'It's never been done that way'


Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2000

The state of Alaska is concerned because it cannot find enough suitable applicants and employees for many fields. Take note, state of Alaska: It is not only pay and benefits that lure workers away from state jobs. I know of many smart, professional, highly educated women - mothers - who have chosen to leave their high-level state jobs because their supervisors have been obstinate when it comes to part-time work, job sharing and flexible hours.

In addition, many fathers and mothers would love to see day care offered through the state. The federal building offers day care for its employees' children; what is stopping the state of Alaska? It would be great for moms and dads to be able to visit their little ones during lunch and on breaks. Some may say that having children close by may be a distraction and that part-time work and job sharing only create more paperwork. However, many companies are making modifications such as these and they are able to retain and attract workers at a much higher level. I foresee that until the worker deficit becomes critical, the state will continue to turn its back on a reliable, highly trained, professional corps of worker: Women and men who are trying to achieve a balance between family and work.

State of Alaska workers: Drop a copy of this letter in your supervisor's IN box. Post it in your break room. It's ridiculous that the state is making parents choose their family over work when that parent would be overjoyed to work a flexible schedule. The state is losing because "it's never been done that way."

Sarah Wolf


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