COMMENTARY

Can COVID Change the Workforce?

Recently I read an article* in a respected professional publication that declared COVID 19 may change the future workforce, particularly for safety services. Although the author makes some logical conclusions based on the current nature of workers in the U.S., to say their nature is driven by COVID 19 is misdirected. What may be more accurate is the government’s and liberal media’s over-reaction and ill-conceived lockdowns and masking (which provides a false expectation of safety) among other things such as mandatory closings and social distancing has created some of the perceived changes in the workforce. The underlining problems in finding qualified people for safety services existed for years prior to COVID 19. Every new generation has nuances in what motivates them. As Solomon declared, there is nothing new under the sun!

The author says that we may “see a new breed of employee with new expectations…” The logic behind that statement is the deaths and sicknesses attributed to COVID, the lockdowns and other intrusions on individual lives has caused employees to more value their personal time, schedule flexibility for family time, and wages for higher risk occupations. Having been in police administration for decades prior to COVID 19, I can attest that those are exactly the same issues we had in the 1990’s. It is not COVID driven.

What emergency services administrators are continuing to have a hard time with is the same. It is extremely difficult finding people who are qualified, who have not had either a drug or criminal record, and who can pass a substantial background investigation.

The article claims that as more people were either unemployed or working from home, they found that they preferred working that way so no longer can we expect safety service employees to desire to work shifts, have forced overtime due to understaffing, and work for low pay. The cops I’ve known for decades never ‘liked’ those things. We put up with shifts because that was part of the career and we worked with unions to get the best possible shift arrangement we could. When departments were not able to properly staff shifts or cities pay for proper staffing, and that led to forced OT… no one liked it. Some left because of it but it wasn’t COVID. Pay will never be high enough in a worker’s mind no matter the generation. What they expect though is a livable wage so they are not sweating bills week by week.

The government exacerbated the shrinking work force by the liberal left pouring millions of dollars into the pockets of people who would not work. Not could not work… would not work. Now employers are forced to spend more than they can afford on payroll. Businesses fail. But it wasn’t COVID. It was ill-conceived government handouts. A recent social media blitz cries out that if a burger-flipping employee deserves $15.00 an hour then that should be the minimum wage for Social Security benefits. The logic fits but the result is the same. The $15.00 an hour burger-flipper will bankrupt the burger joint and $15.00 an hour minimum wage for Social Security benefits will topple an already fragile system.

Agencies need people and they are now competing with other agencies for qualified people from a small, professional pool of candidates according to the article. However, that isn’t a bad thing! In a capitalist culture, agencies will improve methods, training, recruiting, and benefits all to remain competitive. That breeds improvement across the board. The author wrote, “Public safety agencies need to reframe how they value employees and have to re-evaluate and redefine how the desired characteristics and competencies that align with community and department values.” That statement was as true in 1980, 1990, 2000 as it is today. It is a constant necessity for agencies to remain viable. Still, it had nothing to do with COVID and it is not a bad thing.

Public safety agencies have a huge responsibility. They must serve their community, uphold the Constitution, state laws, and municipal charters while enforcing laws, aiding the sick and injured, fighting crime as well as fires, and maintaining a workforce willing to place their personal lives on hold at times, move their family to second place on occasion and sometimes risk their lives for people they do not even know. That is a tall order. Thank God we have the type of communities and citizens that will permit us to do so., as long as we remain engaged. Whatever the next pandemic, we need not worry that a virus alone will change our world forever. How we respond to it, however, can. That we need to approach with caution!

*Edmondson, Kim, “How COVID May Change the Next Generation of the Workforce” The ASSOCIATE Oct/Sept 2021 FBI National Academy Associates

TRUST the MEDIA?

NEWSBREAK by EUCLID MEDIA SHOWS WHY YOU CAN’T

EUCLID MEDIA GROUP HOMEPAGE PHOTO at http://www.euclidmediagroup.com

A recent GALLUP poll was titled, “PEOPLE WITH NO TRUST IN MEDIA HITS RECORD. According to the long trusted organization for surveying the feelings of the American public, a whopping 60 percent of Americans have “little or no trust in the media.” Thirty-one percent say they have a “fair amount” of trust and only 9 percent have a “great deal of trust” – I think I have hit upon an answer!

