaining the big eight is priority over everyone else in the agency.

Anonymous said...

Most people expect to earn more money as they climb the ladder to higher positions. I don't think anyone really begrudges higher salaries. The hypocrisy of it all lies in the fact that they are letting people go because they say the lege has asked them to cut the budget. No one even expects them to take salary cuts, but to give themselves raises that are three times the percentage of what the lege gives the underlings is just sickening. Cherie Townsend was a person I had some respect for, even when she was telling me that I was going to be out of a job, but I can't say what I really think of her now. I'm afraid my rhetoric might be the wrong tone.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Big Question for the upcoming weeks will be, how do you lay staff off or send them out to the field with lesser pay, when you give raises to the top 8 CO employees?
I would hate to be in this position and try to relate to these employees as if I know their pain. I have been gone for a year now and do not miss TYC one bit, a new start on life was awaiting. Hope all of my friends who decided to stick it out will see the light and move on with their lives as well.

Anonymous said...

TYC employees helped creat the bad image the public has of them, so put on your big boys panties and suck it up. You are why TYC is where it is today, so be a part of the mess and stop the complaints. Made your bed now get your paid-up naps.

Anonymous said...

4:25 I'm just curious what dog you have in this hunt. This is the only place these people have to go to vent, and you resent that? Who did what to you? And 11:06 and your other posts, the word is "probably," not "probally." Since you use it a lot, you should probably learn how to spell it.

Anonymous said...

@5:58 Your probably right!!

Anonymous said...

4:17pm, glad your gone, you weasel. It is so easy to tell these staff they have no jobs, "Your Fired", get your ass out of here so the big boys will have somewhere to fall once your gone.
Hell, google Donald Trump, go to you tube and watch some of his clips, "Your Fired". Damn that was so easy.

Anonymous.D said...

I am saddened by the recent turn of events. TYC employees at the facility level have been put through a lot since 2007 when all the allegations of abuse were brought out. A few bad apples have ruined the whole barrel. There are many TYC employees that work in the facilities and in Parole Offices across the state that care about the youth in our care. We have seen the light come on in the eyes of some of these youth and they have gone on to be successful members of our communities. Not every child is saved but I am proud of my track record and I am proud of my co-workers. Since the so-called restructuring, I have seen my co-workers assaulted. They have had their arms broken, babies lost, jaws broken, and a multitude of various injuries too numerous to name. Yet these people suit up and show up. We received an email that our Workman Compensation claims are the highest in the state of Texas and we are accused of fraud. Most of staff in our facilities make less than $35,000 a year and it is well earned. The amount of paperwork I do has tripled over the past two years. These folks sit up in Central Office and think of extra things for us to do. That’s how they earn their money. It’s to the point that we can barely talk to the youth and we sure can’t get down to the root of the problem. Now we learn that the people Governor and Legislature put in charge of changing the way we do business are handing out raises like candy. Looks like business as usual. The ones who suffer are the youth and the employees that work so hard to try to make a difference in the lives of these young men and women. It looks like once again they will be throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Anonymous said...

I have about as much respect for tyc as I do for maggots in dog crap, I don’t want it on my feet. I have to say seeing you whining chesters getting screwed over is so cool. Very deserving. Back in the day only the bravest would take out an undesirable dorm man. Its why I was escorted out the last time. In lock up as it was a past time or a competition to see how many staff it would take to hang you on the wall. In my case it was a minimum of 5. The state realy brought in a punk squad to watch the kids in the last 3 decades. I’m surprised some of you playa pedophiles aren’t getting your ass kick daily as you deserve. Your skill sets are so pathetic your more locked into tyc then the children you punks abuse. Most of you dont have the where with all to find better employment in the food service or housekeeping industries. Too bad you punks only like to molest children.
You chester team playas getting screwed by your own leaders is awesome. 121 comments from your whiny punks on Grits is priceless.
Sheldon tyc#47333 c/s
Mountain View State School for Boys
Gatesville State School for Boys

Anonymous said...

Sheldon, you and Cherry are my highest heroes. I love the way you both watch out for employees.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon,

Nationwide, 95 percent of sexual abuse allegations in juvenile correctional facilities were against female employees.

Anonymous said...

Well, we all know there are lots of queers working for TYC.

Anonymous said...

I have to say i'm truly loving it knowing that people like 11:17 will be out of a job. I hope he has to steal to feed his abusive ass.And gets locked up, and has to share a cell with a 380 pound 6'4 man thats a violant offender. Who hates anyone that's been in corrections.

Anonymous said...

