City Council asks: How much are temps saving the city?

05/21/09 Mitch E. Perry
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In recent years, Tampa has laid off more than 100 employees and eliminated hundreds of part time, seasonal or otherwise vacant positions to cope with diminishing revenues.

Because of those losses, several City Council members today objected to learn that a request for a million dollars to hire temporary staffing positions came before them.

Greg Spearman is Tampa’s director of purchasing. He said there was a compelling reason for the funding request.

Commission Chair Thomas Scott was the first to publicly acknowledge the obvious. Scott said the Council just approved more than $300,000 in similar services in March, and last fall around $200,00.

Councilwoman Mary Mulhern said she wants to see a cost comparison regarding how much the city is actually saving by using temps instead of full time employees. Mulhern said the biggest crises in the local economy is unemployment, and said the city needs to take a larger perspective on laying off employees vs. hiring others as temps.

Councilman John Dingfelder said well over a year ago the Council voiced displeasure with privatizing city services, and requested from Greg Spearman a complete report on the temporary worker issue.

Spearman said he would try to come back with that information by next month.

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