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Hard-Driven Employees Keep the DMV Running

March 27, 2004

Re "State Government Has Cash Shortage, Surplus of Holidays," March 22: George Skelton's endorsement of the bill to eliminate two paid holidays for California state employees is disappointing. I work at a Department of Motor Vehicles office and, like most of my colleagues, I rarely work a shift that allows time for Little League and barbecues, as Skelton suggests. I work anywhere from half an hour to three hours mandatory overtime daily. Thousands of state employees are in the same boat, juggling child care and other personal responsibilities with overtime demands at work.

The DMV is down about 1,000 employees, while the number of drivers is up by more than 1 million since 2000. Employees like me now handle about 2 million more transactions a year than we did in 2000. Other state workers are dealing with similarly increased workloads. Even before layoffs and the hiring freeze, California ranked second in the nation for the least number of state employees per capita.

It does a real disservice to state workers and other public employees who provide vital services each day to paint us with the same old tired brush. A few paid holidays are well deserved and should be maintained.

Roland S. Becht

El Cajon

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