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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

City Light Employee Survey Reveals Widespread Dissatisfaction

posted by on September 4 at 15:21 PM

In a long and frequently testy briefing in council chambers this morning, City Light chief Jorge Carrasco presented the results of a survey of City Light employees that showed higher-than-ever levels of employee dissatisfaction at the agency—and a massive disconnect between the how workers and management perceive how things are going at City Light. Under a barrage of questions from council members Nick Licata and Richard McIver, Carrasco seemed defensive and dodgy. “Some of these results are, quite honestly, disturbing,” Licata said. “When we have less than 20 percent of the employees saying the executive managers [understand] what’s going on in the lower levels of the organization, that’s really a condemning statement. … They don’t feel they’re getting good direction from management.” Carrasco’s (rather feeble) response: “When has City Light had a work force that has been embracing of management?” He then added that many of City Light’s top managers have been in the department for less than a year. “We need to give them some time” to turn employee-management relations around, Carrasco said.

The survey revealed that City Light employees do not feel they are fairly compensated, either in terms of pay or benefits; do not feel management provides leadership or adequately supports City Light’s mission; do not feel adequately trained or involved in decisions that affect them; and do not feel there is effective communication between various levels of City Light. Interestingly, top management overwhelmingly approved of City Light’s performance, particularly the performance of executive management, while rank-and-file workers overwhelmingly disapproved. In several categories, top managers gave 100 percent approval to management performance and communication with staff, while rank-and-file workers gave approval ratings as low as 19 percent. According to a council staff analysis of the survey, “it is immediately clear that the rank and file of the department has little confidence in Executive Management. … Unfortunately, it appears the Executive Team was unaware of those challenges.”

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maybe they were aware but didn't want to publicize their own failures?

Posted by wf | September 4, 2007 3:22 PM

Oh, if only David Della had chosen to take command of City Light like he promised he would in the 2003 election. I'm sure that explains the low morale there.


Posted by N in Seattle | September 4, 2007 4:21 PM

Find a City department where the lower level employees AREsatisfied with the way they are treated.

Seattle's mayor and council are (in)famous for treating the rank and file like S**! while at the same time heartily espousing union solidarity and pro-labor attitudes.

How many years has the police union been working without a contract now? How long did Fire go without a contract?

We need to spend less [tax] money on things like "1% for Art" (Who is this Art guy, by the way?) or homeless Hiltons so the chronic inebriates can drink in their rooms, and more on fixing the potholes, making sure the lights stay on in a windstorm, having a cop or a firefighter show up when you call 911.

I have a new slogan for a shirt

Seattle World Class? My Ass!

Posted by Snort | September 4, 2007 4:53 PM

I rode the bus with some City Light employees for awhile. They were really interesting people on a personal level but their jobs were so boring I wept just hearing about it.

Posted by Katelyn | September 4, 2007 6:52 PM

When the City Council hears about an employee survey, why did they not also hear from some employees?

Mr. Carrasco will go before Council to be reconfirmed, hopefully. And hopefully, the Council and public will be more attentive. Look back at the performance measures he signed on to in 2004.

Posted by City Lux | September 5, 2007 9:50 PM

The council is basically asleep at the switch. But with Jean Godden, who, "As of October 2006 she is chair of the Energy & Technology Committee" (wikipedia), who didn't expect this? A gossip columnist has no business on the council. Seattle replaced renter's advocate Judy Nicastro, with Jean Godden the gossip. Does anyone really think Nicastro was worse? Really? Or was that story created by the media to get the few real people's advocates off the council so we could have a few more sycophants for the Mayor and Paul Allen? It's the same crap Godden's playing this year, attack your opponent by creating a scandal, say very little about your own track record, just keep using your media contacts to attack your opponents.
Wake up Seattle and kick some of these know nothing council members out. Let's get Venus in there, let's get Joe Szwaja in there, and let's retire as many of these corporate suck-ups this year in November.

Posted by Seattle Citizen | September 6, 2007 8:34 AM

From wikipedia:

"As Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, Godden helped hire new leadership for Seattle City Light."

Posted by Seattle Citizen | September 6, 2007 8:39 AM

In a past job Carrasco earned the name "Fiasco Carrasco" but Council seemingly ignored his real history as a polarizing figure who lacks expertise (still) in the electric industry. He is a narcissist whose goal is to turn SCL into a private, corporate company. Conditions at City Light are far worse than what the survey reveals. The worst news is that Nickels & Godden are apparently on board for anything.

Posted by Lux Redux | September 7, 2007 1:46 PM

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