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Home | From Bob's Cluttered Desk | Former SAIF CEO Rocklin Asks Oregon to Pay Her Legal Defense in Plotkin Suit

Former SAIF CEO Rocklin Asks Oregon to Pay Her Legal Defense in Plotkin Suit

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Former SAIF CEO Brenda Rocklin Former SAIF CEO Brenda Rocklin

Former SAIF CEO Brenda Rocklin has asked the Oregon Department of Justice to pay for her legal expenses related to the lawsuit brought by John Plotkin over his recent termination from the agency. Rocklin's attorneys, the Harrang Long Law Firm, sent a "request for defense and indemnity" to the Oregon Department of Justice on August 5th. Rocklin is claiming that the state should pay the costs of her private defense team because she was simply "volunteering her services to the State of Oregon upon its request," when she "conferred with SAIF executives and directors on what to do with then-CEO John Plotkin."

I have not seen the letter, but according to The Oregonian, Rocklin's attorneys "say she got involved when Cathy Travis, chair of the SAIF board, reached out to Rocklin for advice."

Interesting.

Frankly, I am not sure I would admit that I provided any advice in the handling of the Plotkin termination, given what a colossally stupid and incompetent clustermess it turned out to be. (I continue to use the phrase "clustermess", borrowed from my friend Joe Paduda, even though I have a far, far better term that would describe this situation. Unfortunately non-optional social conventions prevent me from using it. Feel free to mentally insert that other phrase whenever you see the word "clustermess".) It also seems to me that any advice proffered should have included the phrase "I can't help you. State law likely forbids my involvement". I am not sure if that was included or not. We've seen no evidence of that to date.

Other potentially good advice: "Has anyone discussed this with John?", or "You may want to hire an independent firm to handle that investigation, so that a holy crapfest won't ensue when you completely bung it up".

It is likely prudent not to opine at this juncture as to the actual involvement of Rocklin in the Plotkin affair, but rather let the plethora of documents released as public records speak for themselves. The entire matter will ultimately be determined by a court of law. Let us assume, for the moment however, that Rocklin's claims are completely accurate, and that she had absolutely no involvement in Plotkin's termination until that fateful day Cathy Travis reached out to her to ask "whatever shall we do?".

If that is indeed the case, then several people have some splainin' to do. For starters, it would indicate that the notes from the initial SAIF HR "investigation" of Plotkin are even more wildly inaccurate and incorrect than originally believed. Those people saying they dined with Rocklin and discussed Plotkin prior to Travis' plea are obviously lying or misquoted. Either way it elevates what was generally thought of as simply an incompetent investigation process to one that is almost criminal in nature. If Rocklin did not get involved until Cathy Travis contacted her as The Oregonian article indicates, which we know was in early May, then other people are lying.

Someone should probably be going to jail for that.

The letter sent to DOJ requesting financial acceptance of Rocklin's defense apparently states, "Many of Mr. Plotkin's allegations regarding Ms. Rocklin's statements, activities and motivations are false, but it is true that various SAIF officials initiated contact with Ms. Rocklin to seek her advice and counsel in connection with concerns that had been raised about Mr. Plotkin by other SAIF employees." Fair enough, but then again, that means that all this helping out couldn't have begun until and after the time of the Cathy Travis reach out. After all, responsible, transparent executives would not supersede their own Board Chairperson in contacting a former agency CEO for her much needed wisdom, I'm sure. That leaves a couple months of recorded meals, emails and many, many, many, many phone calls that require thorough explanation.

I reported on June 23rd that records show Rocklin engaged in well over 100 calls with certain players in the Plotkin affair from the time she left the agency up to and through his termination. Those records indicate she had numerous calls with VP of Operations and HR Ryan Fleming, including at least 3 on the day Plotkin first learned the Board wanted him gone. We can only speculate as to what the content of that days calls were like. "He didn't resign Brenda and we are reaching out again. Whatever shall we do now?"

At least 95 of those calls during Plotkin's short reign were with then VP Chris Davie, with some of them extending beyond 1 hour in duration.

It seems to me that for Plotkin's lawyers, the issue will very quickly focus on what those calls were concerning. For all of those that occurred prior to the "Cathy Travis reach out", what was the topic of all those calls? What could she and Chris Davie have possibly been discussing? That needs to come out in court, and it will need to be a credible explanation in order to substantiate her claims of late involvement only at the request of SAIF itself.

And even then, her claims do not explain why she chose to "volunteer her services", when the law suggests she might best have chosen otherwise.

Rocklin has strong ties to DOJ, and with the incestuous relationship of the Oregon political machine, I will not be surprised if they agree to let the taxpayers pick up her defense tab. But I ask, If that happens, what do they do if the court finds she did indeed violate state law by meddling in her former agency's affairs? Does that mean the state will have actively paid to defend what amounts to criminal activity? And to be clear, by "state" we probably mean "SAIF", since that agency will be billed with all the final settlement expenses.

Does that sound right to anyone at all (outside the narrow corridors and minds of certain Oregon bureaucracies)?

Perhaps a better solution, given the preponderance of recorded meals, emails and many, many, many, many phone calls, would be for Rocklin to pay her own legal defense costs. If it is found that Plotkin has alleged falsehoods, that he was wrong, that she did not endeavor to manipulate her former agency in violation of state law, then she could appeal to DOJ for reimbursement from the travesty of injustice thrust upon her. That would seem fair.

But this is Kitzhaber country. They don't seem to do fair. And for the employees of SAIF; if DOJ agrees to pay for Ms. Rocklin's defense without qualifications and with no questions asked, then you will again be working on her behalf, knowing her annual $234,000 PERS retirement is safe, secure, protected and unencumbered, thanks in part to your dedicated efforts.

And that, depending on final court determinations, could be the biggest clustermess of them all.

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For a list of Bob's other SAIF/Plotkin articles (as well as a couple old AASCIF articles that get picked up in the search), Click here. 

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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.

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Subscribe to comments feed Comments (82 posted)

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Disgusted at SAIF 08/11/2014 04:52:06
Brenda Rocklin makes me sick!!!!
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08/20/2014 15:15:17
Now that's an example of a non productive comment. But, you're entitled to your opinion. And look at the vast number of people who agree with you. That alone should make you feel what? Good? If that is true then it predates the treatment Mr. Plotkin received. Why did you stay? If I perceived or observed, over 9 years, that my executive management was so bad I would have left. Found another job.

