While the state is mired in its unemployment funk, the questionable bright spot is that you are I are hiring. Or at least taking aps.
That is, the State of Michigan has hundreds of job openings, despite what you might hear about scaling back and the 6-day holiday for state employees to ease budget troubles.
I was going over just what we are asking of these employees and how much we should pay them, when I found out that the job of sitting at a desk at one of those little Welcome Centers we have at the state border(s) pays up to almost $40,000 a year.
Requirements include a high school diploma or GED certificate, and a year of what they call “7-level administrative support activities.” This is, simply put, the some very basic clerical experience. This would be regarded as two years of clerking for the state. In a complaint filed last year, an applicant from outside, meaning not one of those already on the state payroll, dared question the meaning of 7-level administrative support activities and was rebuffed. It appears that the complainant, Gregory Dutcher, had some pretty good experience. But from the Civil Service Commission finding:
“The Equitable Classification Plan (ECP) Glossary of Classification and Selection Terminology defines the term administrative support as follows: Work where the principal duties and responsibilities involve office support work in such areas as answering telephones, customer and staff support, word processing, data production, database and file maintenance, performing calculations, and secretarial office coordination.
In other words, qualifying experience must essentially be clerical in nature. Second, when evaluating non-state experience the same standards must be applied as are applied when evaluating state classified experience. In the state classified service, it typically requires two years of administrative support experience to even reach the 7-level, which means that one year of 7-level experience actually means a total of three years (6240 hours) of administrative support, or clerical, experience.”
So to sit behind that desk at the Welcome Center, you have to be in the system, it seems. For that, you get $40,000 and a UAW-protected, lifelong job from which it is almost impossible to be fired.
How does this square with the notion that to succeed, “you have to have more than a high school degree,” as our elected leaders have maintained for so long as they advocate for taxpayer-funded college for anyone who so desires?
“We want every student in Michigan to leave high school with the skills it takes to succeed in college and the work place,” Gov. Granholm said in her state of the state address in 2008.
I would simply point to this job at the Welcome Center as proof that you don’t even need to finish high school – get a GED if you like – and once you get into the system, a $40,000 sinecure is yours.