Working for You!
Since 1972, advocating for the rights and value of South Dakota state employees.
Category: SDSEO Office

On Working Out of Sioux Falls for the Interim Session

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
One of the items discussed during the 2013 House of Delegates was the need to expand the SDSEO's reach and presence. The decision was made during HOD to open an office in Sioux Falls during the interim session, with an evaluation of the results of the move to be made during the 2014 HOD. I will continue to work in Pierre for South Dakota Retirement System meetings, Board of Finance meetings, interim legislative hearings, and the entire legislative session.

The driving forces for opening an office in Sioux Falls are the need to push recruiting and chapter activity; working from Sioux Falls allows for me to make working with the SDSEO easier, as we have chapters in Brookings, Mitchell, Vermillion, Yankton, Springfield, Watertown, Sioux Falls, and Madison that have languished without access to the executive director. The hope is that more involvement with the executive director will lead to more recruiting and chapter activity, which are the lifeblood of the SDSEO. The fact of the matter is that the SDSEO needs to start adding members and getting more active, or it will fold.

A couple more benefits of working from Sioux Falls in the interim: 1) The SDSEO will still have its main office in Pierre, and the combined cost of the Pierre and Sioux Falls offices will actually be less than the cost of the current Pierre office. 2) Greater access to legislators. There are 12 districts west of Pierre, with state employee concentrations in just 5 of those. There are 23 districts east of Pierre, with state employee concentrations in 18 of them. It's much easier to arrange meetings with legislators when distance and time are not so large. 3) As with reason #2, more media outreach possible from Sioux Falls. 4) Reduced travel costs. The cost of one round-trip to almost anywhere East River is slightly less than the cost of one month's office rent in Sioux Falls.
CategoriesExecutive Board, House of Delegates, Legislative, Member, SDSEO Chapter, SDSEO Office

SDSEO District 24 Legislator Foum: Packed With State Employees?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The SDSEO held its first ever forum for an entire district's current legislators last night. It was for District 24, which is plum packed with state government employees. Senator Jeff Monroe and Reps. Mary Duvall and Tim Rounds were in attendance and eager to hear from state employees. Did they have people to interact with? There were a few state government employees who showed up to interact with the folks who make the laws that govern the employment of state employees, but not many. Considering it was a rainy night with lots of events canceled, and considering we blitzed the radio airwaves and the daily newspaper with advertising, and considering the event was specifically for state employees and SDSEO members, the turnout was disappointing. However, those who attended had great ideas, and those are the ideas we'll move forward with. We'll have another forum in Pierre, and we hope for better attendance. Here's the Pierre Capital Journal story on the event: Legislators Discuss Issues With State Employees.
CategoriesLegislative, Media, Meetings, Member, SDSEO Chapter, SDSEO Office

Health "case manager" system working for state employees?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
(The quotation marks in today's post are mine and do not indicate a statement by anybody other than myself.) I spoke with someone who has been placed into the state's new "cost control" system for those with chronic conditions and who are on the state's health plan. The key part of the system is "case managers" who are to contact and monitor those with have been identified as being "high cost." If one relies on anecdotal evidence, I guess things are kind of "buggy" with the system, with the case manager component having the most bugs. If you are placed into the cost control system, please email or call me and let me know what you think about how the case managers operate. Call at 1-800-257-3736 or at (605) 224-8241, or email the office ( or myself (
CategoriesBureau of Human Resources, Health, Member, SDSEO Office

Waiting until trouble comes to join the SDSEO defeats the purpose of the SDSEO

Monday, August 13, 2012
I get quite a few phone calls from state employees some weeks. Other weeks, maybe just a couple. But of all the calls I get, there's just one kind I don't like: a call from a state employee who has been terminated from his or her position. I say those are the worst calls because they don't have to happen. Why don't they have to happen? Because of the SDSEO. With the SDSEO as an advocate and as an ear, it's my opinion that a state employee has a better chance of having a happy, healthy career as a state employee. At the SDSEO, we work for you.