You spend too much time there to be exposed to that . It's bad for your physical and psychological health. Nothing is more important than your happiness. There are many companies where the workforce is happy. You can go online and read about them. Their leadership really is transparent in all things. They are honest and operate with integrity. What do those companies have in common? The happiest employees in the US credit their feeling good to first-rate employee incentive programs, management that operates with transparency and integrity and communicates regularly with employees, offers ample benefits, career advancement, mentoring and training programs, and great work-life balance. The companies that were most dedicated to cultivating and advancing these aspects in the past year saw employee happiness soar.
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08/18/2014 06:55:31
Only got involved when asked by Board Chair Travis? What about those after-hours meetings at SAIF headquarters when John Plotkin was still President & CEO. Several employees, on more than one occasion, witnessed Fleming and Davie escorting Rocklin and Sealock into 400 High St. Was Rocklin visiting her old office or holding another cocktail party? I'm sure it was all very innocent and they wouldn't have been plotting to oust Plotkin because as we read Rocklin didn't get involved until Travis reached out to her for advice.
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08/18/2014 13:32:33
Like I said before certain people, now hiding in the puckerbrush, were at the center of this shit storm. Others were peripheral. I would put the burden on all them to prove they had no knowledge...the lot of them. You either get it through depositions or review of the records. Pleading "I knew but what could I do" is no defense. They had all had a fiduciary, moral and ethical duty to SAIF Corporation to register a protest and try and stop it. But save for two individuals and those that sent email protesting the twisting of their words did anything...the rest sat back twiddling their thumbs. When the former CEO came on campus and walked in I hope someone at the front desk said, "how can I help you". But I'm sure she blew right past them, "Hi..are you ..we have a meeting with Mr. Magoo and Mr. Flintstone"...Buzz....and in they went. I came in one day to see a friend and was made to wait while a bunch of phone calls were made and the person came out. So, the influence was being peddled in even the smallest maneuvers.
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08/11/2014 13:47:32
Unbelievable. There is something Very wrong in this state for this fire to still be burning. Can we say corrupt? DOJ is apparently just as corrupt as everyone else that caused this mess if they give Rocklin what she is seeking and if so, I think it will be time to get the Feds involved because this is OUT of control. I thought I was I'll to the core before and I didn't think it could get worse, boy was I wrong.

BTW, What happened to the Concerned Employees of SAIF Corporation facebook page?
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08/11/2014 17:54:57
Were you a member? It's only viewable by the members.
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08/11/2014 22:01:33
No I wasn't but contemplating it.
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08/11/2014 17:12:37
It went "secret", you will need to be invited to the page.
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08/12/2014 00:30:04
How would I get invited?
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08/12/2014 03:08:50
email Brandon
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A SAIF Chick 08/11/2014 15:14:33
What a photo to headline this article. I say, she's even holding a SAIF cup. What nerve, what audacity, what a sordid legacy she is now leaving for SAIF.
There was a time when I respected her, years ago. Not now or never will I. Sorry Brenda, you deserve the mess you've gotten yourself into.

And to the DOJ, she was NOT on SAIF's payroll at the time, I dare say, legally you shouldn't represent her.
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08/11/2014 16:14:01
This is really just too much. Unbelievable gall.
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08/11/2014 16:59:52
Good summary Bob. Rocklin's request, on it's face, is nauseating. But that is subjective. Lawyers ask for all kinds of stuff...so what else is new?

When she walked out the door she became a private citizen. Her request, predicated, she says, on the existence of some form of volunteer agreement or understanding which mysteriously came into existence ( in her mind) after Davie, Fleming, Travis and god knows who all else "reached out to her". None of that matters (who reached out to whom) as she was legally barred for participating in any of it in the first place. So, that dog won't hunt. It is my opinion, based on the sheer volume of phone calls by and between the parties on and around significant dates, where actions directly related to decisions and events, were taken, that she was at the very epicenter of this shit storm, aided and abetted by her former employees and Board members who put it into motion. I'm just looking at the preponderance of evidence.

Her paycheck may have stopped when she left but her influence did not. In the minds of her cronies, that influence was real. And her opinions, feelings, interpretations, directives weren't to be dismissed or taken lightly. These weren't low level clerks. They were officers and Board members of the Corporation. And they weren't talking about where to hang the balloons at some birthday party on those phone calls. In my opinion, the evidence will show she wasn't unwittingly sucked in but actually used her influence to instigate the whole thing for reasons only a psychiatrist can figure out.

In addition to their legal responsibilities, DOJ has a duty to SAIF, it's client, to look broadly at the big picture and protect it's workforce and the Corporation from this kind of influence. That's why ORS 244.045 exists. So, SAIF has a claim on it's own, against her for meddling. You want to see a real morale buster? Approving this request would be it.
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08/12/2014 01:31:05
are you sure ORS 244.045 applies to SAIF? We aren't a state agency. I've heard it doesn't apply.
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08/12/2014 06:32:08
Have you read the law? Of course it does..and it applies directly to SAIF as SAIF has funds invested by the Oregon Investment Council, the Governor appoints your Board, the senate confirms his choices, your employees are in PERS, and you are defended by DOJ. You don't follow the state's personnel rules or pay scales. But you are very much a state agency as it pertains to ORS 244.045.Why else would Plotkin's lawyers include that entire section in their notice of tort claim as pertains to BR's alleged high crimes and misdemeanors. They aren't throwing mud at the wall hoping something sticks.
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08/12/2014 02:54:24
Why'd you thumbs down him. She made a valid point. Read the statute, we don't invest public funds, we have defended against this for a long time. The fund is not public but the policyholders and injured workers. The law cited was about lobbying it is a stretch. Don''t get me wrong, BR needs to pay but don't beat down someone who is trying to understand the law.
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08/12/2014 12:47:05
Exactly. Thank you. I did read the law and I would be surprised if it applies to Saif. And why are writers so negative to others here? It is very sad how polarized we have all become. I think 99.99% want to find the truth and justice. Seems like those with common sense are the ones downed.
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bailey 08/11/2014 17:57:26
You are right about DOJ's duties and responsibilities, however, don't count on them making the their decision based on any of that.
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Stacey Roig 08/11/2014 17:27:33
I am not involved in this affair, except that I wait anxiously to read the next blog from you, Bob. I love that photo of Brenda Rocklin. No management skills and no taste in clothing. Cruella de Vil called... she wants her coat and slippers back!
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08/12/2014 04:01:56
I have to say, rather loudly... Hahahaha!!!!!! You so nailed this!
This SAIF employee thanks you for the chuckle!!
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DIGUSTING 08/11/2014 17:39:25
Bob, once again you are right on with your coverage.

Everyone stated Rocklin would plea innocent and start pointing fingers. Fleming will be the fall guy.

Rocklin, Davie and Fleming will perjure themselves during depositions so should all be in jail soon!
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TWWGNW 08/11/2014 17:51:14
Wait and see how quickly Attorney General Rosenblum gets involved in this decision. I am sure she will approve the request for DOJ to pick up Brenda's legal fees. Remember that Brenda's pet rock, Colleen Sealock worked on Rosenblum's campaign while double dipping as a retiree and a "flood expert". Over the years, Brenda worked very diligently to make sure her ass was covered no matter how horribly she behaved. Who says she didn't know anything about "insurance"?
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08/11/2014 20:59:51
I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions about how AG Rosenblum will interpret this request. She is a former US Deputy Attorney General, former District, Circuit and Appellate Court Judge ( almost 22 years on the bench) and has no employment history with the DOJ prior to her appointment in 2012 by the Governor. As a judge and as a candidate, she always got exceptionally high ratings from her peers and the Oregon State Bar. She may have a relationship with Sealock and Sealock has a known, professional and personal long term relationship with Rocklin but I'm sure she can be counted on to evaluate the request objectively. The AG has a duty to defend and protect the people of the State of Oregon and the agencies that fall within it's purview. Rocklin is on the outside looking in on this one..hence the request. No one is getting thrown under any buses at this point. But someone does want to get on the bus.
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08/12/2014 04:28:05
So when will AG Rosenblum ie former US Deputy Attorney General, District Circuit and Appellate Court Judge and APPOINTED to the DOJ in 2012 by the Governor AND has always had high ratings by her peers... (Were any SAIF employees her peers? )
When is she going to ask for a FULL and impartial investigation of the whole Plotkin fiasco?
Hmmm I wonder... Is this too much of a hot potato for the esteemed judge?
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08/12/2014 00:14:20
Appointed by the governor, exceptional performance ratings from her friends, gave Sealock a high paying job with no responsibilities but plenty of power, duty to protect the state agencies under her purview - could be describing Rocklin... I don't trust her one bit.
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08/12/2014 02:57:55
Get your facts straight. In 2012, Kroger announced his resignation effective June 29, 2012 to become President of Reed College, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber named Rosenblum to replace Kroger effective that same day. Rosenblum became Oregon's first female Attorney General. She served in the appointed position until January and won the general election in November for a full term.