It appears it may be time for Grits to close this thread. What is a shame is the focus from the pay hikes given to top administrators when we are looking at the loss of jobs for state employees has been lost. What is needs to be focused on is the impact of this on the people that are served with these state agencies. DPS is for the protection of the citizens of Texas. As much as I hate to see the black and white cars when I am speeding in my car, I have the same amount if not more positive feeling for when I see them at the scene of an accident or a crime. TYC staff, JCO's to Caseworkers to Teachers and Parole Officers, they are working with the population of our future. It is a tough job to try and undo years of anger, hurt and negative influences and have a year to do it when it took at least 10 years to put it there. The thought of losing more staff that are trying to help keep our streets and state safe is the tragedy here. And Shelton, I understand your anger over how you were treated in TYC, but you need to stop and get help to move on past it for yourself and your family. While your experience was horrible, I bet there are some kids who have gone through TYC and had the good fortune to have caring and good staff who helped them turn around their lives. I have known some of them and they are the ones that keeps my faith that these kids can be helped. IMO, all of us who live in Texas are going to lose with the current budget crisis whether you are a state employee or not.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, the rich get richer. If I was the Governor I would be embarrassed by this selfish act of lining the pockets of the top officials at any agency. Apparently TYC has not learned from it's past and it is due another reminder that no one is above scrutiny, and hopefully something will be done to teach this lesson. I am one of those working in the trenches day to day and I do complain from time to time but this has really bothered me. Why would any leader justify this type of bigotry, I say this based upon facts. We have no money for merits, we have no money for overtime, we have no money for travel, etc, etc. I just hope we exist after this fall out and learn from our mistakes, our true mission in life is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon you finely chimed in. It’s not like it was back in your day. The kids are not as tough and the staff as you can see are a bunch of cry babies. Today’s staff could not deal with the type of inmate you were and it would be much easier for you to run things today. You were a bad one back then and it’s a wonder you did not make it to death row like some of your pals. I wouldn’t pay any attention to 1:52. They think very little of boys who have been through TYC. The success you have in your career, and your community are something someone like that would be envious of. To tell you to get over what TYC did to you shows their ignorance. They should be concerned about what you did to TYC! Its people like that who make the agency look like we hire dumb ass. I think it would take more than 5 staff to restrain you today. I know you have to be in your 50s, but I remember you telling me that you fight to work out. I don’t think we have anyone at the agency who could carry themselves in a debate about TYC or restrain you. I do wish you would reconsider coming back and speaking with the kids, the way you speak with the kids is so powerful. The respect they give you. I like the way you talk about the good things TYC does for a kid, how to draw strength from their experience here. They get enough bs, you tell them how it is, and our staff don’t get it. You would make a great ombudsman for TYC.

Anonymous said...

Truly, you are a freaking idiot!

Anonymous said...

Ever try to get anything from a state worker? Its impossible. They are lazy, uninformed and usually abusers of the system. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Texas and Whitmire can take their 5% salary cut for state employees making over 50,000 and shove it up his ass. I am done with the state and TYC. A professional trying to work for this agency and help the kids is handcuffed (no pun intended) at every turn. So much for public service and trying to help the kids.

Juvenile justice will take a severe turn backwards this legislative session. Good luck Texas. You are going to need it.

Anonymous said...

It appears that the top 8 of TYC are going to get a pass, and only the idiots are going to finish out this thread. If this is a microcosm of the state, then we deserve to be screwed.

Anonymous said...

wow, so much hate, anger, and intolerance...what's the point of trying to communicate and share ideas when no one realizes that the problem begins with him or herself instead of blaming others. Shut the string down Grits. There seems to be little room for intelligent debate.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 1/18/2011 8:06pm, I think. I liked talking to the kids but dealing with some of the keepers makes me sick. The arrogance even in a lowly JCO is enough to make one sick. Funny thing is there the ones doing time. The kids have way more potential for success than those people who already think so low of themselves to take a job at a tyc. The arrogance is proof of that. As far as the work outs I’ve been sitting around with the wife eating bonbon’s the last few months. I suppose if I went to a football school it would be different, but I went to gladiator school so that’s my work out, even at my age. And your right the staff and the kids were much more tougher back then as compared to today. The video game generation couldn’t handle an hour in the caliches pit let alone all day. It might take as few as 2 big white boy security guards now or several more black ones. The black ones will just try to talk me to death, all mouth, something’s never change. Besides I’m an adult now, they only have the where with all to pick on kids. However it could be fun.

Anon 1/18/2001 11:56am This makes since about females. The majority of the tyc emps in the pedophiles of tyc database are females and from their photo the majority are black. The reason I was sent to Mountain View was because I resisted sexual advances from a goat raper caseworker at Brownwood Reception Center. Brownwood seems to statistically produce more chesters. Perhaps with a school like a Howard Payne creating a sexually repressed community. I suppose it’s good to have a tyc facility there to alleviate that stress. Of course when the chester becomes public knowledge they are promoted and sent somewhere else. Many examples in the database show this trend.

