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Old 05-03-2018, 07:24 AM
 
2,069 posts, read 1,997,476 times
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Why is it unusual that a organization in a high-stress industry and a highly competitive job market would offer employees opportunities to interact in more casual circumstances from time to time? That's pretty much par for the course. In a big organization, those numbers are understandably large.

In addition to planned events, I bet GTRI spends a lot of taxpayer dollars on silly things like urinal cakes and landscape maintenance and break rooms that don't directly contribute to the work being done, but all serve to make working there comfortable for their employees. "EMPLOYEES APPRECIATE HAVING GRASS FRESHLY CUT AND NO STALE URINE STENCH IN BATHROOMS" is less of an eyeball-grabbing headline than "FREELOADERS TAKE TRIP TO SIX FLAGS WITH THEIR FAMILIES ON FEDERAL DIME!", but we are pretty much talking about creating places don't loathe working.

Is the implication here that any organization receiving federal funds be a drab hellhole with retention and turnover issues because those employees aren't deserving of perks they'd get in the private sector?
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:39 AM
 
28,104 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Originally Posted by red92s View Post
Is the implication here that any organization receiving federal funds be a drab hellhole with retention and turnover issues because those employees aren't deserving of perks they'd get in the private sector?
I wouldn't think so. It's important to keep your employees happy.

However, it depends on how you do it. As I've said earlier, whenever we had employee perks (and I'd like to think we had plenty of them), I simply paid for them myself.

Although we didn't have access to a potful of taxpayer dollars, if we had it wouldn't have been appropriate for me to simply pass them out at my personal discretion. When you're dealing with public funds, you have a special trust to make sure that all expenditures are transparent, documented, fair and necessary.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:23 AM
 
2,069 posts, read 1,997,476 times
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post

Although we didn't have access to a potful of taxpayer dollars, if we had it wouldn't have been appropriate for me to simply pass them out at my personal discretion. When you're dealing with public funds, you have a special trust to make sure that all expenditures are transparent, documented, fair and necessary.
The problem is that the definition of "necessary" in this case is pretty fluid depending on where you stand on the issue. Obviously going to the aquarium isn't "necessary" in the same sense as paying the power pill or payroll, but nothing listed seems extraneous to me, and would be perfectly defensible expenditures at any of the private research firms that GTRI competes with for grants and people.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,401 posts, read 2,726,205 times
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Originally Posted by red92s View Post
The problem is that the definition of "necessary" in this case is pretty fluid depending on where you stand on the issue. Obviously going to the aquarium isn't "necessary" in the same sense as paying the power pill or payroll, but nothing listed seems extraneous to me, and would be perfectly defensible expenditures at any of the private research firms that GTRI competes with for grants and people.
Heck, I would further argue that strong moral is necessary to maintaining productivity in the work place.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
6,891 posts, read 9,584,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red92s View Post
Why is it unusual that a organization in a high-stress industry and a highly competitive job market would offer employees opportunities to interact in more casual circumstances from time to time? That's pretty much par for the course. In a big organization, those numbers are understandably large.

In addition to planned events, I bet GTRI spends a lot of taxpayer dollars on silly things like urinal cakes and landscape maintenance and break rooms that don't directly contribute to the work being done, but all serve to make working there comfortable for their employees. "EMPLOYEES APPRECIATE HAVING GRASS FRESHLY CUT AND NO STALE URINE STENCH IN BATHROOMS" is less of an eyeball-grabbing headline than "FREELOADERS TAKE TRIP TO SIX FLAGS WITH THEIR FAMILIES ON FEDERAL DIME!", but we are pretty much talking about creating places don't loathe working.

Is the implication here that any organization receiving federal funds be a drab hellhole with retention and turnover issues because those employees aren't deserving of perks they'd get in the private sector?
Well said. Channel 2 lost some credibility for me with this sensationalist attempt to look like they are exposing something. I don't think it is enough. For the prestige Georgia Tech brings to the city and state, they should do more for their team. Yes $1M sounds huge when attached to taxpayer money, but in the grand scheme of things, is a pittance.

And you know good and well if they cut landscaping and urine cakes out of the budget, Channel 2 would be doing an investigative report on how the state's premier research university is going to hell in a handbasket. Are Belcher and/or the producers at WSB all Bulldog grads?
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
20,895 posts, read 32,882,944 times
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Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
Are Belcher and/or the producers at WSB all Bulldog grads?
Belcher is a GSU grad, actually.

https://www.wsbtv.com/richard-belcher

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark...
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:55 AM
 
28,104 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
Well said. Channel 2 lost some credibility for me with this sensationalist attempt to look like they are exposing something. I don't think it is enough. For the prestige Georgia Tech brings to the city and state, they should do more for their team. Yes $1M sounds huge when attached to taxpayer money, but in the grand scheme of things, is a pittance.

And you know good and well if they cut landscaping and urine cakes out of the budget, Channel 2 would be doing an investigative report on how the state's premier research university is going to hell in a handbasket. Are Belcher and/or the producers at WSB all Bulldog grads?
I'm strongly in favor of keeping employee morale up and paying people well. I'm also a huge fan of Georgia Tech and consider them a great asset to Atlanta and Georgia.

However, while $1.1 million in free bennies may be only a pittance in the eyes many, there's a different level of accountability and transparency required when said bennies are being handed out with OPM, especially OPM obtained from the taxpayer under force of law.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
20,895 posts, read 32,882,944 times
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I'm strongly in favor of keeping employee morale up and paying people well. I'm also a huge fan of Georgia Tech and consider them a great asset to Atlanta and Georgia.

However, while $1.1 million in free bennies may be only a pittance in the eyes many, there's a different level of accountability and transparency required when said bennies are being handed out with OPM, especially OPM obtained from the taxpayer under force of law.
Duly noted, arjay. But also under consideration is the fact that the Research Institute is operating within a very competitive environment in terms of labor, and therefore is under pressure to retain its braintrust.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:28 PM
 
28,104 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Originally Posted by Iconographer View Post
Duly noted, arjay. But also under consideration is the fact that the Research Institute is operating within a very competitive environment in terms of labor, and therefore is under pressure to retain its braintrust.
Right, Icon. Again, I'm NOT objecting to giving people bonuses or sending them out to Topgolf. I'm speaking to the process.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
20,895 posts, read 32,882,944 times
Reputation: 12537
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Right, Icon. Again, I'm NOT objecting to giving people bonuses or sending them out to Topgolf. I'm speaking to the process.
How would you change it? With a measure of transparency and expediency, that is.
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