She's not beholding to Brenda Rocklin in any way, shape or form, ever been subject to Brenda's fading influence and has never worked with or for her. Most importantly, the AG isn't part of the conspiracy that ended John Plotkin's job at SAIF. She does, however, have to clean up the mess.That's her job and you couldn't ask for a better AG.

Had they been given the chance I think John Plotkin and Ellen would have worked exceptionally well together.
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Advocacy Recognized 08/12/2014 22:08:30
Your advocacy of the AG is noted and appreciated; in some respects it is good to know that someone feels strongly enough to push back on the skeptics, of which I am one. We hope you are right in how the AG will approach this matter. Time will tell, of course.
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08/13/2014 20:05:31
The skeptics, unfortunately, are many. That very skepticism is attributable in part to the current regime change episode but it's always existed. There's an "us against them" or "we're better than they are" or "we're not a state agency" mentality that emerged long ago. That was reinforced in very subtle ways. Management reinforced it to create separation from other companies. How many times did I hear "Liberty is bad, we are good", other state agencies (DCBS,DOJ, now the Governor) are inferior, etc., so SAIF evolved after careful tinkering, as an island unto itself and a sitting duck for con artists masquerading as CEO's. The last one admitted she didn't know anything about insurance when she came and no nothing about it when she left...shocking. But everyone sat there like deaf mutes..

No one has really taught the workforce about the mechanics of how SAIF fits into the overall scheme of things, how it is in many way legislatively protected, how it's charter gives it advantages over other insurance companies. They do a good job training you to manage a work comp claim...and as your proficiency increases so does your claim load. Pretty soon you know all the levers to pull to close, open and reopen a claim and manage it in between,and "hit your numbers". But at the slightest criticism they react emotionally as if their family is under attack, their religion, etc., How dare they do that us, we're SAIF Corporation, we are the best, yada yada yada. How's that working for you this time?

It's that very separation which militates against "getting the word out". It kind of reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode where a plane is crashing but no one knows because it's had the advantage of being invisible ....no one can hear or see them on radar but everyone is confident that it will all be fixed if they just sit tight. The plane crashes in the desert. No survivors. No one knew.

Maybe it's time to look at SAIF's placement in the overall structure. Add some members to the BOD ( this will mean contact with legislators because current stakeholders benefit from the separation and won't do it) , maybe form a speaker's bureau that goes out into the public and tells about what you do, form a group and get certified as a lobbying body, write some bills, i.e.

Amend ORS: 656.754 Manager; appointment; functions. (1) The State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation is under the direct supervision of a manager appointed by the board of directors of the State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation. The manager serves at the pleasure of the board of directors. The manager shall qualify in the manner provided for board members in ORS 656.716 except that no bond shall be required. ....Insert new language...." at minimum prospective candidates for the position of manager shall have at least two years executive management experience in the insurance industry, preferably in worker's compensation".

SAIF has enjoyed a separate status for a long time. Personally, I think it's time to take a good hard look at that status and make some modifications. Think of them as safeguard modifications that insure accountability, transparency, integrity from management and the BOD.
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08/12/2014 13:45:51
She invented a cushy position for Colleen Sealock so she could continue her career of coattail riding a bit longer, she allowed the DoJ to rubberstamp this entire plot, she will not investigate despite strong evidence that illegal activities were occurring. Yes, I COULD ask for a better AG.
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08/11/2014 23:37:16
A thumbs down. What does that indicate? You disagree? Explain. SAIF didn't settle a few weeks ago so you blame DOJ? DOJ probably laid out a series of options up to and including not responding. You recall they did ask for more time. They were talking to their client and advising them. Maybe they thought Mr. Plotkin would fold. Or maybe they thought the fastest way to settle was to not respond, get the amended complaint, with a dollar amount and go from there. Or maybe John Gilkey said: no offer to settlement, under any conditions. There are lot's of strategies at work here. I want to see justice for Mr. Plotkin as much as anyone else, full compensation, punitive damages, attorney's fees, and restoration to his position. But Ellen Rosenblum is not the problem.
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08/11/2014 19:41:51
We should all email and/or write the Governor's appointments director and ask for the timeline for filling the vacancy and replacing the expired members. We should have had the vacancy filled by now, and the others by the end of the year.

This whole fiasco could have been resolved quickly with a new board and an independent investigation. It still can be mitigated, but we need a new board, but our current BOD will never allow it.

Kendall Clawson
Executive Appointments Director​
kendall.clawson@state.or.us

executive.appointments@oregon.gov
Office of the Governor 
Executive Appointments 
900 Court Street NE, Room 160 
Salem, OR 97301-4075
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08/11/2014 19:58:53
Bob...if you've got a copy of this already don't waste the space...

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/steve_duin/index.ssf/2014/08/steve_duin_blog_un-saif_at_any.html
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SAIF Watcher 08/11/2014 23:10:19
This is just too gross and is beyond words. But where is the rest of the outfit? Colleen gave Cruella de Rocklin a matching leopard print hat (and according to the rumor mill - a leopard print thong and I am not talking flip flops here.)

One thing is for certain, unless Governor Kitzhaber gets involved and puts an end to this travesty, there is no way that I am voting for him, and I have hundreds of friends and acquaintances who agree with that sentiment. Are you listening Jonny Boy? This entire matter is going to give Richardson a stunning upset. But then do you still go to lunch and dinner with Cruella??
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08/12/2014 04:37:44
This is barely a bump in the campaign trail for kitzhaber. He doesn't care about 900 voters at SAIF. Business is fine, policyholders don't care, why should he? A big dividend will close the can of worms. Not sure why employees think anyone outside of SAIF really cares.
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sylvester 08/12/2014 17:33:59
To the best of my knowledge no dividend has been approved by the Board of Directors for SAIF. But wow come the September Board meeting what a wonderful gift to give the Governor but to award a dividend...
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08/12/2014 14:34:06
You're right. As long as employees are silent it's game over.
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08/12/2014 02:27:10
I've not had much experience with legal matters so I have a question:
If the DOJ agrees to provide a legal defense for Rocklin, can I then sue the DOJ for intentionally inflicting emotional distress?

As an employee of SAIF Corporation this situation has made me frustrated, angry, and has caused me, and other SAIF employees, emotional distress. The DOJ knows how SAIF employees feel about the situation AND how they feel about Brenda Rocklin. If the choose to defend her they are knowingly causing additonal emotional distress to SAIF employees.