To be fair, I used to enjoy the fact that NEWSBREAK, the app on my phone, gave me current, almost up to the minute news from my area… BUT they have proven they cannot be trusted to represent their name “NEWS…”

Tuvok has problems with a Klingon Mind Meld (YouTube)

It used to be, a long time ago in a land far away that the NEWS media whether it was print or electronic media, reported the news and you could determine your own opinion about it. In the print media there would be an OPINION page where the editors or whomever could spout an opinion. But it was presented as ‘opinion’ not fact. Not with EUCLID MEDIA GROUP! The news and the writer’s opinions (no matter how biased) come together like a YAB – (that is Klingon for a Klingon mind-meld.)

Here is today’s example brought to you by their Euclid Media’s Newsbreak writer (who was hired, I understand to run their website but has become a writer) – not sure if any of his classwork at Case Western was in journalism and even if it was, I’m sure he did not take Journalism Ethics 101. (To be accurate, I’m not sure if he graduated from Case; but he says he attended there, although one background source does not show any post high school degrees). The ‘writer’ (I don’t choose to use the term journalist) is Vincent Grzegorek.

In the Journalism Ethics he would have learned, hopefully, that reporting the news and giving one’s opinion of the news are two separate categories. The opinion part is to be clearly noted as ‘opinion’ so as not to confuse anyone,

Let’s examine the story he posted just today (Jan 27th) about a request by Stark County Republican Voters for the Stark County Commissioners hold off on a $6.45 million dollar expenditure for the acquisition of voting machines made by Dominion until their accuracy could be assured. The State would cover $3.27 million and Dominion would give a rebate of $1.71 million for the old equipment. Stark County is on the hook for $3.18 million and assuming they get the rebate, it would be down to $1.74 million.

That is the actual news story… ‘just the facts’ like Det. Sgt. Friday used to say.

Here is Vincent’s rendition, let’s begin with his article’s title: “Badgered by Trump  Supporters, Stark Commissioners Now Concerned About County’s Impending Purchase of Dominion Voting Machines.”  There is no bias in that headline, right? Let’s continue…

“Trump supporters who believe in the utterly false claims peddled by the former president, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and a group of right wing media outlets that voting machines sold by Dominion Voting Systems had been hacked or intentionally switched votes in the 2020 presidential election…”

Then there is: “taken the concerns of those who have reached out spouting the same nonsense to heart and have scheduled a meeting next Tuesday with the Board of Elections to review the purchase.”

And he goes on to report  that Dominion has sued Giuliani “for his repeated baseless claims against the company.’

The bolding I have added for clarity. The trial judge is to be the trier of fact and decide whether or not Giuliani’s claims are “baseless” and since that hasn’t happened yet, Vincent seems to be rushing to be the judge, jury, and executioner here.

Vince seems to have no regard at all for the opinions of people that differ from his own and he is quick to make it clear in his writing! As long as people like Vince are on the staff of the Euclid Media Group and Newsbreak, I won’t be reading them, and I will be a little skeptical about their sponsors. It should interest anyone reading this to know that Euclid Media Group also spins this swill through, Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati CityBeat, Cleveland Scene, Detroit Metro Times, Orlando Weekly, San Antonio Current, St. Louis Riverfront Times, OutInSA and OutInSTL.

To be fair, Euclid Media Group is not the only media source who hire guys like Vince and print their skewed writing to please their liberal base. In fact, the media world is full of them and being a liberal with a highly self-aggrandizing opinion of oneself is, it seems, a basic qualification for working in media, at least in this type.

I know there are good, even great journalists out there. I knew one in particular who had a byline for years with the Akron Beacon Journal. Even well into what should have been his retirement years, he was still covering the police beat for the ABJ. When I was Chief of Police, I knew I could trust George to cover our stories fairly and accurately. George Davis was a newsman in the best sense of the word. Where have men like George gone? I’m sure there are some, I pray there will be more.

The foregoing statements are completely the opinion of the author.

%d bloggers like this: