This is just SO WRONG.....
The following article appeared recently in an East Texas newspaper. The way these faithful employees are being treated is just appalling. Here is the article, and I will let it speak for itself.
NO 'GOLDEN PARACHUTE'
When the CEO of Home Depot abruptly resigned in January, he pocketed $210 million in cash and stock options, including a $20 million severance payment and retirement benefits of $32 million. His contract is commonly called a "golden parachute."
For the 70 or so employees soon to be fired at the Texas State Railroad, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. is pushing them out of the airplane with no parachute and a bunch of rocks in their pockets. "So long, and good luck."
For the past 18 months, the dedicated employees at the Texas State Railroad have hung tough through thick and thin, through every reversal and change in policy.
"The train is going to close on Dec. 31, 2006."
"We have enough money to run the train through March 2007."
"We'll keep the train running through Aug. 31, 2007 and let the legislature decide."
These employees haven't been running a train, they have been riding a roller coaster, not knowing whether to stay or seek another state job where their retirement savings can mature.
Most have stayed, worked hard and believed that things would be okay. But TPWD is turning its back on them once again.
When TPWD announced the layoffs of 17 employees at Rusk State Park and the Texas State Railroad during the Christmas season of 2005, the agency gave employees eight weeks of pay.
The state can't call it a severance package, because that's not Kosher. However, they found a way to give those 17 employees eight weeks of their normal salary by calling it "administrative leave."
During the most recent legislative session, TPWD was successful in getting $182 million of new money from the sporting goods tax. So what kind of "administrative leave" packages can employees expect?
Employees who sign on early with American Heritage Railways will get nothing. Ditto for those who transfer to another state agency. They get nothing for sticking it out. Only employees who retire on Aug. 31 will get a four week compensation package. One management-level TPWD employee expressed concern that the train might not have enough employees to continue running through Aug. 31. Morale is at an all time low.
There's no "golden rule," no "golden parachute" for loyal TSR employees. Shame on you, Texas Parks & Wildlife and the Texas Legislature.