Could I sue the DOJ, and could other SAIF employees do the same?
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Growing Weary 08/12/2014 02:33:04
The last correspondence from our "leadership" (giant air quotes inserted here) was 6-25-14. Are you KIDDING!?! What a colossal joke! Our current leadership isn't leading, they are covering, cowarding & hoping this all goes away. The problem is that there are 800 angry employees that have been charged by a corporation to "do the right thing" for years & we've been first-hand witnesses to corruption & lies. Today we learned another culpable VP announced retirement. 2 guilty VPs down & 1 to go. Ryan Fleming-YOU MUST GO! Do the right thing & leave!
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08/18/2014 14:15:31
Like Watergate the conspiracy wasn't limited to Nixon, Haldeman and Erhlichman.. it was broad and deep and involved a host host of intermediaries, boobs, players and parasites. Why be so generous? Take the attitude they are all guilty of betraying your trust.. Either by direct involvement or idly sitting bye and watching all hell break loose. The new broom has to sweep clean. The "ilk" has to swept out. In practical terms you're talking about a company with greater assets than any other agency in the state, no matter, their designation as a quasi public corporation. That money requires sound stewardship. 4.2 billion. All from premium paying customers, compounded by the hard work of the employees.. Buzzards guts man.This is about as bad as it gets.

The fact that your interim isn't communicating is irrelevant. It's been proven time and time again they are hiding. That's not leadership it's chickenshit. A leader with nothing to fear would be talking to you daily...DOJ hasn't issued a directive to "keep your mouth shut while this thing pending". They would be out there yammering away about "best practices, doing the right thing, work makes you free, if you're having a bad day grab that little book we printed up, form a circle with coworkers with your legs in the criss cross apple sauce position, and take turns reading various chapters, until you achieve a bliss like state, put these small matters out of your mind, don't be distracted by this silliness, stay the course, try downward facing dog if that doesn't which, Oh...the red lights blinking....
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08/15/2014 03:55:55
I've wondered for a while why we have so many execs, vp's and middle managers.I suppose sometimes they have to make decisions that affect our business and operations. But i think we would function just fine if a good 50% of management were to leave en masse.
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08/12/2014 20:42:06
They are merely biding their time. They'll leave. Looks like TM is on her way with others to follow. But you are clearly leaderless as the good work goes on. So, other than a little low morale it's covered. Operations people rarely, if ever, intersected with VP's, the EC , the Board or the CEO for that matter. You're part of the engine that cranks out the work . They use you as a dog and pony show. They were highly paid con artists who saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. No one ever stopped them so they continued their shenanigans. People were greased into jobs they were unqualified to fill. New VP positions were created. Now I'll admit given the personalities it would have taken some guts to confront them. But, enough people confronting them would slowly erode their grip on the upper echelons of the Corporation. The former CEO and her cohorts ran rough shod over SAIF for 9 years. You need to get organized, talk to your legislators, develop some broad long term goals, other wise this is truly a lost, once in a career moment.
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08/15/2014 14:45:55
I know one of the principals got a job offer, at the state fair to make funnel cakes.
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08/12/2014 22:05:44
Don't forget the other HR cronies brought over by Fleming, Sealock, and Rocklin - Galloway, Zimmerman, and Walker. Their ties and support run deep. Galloway and Zimmerman worked for Fleming prior to SAIF. Galloway is as ethical as Fleming. Walker and Galloway are long time friends.
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08/18/2014 14:06:24
This is rediculous and disgusting. Stop dragging people's name through the dirt when there had been no indication they were involved. Put the pitchfork down for a secins, step back and realize these may be innocent people who ont deserve the attacks on their character
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08/18/2014 18:30:52
Personally, I've never heard the names Galloway, Zimmerman or Walker. So, it's news to me. Anyway they take their marching orders from the manager directly above them. If that person created a permissive environment where this stuff was encouraged he/she is to blame for doing it and they're to blame for not saying something. We're not talking about the military here..where you follow orders. We're talking about a quasi public corporation...public, staffed by civilian personnel with, supposedly, a sense of honor, duty, morality and ethics. What was all that jibber jabber from management about "do the right thing".? That is to broadly construed. Not narrowly applied to things like paying a medical bill timely. It applies in all things. Marrow deep. But it obviously doesn't apply to SAIF management. SAIF management has been exposed as a gutless, duplicitous, bobble headed head nodding, unethical, lacking in integrity, spineless and disingenuous back scratching gang. Okay..to be fair...not all of them. Their not even good at it. But most of them are sitting around hoping this thing settles fast no matter what it costs ("just don't touch my money") , blows over and "things can get back to normal"...newsflash: there is no normal at SAIF to go back to. You're in the big water now. And you're drowning in it.
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08/18/2014 20:48:01
So the theory here is even though the HR VP was trying to pull this off in secret, people 2 to 3 levels below him probably knew about it or should have figured it out? Lets not forget what we are talking about here. You've never heard those names, but you're ok with them being dragged through the mud because, hey, you would have unraveled this plot before anyone even knew what was going on, right? This is a witch hunt. We know who is responsible. Could others have been involved in ways we dont know? Yes, its possible. THAT Doesn't mean you throw out their names in a public forum like this. The angry mob tactics being used on this site is disgusting. I'm so ashamed of the behavior of many of my coworkers under the shroud of anonymity. It's upsetting how the Plotkin termination was carried out. What's just as upsetting to me is some of the behavior on this forum.
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08/18/2014 16:46:24
Which part exactly.?The fact that it took a year to recruit a new CEO who was then subjected to the worst treatment imaginable? How about the conversation between parties some retired and some still affiliated with the company sharing confidential information.? What about the plotting and planning that took place when the CEO was out of town? How about the offering of the interim CEO job to a VP with a raise? How about the disconnecting of the CEO tech by the HR VP without the authority to do it just to have to CEO tell him the rules? What about the ridiculous allegations made by one person after twisting other peoples words, to form the pretextual basis for the CEO's termination without the same due process offered the previous CEO?
Or how about the horrific treatment the CEO received from the BOD on May 9th...long after they had decided to can him? Maybe it's lying to the Governors Office (by omission) that they had verifiable offensive behavior. Maybe it's the 25 hours (plus) of phone calls between the VP who retired in a sheer panic and the former CEO? I haven't spent 25 hours on the phone to any one person..ever... Or maybe what sickens you is the thought, forming in the back of your cranium, that you could have done something and you didn't. Or maybe the person being named is your bowling buddy and you feel sorry for him or her. Facts are facts and they are coming out. Of course some lesser involved people are being caught up in this thing..but that's nada compared to what Plotkin was subjected to...right? Still sick ? Find a barf bag, fasten your seat belt, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Get used to it.
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08/18/2014 21:25:10
"Of course some lesser involved people are being caught up in this thing..but that's nada compared to what Plotkin was subjected to...right?",


Also, how do you think the man we are rooting for, Mr. Plotkin, wouldfeel about this statement?
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08/18/2014 23:02:43
Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omlette
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08/19/2014 01:49:30
Congratulations, you have sunk to the level of the people that got Mr. Plotkin Fired. Who cares about wrecking lives? Just make up the facts and tell everyone it's true. How can you not see the hypocrisy in this?