Anon 1/18/2001 11:29am Dude I’m good to my employees. If I treated them like my old PO Cherry treats her chesters they would quit. My employees are highly skilled and have degrees in worthy fields like engineering. Again with an unskilled work force and those few with higher education being in silly stuff like social work, well, you can treat the emp any ol way you want. Like I tell the kids, it’s the staff who are imprisoned. Hell, with the lifestyle of a staff its human nature to abuse the kids, especially when the kids have the potential to sky rocket above anything their current keeper could ever accomplish. Hell, the keepers work for the state and apparently like to be screwed over. Gives them something to whine about, a bone. LOL

Anon 1/21/2001 12:49pm People don’t like it when they get screwed over and have to take it. The problem is tyc has never taken responsibility for their actions. That’s historical fact. Again its human nature. Look at the people who take these jobs. From the top down, it’s the best they can do. If that’s your best, it’s pathetic. Hence the abuse of the children and the defensive nature of the culture. It’s going to be interesting when pedophiles of tyc is released to the public. I wonder how many of you tyc Grits trolls will be on there?

You people getting screwed by your boss and whining about it on grits raised my libido. However did you retards ever think that this was money that needed to be spent or Cherry would lose it. So why not give it to her top clowns. Besides they deserve it since they have to put up with “you people”.
Sheldon tyc#47333 c/s
GSSB,MVSSB,Ftyc

HamHead said...

They are now Sheldon. I'm a former employee who spoke up against the bullshit this current administration has engaged in, namely laying down and taking it up this ass like what they're doing now - but I already had another gig lined up before I spoke up. I'm out now and bringing home more money than I ever saw in my life. Of course, I give back to my community here in Rockwall, Texas and Dallas County.

Cherie Townsend doesn't understand the balance. We get your attention, educate you, and send you on your way with usable skills that'll help you in the future. Problem is, everyone wants to lay down now and not address what those kids need: a firm and fair grasp of reality coupled with an above average educational *effort* by TYC teachers, and the likes of some really good program staff teaching kids how to manage emotions by every means possible other than medications and unnecessary force. We did that in a respectful manner back in my day, but all these Chester’s and hens all want to suck a pop to get that respect and well, that's sick.

I'd jam your little ass back in the day when you got out of line, but I made sure we understood what was best for our surroundings, and when I say our, you and I were always on the same page brother. I listened to you boys. We had it made back then. These asses now have no clue how to work with these boys.

Anonymous said...

The problem with TYC now is based upon current leadership and an ineffective mandate, SB 103. The current system is based upon giving away the house before any work is applied to own it. Hate to say this but you cannot give away privileges without real consequences attach to their actions when youth behave inappropriately. Today any youth can assault each other and staff and fully understand they will still walk out those doors at their MLOS. This entire system is based upon a failed notion that privileges will entice youth to act well, but what happens when they choose not to, well you give them more in hope that they see the light and keep their hands to themselves!

Anonymous said...

This is what you get when the Legislature tries to run a youth jail system. They have NO CLUE what they are doing and tie the hands of those who are trying to help. How sad.

Anonymous said...

TYC teachers are the lowest of the low. They can't teach in the community so TYC puts up with their inadequacy just like substandard staffers.

Anonymous said...

maybe Texas needs to initiate the "scared strait" program like California and I believe Maryland is doing-- wake the kids up and let them see first hand what happens eventually if you make poor choices- obviously "CoNextions" is a joke-look at the recidivism rate-- "Resocialization" is a good treatment program-bring it back- fear is a motivator- kids are getting cheated when they come to TYC at the present time-

Anonymous said...

I hate posting anonymously...And I know the higher ups at TYC hate it when their employees do that. But it's a catch 22....I work for TYC and not only to I need my job, I like my job. And I fear that if I were to reveal who I am, I would set myself up to be rifted so that the growing line of folks behind me can take the job I do and not bitch about it....Nice little situation that the executive director and her over hundred thousand dollar a year club have set up for us.
After years of defending Mrs Townsend on boards like this and discussions at work, this last piece of news about the pay raises to folks who make a helluva lot more than I do and have a helluva lot less time in the agency really kind of kicked me in the guts for the last time.
I haven't had a merit raise for some time...The same could be said for all of my coworkers. If I have an emergency like a transmission dropping out of my car or whatnot, I can't afford to pay for it and have to ask others for assistance.
So now before more 'rightsizing' occurs we'll get some other damned e mail from the office of the executive director that was more than likely cut and pasted from last year some time telling us how as staff we need to focus on the job at hand and how we're TYC's most precious resource, it will take everything I have not to vomit....And I hate that most of all.

Anonymous said...

This was just absurd when all of the peon jco's and case managers saw this at Corsicana. We were VERY upset reading the e-mail on it and head TYC brass had NO business wanting to give themselves a raise. They tried to justify it by saying they are doing extra duties from other jobs that were cut. While that may be true, fact is jco's and case managers do NOT get a extra dime for doing someones work and not even a THANK YOU....