In part, the SDSEO's mission is to see that members have better careers and career experiences. In line with that mission, all members have access to the SDSEO's main office, and all the assistance that we can provide. If you are a member and have a career question or issue, and if you want advice and assistance outside of state government, all you need to do is call or email, and we'll give you all the help and answers we have and can get. Really, it's that easy. Call at 1-800-257-3736 or at (605) 224-8241, or email the office ( or myself (

I encourage members to contact us if they have issues or questions, because what I most often see when it comes to employees who have been terminated from their position is a lack of understanding about the requirements and processes one must follow as a state employee. I see it as our job to help you understand those requirements and processes, so that you will never have to call me after you have been fired. Even if it seems nobody else wants you to succeed in your position, I guarantee you the SDSEO wants you to.

Not a member? Join here!
CategoriesBoard of Regents, Bureau of Human Resources, Grievance, Member, SDSEO Office, Termination

SDSEO Twitter and Facebook roundup

Friday, August 10, 2012
Have done a bit of traveling around the state the last couple weeks. I love traveling and meeting people, because I learn something new about what the SDSEO can do for state employees from everybody I meet. Sure hope to meet you someday.

Here's a roundup of some of what I've posted to Facebook and Twitter over the last couple weeks:

Twitter re-tweets
  • A blogpost from Bob Mercer about an upcoming hearing on worker's compensation and proposed changes to South Dakota worker's compensation law. The post is here. The agenda for the meeting is here. Many of the proposals were part of failed efforts to change the law this past legislative session. I was at the legislative committee meeting where the proposed bill failed, and I recall the State Bar Association representative saying at the time that the proposals were all or none, in that either the Bar wanted all of the changes or none. The proposals failed. That wasn't the first time they had failed, though, as they were brought before the worker's compensation advisory board in both August and September of 2011. The advisory board voted against the changes at the September meeting. The minutes for Aug. 2011 are here, and the minutes for Sept. 2011 are here. I wonder what value "out-of-state" practitioners would add to the mix?
  • An Argus Leader story by David Montgomery about Gov. Daugaard's 2011 budget cuts. That story is here. Something that gets left out of stories about the "surplus" is how many South Dakota public employee jobs were lost due to the cuts. (I lost my job at South Dakota State University when the unit I worked for was shuttered in June 2011, though the budget cuts may not have been fully to blame for the job losses in the unit for which I worked.)
  • A blogpost by Montgomery about early polling data. It is here. Note that the poll is not of "likely" voters only.
  • A Mercer blogpost about upcoming 2013 South Dakota Board of Regents meetings. It is here.

Facebook posts

  • A blogpost by Montgomery about early dropouts in South Dakota legislative races. It is here.
  • Another Montgomery blogpost, this one about an entity taking on South Dakota Republican leadership. It's here.
  • A Mercer blogpost about Nielsen polling in South Dakota. And it is here.
  • A Mercer news story about this week's Board of Regents meeting. It's here.

CategoriesFacebook, Member, SDSEO Office, Social Media, Twitter

SDSEO informational folders available

Friday, July 13, 2012
One of the things I've been doing over the past couple weeks is I've taken day trips east to west and north to south to distribute SDSEO informational folders. The folders' contents tell the story of the SDSEO: what we are, who we are, where we are, and what we do. Pretty much all of the folders' components have been posted here in Notes, but I thought I'd do an aggregate posting, so here are the contents of the folders:
  1. SDSEO newsletter
  2. SDSEO brochure
  3. Reinke Gray Investment Trust brochure
  4. "Accomplishments for You!" poster
  5. A letter from me
  6. An SDSEO Post-It pad or an SDSEO magnetic thermometer
  7. My business card
  8. A business reply envelope.
There are around 150 folders out there right now, and I'd like to have another 1,000 out in the next couple months. I have the contents; it's just a matter of arranging recipients. If you would like some to distribute, please contact me via email at or via telephone at 1-800-257-3736 or (605) 224-8241.

The three trips I've taken over the past two weeks have been pretty fast-paced, where I bring the folders and run through what the contents mean to potential SDSEO members and supporters. I've left from and traveled back to Pierre on each trip; there's plenty to do at the main office in Pierre, but I want to get out as often as I can or am asked to appear. If I haven't touched base with you, I probably will over these next couple months. However, if you don't hear from me, make sure you email me at or give me a call at 1-800-257-3736 or (605) 224-8241. The slogan on our material is "Working for You!", and I hold that close.
CategoriesAssociate Member, Lifetime Members, Member, SDSEO Office
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