You make me sick.
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08/19/2014 03:14:19
These are opinions. Commentary. Personal opinions. But if they can provoke thought about the events they are acceptable commentary. If you disagree.. you disagree. Without questioning and discussing you're merely acquiescing to events. There is a very high likelihood that this will end very anti anticlimactically. There will be a quiet settlement, an interim manager appointed by a new BOD, and nothing will change. And everything will be "back to normal"with the same cast of characters. That's how these things normally play out.
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08/19/2014 13:26:14
What does this have to do with dragging peoples names through the mud that have nothing to do with this? This doesn't justify all the poor behavior. All this has done is made me care even less about this situation because now I dislike the extremist militant group that has become so vocal just as much. I'm done with this blog and the comments of some of my cowardly co-workers who sit her conducting this witch hunt and making our whole company look bad.
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08/20/2014 20:04:15
"Making our company look bad"? Interesting.The people who have made your company look bad are the co-conspirators, if we can call them that, and the peripheral managers who literally did nothing to stop it ( they could have closed ranks and gone to the Board independently...all however many of them there were?). They could have, as Officers of the Corporation written a letter to the Governor and Speaker of the House. They could have written a letter to Ted Wheeler, State Treasurer who manages SAIF's funds advising him of the mutiny and the need for him to get involved and talk with the Governor's office. They did nothing. Not one thing with the exception of two who wrote to Fleming or someone advising him that the statements attributed to them were inaccurate. Your corporation was in a leaderless state of flux for days and you could have used that time to make sure this got a proper airing and was called to an abrupt halt. They did nothing. Even after the Board fired Plotkin the VP's and Directors did nothing. Sure you might have gotten some heat but you wouldn't have gotten fired....for showing leadership ..that's what you're there for. What were they afraid of being glared at? Gutless.
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08/18/2014 21:09:27
Oh, it's the part where people's names are getting brought up with not factual evidence they were involved. I thought my post explaining thats what it was would have been sufficient. I guess your only logical conclusion was to go well outside of what I said and associate it with things I didn't bring up, though. My apologies
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08/12/2014 13:51:36
Don't forget Coney, we can't leave any portions of the cancer behind.
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jill 08/12/2014 04:59:57
Gonads! She has huge gonads!
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08/13/2014 02:43:37
I'm sure this isn't too much of a "hot potato" for the AG. Be reasonable. There's an order to these things. And there is an expectation of confidentiality so I wouldn't expect any weekly progress reports on the litigation from DOJ. As a part of their response to the lawsuit they will do an investigation. They will evaluate the claims made in Mr. Plotkin's lawsuit and move forward from their either to a settlement or trial if they feel they have a case and a settlement cannot be reached. Either way, they will investigate. There will not be any lynchings however.

In the meantime I'm sure SAIF employees will remain mute, afraid of retaliation, or loss of focal point, or change of schedule, or something. Basically, you have proven you can be relied upon to not take risks, go on the record, have your say, take a stand, what have you. You're nonentities at this point. You'll get a new CEO at some point and maybe that person will not be victimized by a bunch of hooligans.

Under any circumstances it's going to take 2-5 years to dig out from the fallout of this thing. Another top flight CEO candidate will never be interested in signing on unless they can have a free hand in remodeling the culture. Top down. Right down to the carpet pile. So, the question remains, how are you going to influence that process. From the bleachers or the pitchers mound?
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08/14/2014 15:57:18
http://karrasconsulting.***/SAIF.pd

I urge people to take a minute to read the recruitment notice issued last year by Karras Consulting. Scroll down to the Ideal Candidate. It boggles the mind that this recruitment yielded a top flight candidate that exceeded all expectations in all categories contained here-in and was hired, only to be subjected to the events which have transpired over the last few months, practically from his first day on the job. What does this say about the leadership of SAIF to have destroyed the very opportunity to have this type of leader? What possible motive could these people have had to do this? Again, I have to ask, what was the motive?
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James T. Stewart 08/14/2014 16:07:08
All - - I was born in Klamath Falls many years ago. My parents and I moved to Medford, then Ashland, and then to Grants Pass before moving to California where I've lived most of the time ever since.

I still have friends and relatives in Oregon and I hate to say it but SAIF's Management's apparent plot to screw Plotkin is making Oregon look bad. Actually, SAIF's whole "clustermess" reads like something I'd expect to see happening in L.A. or possibly Orange County, but NOT Oregon!

At first I thought, "I can't wait to go back and talk to some people who've given me a rash of S - - - over the years about 'California, the land of fruits and nuts . . . where the oranges suck back!' "

Trouble is 'dissing' Oregon now would be a 'cheap shot'! It's just not sporting to kick someone when they're down, so to speak, and right now Oregon has sunk below Southern California or "SoCal" as they call it, both morally and ethically!

Last of all, don't accuse me of "gay bashing," I'm not! I've known quite a few gays and lesbians over the years and I honestly believe they, as a group, are better, more responsible parents and citizens than the rest of us! Certainly more honest that SAIF's upper level management!

Hopefully, SAIF will shortly pull their heads out of . . . "that place where the sun don't shine," justly compensate Plotkin and "clean house," i.e., get rid of all the corrupt cronies which caused this mess and replace them with honest, hardworking, Oregonians who don't lie, cheat or steal!

I'm sure the rank and file at SAIF would appreciate the change, as would the citizens of Oregon!

Stew
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08/15/2014 14:04:41
In all organizations where I have worked if you want to create a new position or change a position classification from say Director to VP, you request HR to evaluate the exact duties.That usually encompasses things like public contact, level of decision making, number of people supervised, number of direct vs. indirect reports, freedom to make decisions without running it up the flag pole, etc.,Within that analysis is a classification compensation analysis. That study looks at similarly situated positions in the company, industry standards and regional pay for similar jobs, independent decision making authority etc., Then they look to see if it fits into an existing job description or a new job description is written, the pay is set and the package moves on for some kind of review and approval.

They also look at class pay compression where one classes pay is overlapping or too close to another's. In that sense a new range needs to be created, the pay adjusted, or a whole new jd.

The emphasis is of course on providing consistency. It is more of an art than a science and easily and is very easily manipulated. In the wrong hands it can be written so as to create the desired result which creates a hodge podge of people in jobs with nothing to do, people in jobs who don't belong there, people in jobs being paid significantly more than people in jobs classified as the same thing etc., ( I'll venture a guess the claims examiner and claims assistant jd's haven't changed a lick in 10 years...although they should have underground repeated class/comp studies during that time...at least 2...adding new responsibilities, evolving indep decision making etc., public contacts ....industry pay regionally etc., )

At SAIF, with such a cozy relationship between the HR people and the EC and VP's my sense is that is what has gone on most recently giving you an explosion of VP's, new management positions, hangers on, people with nothing to do, one job being split into three then all being paid the same etc., People being greased in with no knowledge, skills and abilities..commensurate with the new job created, minimum requirements to apply being written so broadly the person they want will qualify etc.,

I'm just guessing but I'll bet this jumped out at John when he started. As in, "What are all you people doing here in all these high paid jobs...?" At SAIF, with it's two silos: us..and the people that do the work. This was probably apparent to a person with afresh set of eyes. In my opinion you could wipe out 50% of the people in management at all levels...then increase the duties of the people who remain. Then look at your claims sups and examiners and boost them with an eye toward grooming them for upper management. Lean out and streamline the whole thing.Eliminate all the sinecures that have been created that served at the "pleasure" of the CEO, and various VP's. My sense is HR did what ever the CEO said for managerial positions and for operations it was the "disciplinary wing". HR was there to function as the hatchet for them.. forget all the other regularly associated duties of an HR dept. Combined with the lack of an appeal process, and the fact that enforcement was arbitrary and employees have no property rights to their jobs ( check your personnel rules) and you're out the door for something as benign as wearing a pair of stretch and sew culottes to work.

