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1997-12-01 10:18:07


Texas Government's Retention Problem: Programmers



The state of Texas loses 20% of its high tech employees each year. An article in the Dallas MORNING NEWS (Nov. 29) reveals the problem, though not in the context of the Year 2000.

This link may go down soon. The facts will not change, however.

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State agencies raise the stakes to keep computer workers


Associated Press

AUSTIN - The state of Texas can't pay its programmers as much as the private companies that have made the capital a high-tech hotbed.

So government officials are hoping to improve retention with other perks like maximum 40-hour workweeks, plenty of holiday and sick leave, and job stability.

"We have to be at the forefront of this new computer age; otherwise, we could revert back to a time when the services the state provided were slow and inadequate," said state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin. . . .

But a new state auditor's report indicates those things are not enough. Nearly 20 percent of the state's information technology professionals left their jobs in the budget year that ended Aug. 31. The rate is virtually unchanged from the previous year. . . .

One state agency, the Department of Information Resources, lost more than half its 34 computer wizards last year, the auditor found. . . .

"If the state doesn't decide to privatize soon," Mr. [Jerry] Amundson said, "the free market may take care of that decision for the Legislature when nobody comes to work for the state."


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