The more mundane and technical aspects of analysis usually associated with an HR department won't happen with a self serving HR person who isn't independent. Since these efforts are generally lead by that person. It's the more technical aspects that fill an HR persons day.. ...constantly reviewing, assessing and changing if needed the various jobs withing the work force.

Now , in hindsight (such a wonderful thing) I think I've described HR function at SAIF. It became institutionalized over time. And that's why people came to fear HR rather than see them as a resource and work with them. Ideally, you should be able to submit a request and say..." could you please review my duties, the KSA's required, within the job class and pay range I'm in...I'm exceeding them in all areas etc., I think I may be do for a reclass". This never happened when I was there. HR was seen as The Stasi....

Again, this all comes back to the isolation of SAIF, by design from other institutions. They were efree, as we have seen, to do their own thing. Over time, they created a huge, self serving money trough, for everyone to feed at, then roll over and get a sun tanned ....all funded by premium paying customer and BOD...who were clueless. And, as we have seen, staff who feared them. Talk about text book organizational pathology...Now you've got a shell shocked workforce...that will need time to come to trust HR, among other things, i that's even possible.

So, with a new sheriff in town who had the most to fear?
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08/16/2014 05:17:12
You MUST have been that fly on the wall all these years because you are so exactly RIGHT!!! I assume you are an outsider.. And if you could assertain this...there must be others who can see that those of us who are non- mgmt worker bees are slowly drowning in the micro- mgmt mire left over by BR. And even tho our Director's and VP sympathize with the firing of John P... And many really liked him... They still cannot break away from the iron fisted strangle hold they maintain on us by the punitive and degrading methods they continue to rely on in our archaic performance review system. This system allows each director to add any musings they desire which boosts their own notoriety and makes little sense when actually facing the policy holder. This is the epitome of job security for them and lots of CYA for the rest of us! Stress runs rampant!! }
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08/16/2014 13:50:46
I am that fly. My opinion. Follow the money ( as in salaries, promotions, safety in numbers and following the leader as they lead you off a cliff).

The system was re engineered to serve the employment needs of upper management. They have essentially built a steel ring around themselves. Now of course, some of that is true with any corporation. But SAIF took it to cynical the extreme.

As the recent regime took hold they realized they had a "winner winner, chicken dinner" on their hands. The big fish. The key was "no oversight". All they had to do was keep the surplus growing ( well managed by OIC..thank god SAIF couldn't screw that up), give out dividends with lots of hoopla, make an occasional road trip and keep the middle tier of managers well compensated. That way they could insure the steam engine of claims was running smoothly and policy holder were taken care of. No big deal as the money was in the bank churning out interest for the upper echelon to hand out after all the work was done..

The last regime took this to the extreme no question. As soon as Guv. Kulongoski deployed his portable human Flugzeugabwehrkanone "aircraft-defense cannon", all bets were off. Having no experience in workers comp mattered not. Wasn't needed . Once the "big show" was over and they had taken care of the 2003 problems they could drop the pretense and begin infiltrating the Corporation. And infiltrate they did. Some came from outside, some from within.

One VP, the longest serving VP in the history of the world, sized up the new operation first. This chameleon made the switch with ease. Rather than use their experience to stand up to the self serving changes this person was the first to roll over. (Think this person as Richelieu...who, In order to further consolidate power in France, Richelieu sought to suppress the influence of the feudal nobility. In 1626, he abolished the position of Constable of France and ordered all fortified castles to be razed, excepting only those needed to defend against invaders.[30] Thus, he stripped the princes, dukes, and lesser aristocrats of important defenses that could have been used against the King's armies during rebellions. As a result, Richelieu was hated by most of the nobility.) The rest soon followed.

Some felt, no doubt, they could remain behind the scenes and guide the big show making sure the rest didn't do anything over the top that would upset the apple cart. This worked great for years. Rather than standing up they too picked the low hanging fruit and continued their climb up the corporate ladder. "Hey what the hell, I'm going to get mine".

Think of the upper tier VP's, EC, as floating on a big soft down mattress courtesy of the work horse of the claims folks. (The claims people were easy to steam roll as they had to actually work, meet deadlines, field phone calls, staff claims, etc.,) It's a cynical theory I know but, only one or two stood up to the chaos they perceived, and their heads ended up on pikes as a results. But, the churning out of the work continued. So, on the surface all seemed like it was running like a finely turned 18 carat gold Patek Philippe watch.

I hold every member of the EC and every VP accountable for this travesty. The argument put forth by some that "they were just as scared and were protecting what was left" is simply horse shit. They were the direct beneficiaries of the scheme. Because they benefited from it and went along with it.

As a result, the SAIF brand has suffered. The work force has suffered. Individuals have suffered. Needlessly. The most cynical comment made recently by the departing former CEO was that "they knew nothing about insurance when they arrived and knew nothing about it as they left". They made that comment as a joke. Who would say such a thing? That comment, all by itself, revealed more than anything else about the attitude toward the company and it's employees. Insulting and degrading.

So, singling out VP's and EC people and praising them or saying they're "okay" doesn't get you anywhere. Personally, I feel badly for the people who do the work. Grind it out. They have an expectation of fairness, transparency, integrity, and trust at all levels at all times. . They have an expectation when things are going off the rails that certain people will stand up and say "NO" and confront, head on, the stupidity. And, leave or demote. That didn't happen.

If any company needs a colonic cleansing it's this one. I can think of 5 people, right off the top of my head who could jump into a Claims VP spot Monday morning and run circles around the current person. So, the depth is there because the knowledge is there...just down the line a bit.
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08/18/2014 05:03:26
Amen - we must demand more from our leaders. They cannot just go along to get along.
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08/16/2014 18:45:10
So, let's see, you need to clean house. The new broom sweeps clean. As we've seen, during these troubled times over the last 4 months, the work continues unabated and uninterrupted. So, in terms of corporate social responsibility alone the new CEO has to have, whenever they start, if you can find one, everyone's resignation on his desk.

He or she then gets to have the person writeup exactly what it is they do, if anyone else is doing it ( duplicate effort), if it can be done by another class of employee, if it really rates a VP or Director rating or if it is just a sinecure. The "what do you do" section alone can be measured by measureable outcomes. For example, attending meetings is a measurable activity which some people define as work. In today's environment with all manner of instant communication going to meetings is, in large, a waste of time. So, that's kind of a routine function that everyone does that isn't all that important. So, it get's like 5 points, out of maybe a total of 100.

On the other end of the spectrum would something like initiating a special project and finishing it and implementing it or tossing it after testing. Maybe it's something like a new way to template reserves for similar claims. A type of claim comes in, it's accepted, it meets all the requirements of a "same old same old" and the reserves are automatically slapped on. Tasks are generated, dates etc., and routine maintenance of the claim moves forward. Like auto pilot. Scary stuff. So, it has to be introduced with a velvet touch. Tested, then tested again, explained and then launched. Results are routinely measured: does it really save time, increase efficiency, allow for one person to handle more work because they are now freed from routine housekeeping tasks that a computer can do for them? Can you spend more time with the employer, etc., If it doesn't work after comparative testing with a group of similar claims, managed the old fashioned way, then you throw it out. No harm, no foul. You tried it and it didn't work. But what if it does work? Then you propose working it up for more and more complex claims. I can hear the yammering now....but this is just an idea, a suggestion. Can the widget be made differently? The place should be swarming with VP's and Directors coming up with these ideas all the time. Interact with staff, get their ideas, prioritize them and try them. The culture should celebrate new ideas. These might get 30 points.

Maybe someone is into legislative changes that would would improve service industry wide. They set about prioritizing the ones that are broadest in their appeal industry wide and write them up and begin gathering support from the industry. Maybe one passes and is signed into law and the company reaps savings and service is improved. ..maybe it almost passes. Maybe it fails. Doesn't matter. The activity is measurable. Add points for trying...

No points for latte drinking, nodding yes at meetings, repeating what your subordinate told you an hour before the meeting, etc., No points for the millions of people you have under you. no basis points because you've been there a gillion years. We're culling the herd this time out. A flatter organization is a more efficient organization. Personally, I always like the idea of a working supervisor. Carries a claim load. Maybe half load. Still there to mentor and answer questions and solve problems. Means fewer meetings. More action. But before that working supervisor idea I'd like to see working VP's and Directors doing something. It would need to be a top down process to get buy-in.

Clearly a paradigm shift is underway. No where near full swing..barely inching along at this point. Something gotta give.
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08/17/2014 15:45:02
The press reporting on this event has been interesting. Mssrs Manning, Duin and Jaquiss have lead in the Oregonian and Willamette. They have been doing a doing good job of getting the story out, as it is. Asking good questions and not pulling any punches. They can't get anyone to go one record other than Mr. Plotkin, and have had to piece together the rest . So, other than public records requests coming out it must be frustrating.

Cover Oregon, on the other hand, has had enormous coverage that has had a direct impact on all aspects of executive decision making since it began unfolding. The linking to the federal exchange, the Governor's decision to sue Oracle ( not that they have much of a case as advised by the AG) is I think, in large part due to the exposure of the managerial incompetence that got them into the mess in the first place. The Cover Oregon execs are now busy leaving, getting fired, pointing fingers at each other, etc., In the meantime the federal exchange hook up is moving forward ( even though there are conflicting US District Court rulings on the legality of allowing states to use the federal exchange), so open enrollment will, for this year, be taken care of. Pretty much the entire iceberg has been revealed, warts and all. A new CEO is on board and is moving forward with house cleaning. Not to excuse the waste of money but this was a new program. Some of the problems can be attributed to a cast of characters with conflicting ideas, most of whom had no idea how to set up a system this size, intra agency personality conflicts and wishful thinking combined with plenty of CYA behavior when the thing failed. In the end some say not having a system integrator to manage the project was the biggest mistake. And, it probably was.

Plus the Governor, running for re-election, can only fit so many failures on his plate at a time.

The events at SAIF are much different. Much darker. Something of this magnitude should never been allowed to happen. While 97.5 of the workforce is immersed in their productive day to day activities this attempted coup or mutiny as it's been called, took place right under their noses. People work, go home, manage their family life, and come back to work. Their jobs are important and they do them exceptionally well. They have an expectation that upper management is functioning with transparency and integrity in all things. While they knew they had upper management problems that were more than skin deep no one suspected THIS level of stupidity and incompetence and lack of integrity. Many have since asked the question: "were am I working, who are these people that espouse one set of beliefs and values and act with such disregard for them when it suits them"?.

Bob's blog has served a very important purpose in revealing the underlying belly of SAIF. It has revealed enormous inconsistencies in oversight, the independent role of BOD, convoluted self serving management, and much more. This culture has stymied careers and upward advancement of good people, gotten rid of some while crushing the daylights out of others. Given the damage, it may be necessary at this juncture for the new BOD to install a "special master" for a one year term, to analyze the full extent of the damage and create space between these events so that a new CEO can be recruited who can then steer the ship and re-install the concept of best practices in all functions.

No question, John was that guy, and he was headed in that direction, until he was stopped cold by this vulgar, virulent and unprecedented behavior by his subordinate managers and BOD. The "special master" would have a distinct term of service and be barred from applying for the ft job, with a tight list of objectives up to and including firing of the old guard and assigning their functions to a group of competent, existing internal people, mindful of those that begin sucking up the minute he arrives trying to create a special place for themselves. (Sucking up is a classic SAIF managerial behavior as we have seen in the current managerial ranks at SAIF....some project this nurturing, caring , can-do facade but in their hearts they are scared shit less they will be unmasked as the frauds they are). They scare off the quiet, deliberate, competent ones with their. Sucking Up and do even the unthinkable. It's how you got where you are. You want leaders who will stand up and say.."you can't do that because".., and stand by their principles . Not people who put their heads down and escape to their cars at 5PM. Of course there are good people in upper management and, down the road, they'll be there in one form or another. Some are probably kicking themselves they didn't say something sooner on many issues. That they stood back. But leaders lead in all things. And it helps if upper management is open to them leading. Otherwise you get layer upon layer upon layer of scare-dy cats making 100--250 K per year. Now that's scarey.

I know people will read this and some will say "you're full of shit" and begin making piles. This one goes in the good pile, this one goes in the bad pile. Or, I like that person, they keep me in the loop so I like them and they should be in the good pile. Or, that person used to be my co-worker, then my supervisor, then they moved up to this or that. So they go in the good pile. Or , we vacation with them every year at Detroit Lake...good pile. Or, we always talk about Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent in the cafeteria...good pile. I would avoid making piles. Personal relationships not withstanding it's all about competence, integrity and knowledge, skills and abilities at this point. Once the job is defined, at whatever level, it's all about competence, integrity, expertise and knowledge.
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08/17/2014 19:50:09
Addendum to the above. I'm sure you're already observing the first signs of Sucking Up. It manifests itself as feigned indignation that such a thing could happen. They hope enough time will pass so they can gain total separation from the event and fade into the shadows. These would be the "leaders" who never said a thing and now all of a sudden, in whispers though, expressing their disdain for what happened..."but what could I do...I'm only one person making 225K a year?". Or worse.."I knew they were up to no good but I just kept my head down and hoped it would pass..terrible thing ...just terrible...did you see Naked and Afraid last night"? These are the people who are banking on their personal relationships with subordinate staff to "save them". ( The only ones I have read did the right thing were Rickard and Hanson) I'm sure the others are scrambling now to appear busy, reaching out..."my door is open"..., involved, competent, caring, yada, yada, yada. All they are trying to do is shore up their base. But we haven't heard a word from them publicly. I am positive some of thesebottom feeders are making the rounds to see and be seen...some acting like they have the inside skinny..saying stuff like, "I am really proud of you all for maintaining such an upbeat can do attitude while this thing plays out...remember customer service is paramount, .our premium paying customers are counting on you..." This is called "shifting." They don't have a clue. Now's the time to get out in front of this thing. SAIF staff are too forgiving...but hopefully not this time. While you're dithering around trying to come up with a name for yourselves just pick one. Employees for Change...EC...get it? The question people should be confronting these people with is ," how could you have let this happen, don't you have an opinion, or are you just afraid of losing your job". I would be using every opportunity to grill hell out of them. What are they going to do? Write you up for unsportsmanlike like conduct and give the file to HR? I doubt it. The best defense is a good offense. You take the fight to them. Never with disrespect...but you can ask, "how can you continue working here knowing that happened on your watch?". Free speech. Just a question. You won't get an answer. You'll get a bunch of bullshit. "Have you seen my Edsel I just restored..I love driving it around town on weekends...Herb and I and the kidlets love taking it out to Elmer's on Sundays for hotcakes...what have you been up to"?
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Keeping the Focus 08/18/2014 16:02:16
I am clearly on the side of John Plotkin and all that he stands for. Brenda Rocklin is the worst of all leaders, and she should pay the consequences for her actions, without a doubt. More than anything, I'm hoping for action that will bring to an end this sad saga for the sake of SAIF's good and upstanding employees.

I'm also hoping that the end of the saga will bring to an end some of the long-winded, sanctimonious epistles from people, as in the last few entries, just above, who are using this situation to their own ends. While there have been many good, insightful comments from a number of employees, there unfortunately have been a number of entries that reflect writers who have big time chips on their shoulder, don't like the "man," at all, and have issues with anger generally. To the writer of the last few entries including the "addendum" - do you really think John Plotkin would buy into half of what you're saying? I doubt it. He has too much class and professionalism to buy into your message of hate and bitterness. You're losing sight of what's important. Keep the focus on justice for John Plotkin and putting SAIF back on track. What you have to say isn't helping.
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08/18/2014 20:53:58
How do you know what John would and would not like? He wasn't there long enough thanks to the culture of fear and intimidation at SAIF Corporation that runs the gamut from the lowest clerk to the top of the food chain. He really stepped into it. Looking back I'm sure he has second thoughts about taking the job in the first place. But how could he know an organizations leadership could be so bankrupt as to allow this to happen...and then hang around and act as if everything will okay-as soon as a new guy gets there. Batter up...let's try a slider on this one. Of course some of my musings are hyperbolic. I have a point of view.

Bye the way, this isn't about Mr. Plotkin anymore. My gut (ample) says he isn't coming back. He'll take the money and breathe a well deserved sigh of relief. John has always struck me as a class act...a leader. But a leader needs an environment of can do people, people with creativity and imagination, people who come up with new ideas about how to do things, change things, revise things, people who aren't afraid to step forward. People who are independent thinkers. Not sheeple. People who develop broad relationships with other industry officials and leaders to press for industry wide change that will allow for better delivery of service industry wide. People who are honest with themselves about where they work and try every day to make it a better place. Not survivors. Hanging on by their fingernails...waiting. Thriving in the endless present. Mute.

Anger? I feel no anger towards you personally. I am angry that this organization which espouses with religious zeal the need to always do the right thing, is, dare I say, full of shit. I'll say it again, full of shit. ( don't be offended it's just a figure of speech) Frankly, I've never met a person at SAIF that didn't strive to do the right thing. They would have done it anyway. But I operated in totally different airspace.

That's why I advocate a return to the basics starting with a complete and total house cleaning, while simultaneously re-adopting operational and managerial best practices. Then a restructuring of managerial duties. Eliminating deadwood, malignant dead wood, and unproductive dead wood. Flatten the managerial structure and lean it out. Create upward mobility opportunities for qualified people, and groom them for upper management. Over time, and I mean several years, the culture will change, many will retire and leave, and the new SAIF will emerge free of the constraints of the old culture that permeates the entire organization. Just because the culture permeates the entire organization doesn't mean people are bad. But the culture has infected all functions. People are hired and promoted who won't make waves, won't challenge the status quo, people who are content to keep their heads down and let a select few be the public face of SAIF and let them perpetuate the culture.

Imagine you have an idea. Let's say that idea is to donate 10 million dollars to statewide junior colleges, with vocational training programs, to teach work place safety. The money is handed out by competitive grant process...awarded to the most innovative and creative applicants. Maybe even tuition credits in high injury fields. Everyone has a stake in future work place safety. Oregon's workforce and employers would benefit. Good Corporate Social Responsibility program. SAIF can be the goose that lays the golden egg. How would that fly with the current culture? It wouldn't. .

I have no idea what you mean about "the man". Makes no sense. At least I don't understand what that comment relates to. I am not opposed to organizational leadership...people thrive in that environment, they bring their best game...so I don't know what you mean.
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Hey friend..away 08/19/2014 02:07:39
To our "dear friend" who has been hijacking this website the last few days with long diatribes that don't make sense, and furthermore do nothing for anyone who believes in SAIF. You are trying to "goad" us into some sort of action, it won't work. We have credibility, we will prevail. You have admitted you don't know SAIF, you aren't involved in this, go find some other cause...be a fly on the wall for some other blog...just fly away...Your writing and thoughts don't even make sense...
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08/20/2014 02:08:22
Reminiscent of Rex reed or naptolong (or not long enough). Minus the names but the same diatribe.
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Hey friend..away 08/19/2014 02:27:49
Oh...I forgot, Fly's are attracted to Shit....go find some place that really is "full of shit", you will probably be attracted to that. Fly's are attracted to their own smell. That is not the place..we are SAIF employees who deliver customer service day in and day out, despite all the distractions and the drama of the past few months..get real....and go talk about something you know about
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08/19/2014 13:39:50
This, as I've said is all speculation and commentary based on my opinion. Commentary defined:

Anything serving to illustrate a point, prompt a realization, or exemplify, especially in the case of something unfortunate.

Bob Wilson moderates these comments and it's up to him to publish or not. Having said that I'll offer my opinion, or another one. You think this is your blog, where your rules of civility, and self editing, operate. You're not used to saying what you really think and I understand that. And, to the comment that I'm an outsider? I wish I was.

This blog is read by a lot of people. Some inside and some out. I'll bet it's required reading at DOJ. SAIF employees who have time read it. Maybe they agree or disagree. They are just ideas. I could just as easily be opining about Rudy Crew or the slow to fix traffic bottle neck in Dundee.

I've been very consistent in my praise for the work of 98.27 % of the employees at SAIF. It's the culture of upper management that I have been commenting. That culture was created over a long period of time and predates John's arrival. It is the very reason employees looked to Mr. Plotkin as their savior. But that is unrealistic because the power to change the culture is within you..as are all things, by asking provocative questions and probing with speculation and ideas.
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WorkersCompensation.com 08/20/2014 02:04:10
To clarify, these comments are moderated by WorkersCompensation.com. While Bob does periodically moderate this area, he is not solely responsible for this task. Approval of any comment should not be construed as agreement with or endorsement by WorkersCompensation.com.

We maintain a fairly broad editorial standard to these comments. Overtly crass or sexual comments are not allowed. Furthermore a number of posts directly claiming illicit sexual relations between some involved parties at SAIF have been blocked by our staff. Other than that we generally do not edit or approve based on opinion stated. A perception of endorsement based on such moderated approval should never be inferred.
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08/20/2014 14:51:43
The speculation on this site about the sex stuff is ridiculous. I am glad to see it is not published. It's irrelevant and off point. And so what if they were, who ever they are were, engaging in off campus congress? SAIF isn't a monastery and no one has to take an oath of celibacy. It would become a problem I suppose if confidential information was being exchanged. But there is enough evidence ( ample) to suggest it was being exchanged in writing, on the phone etc.,
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leopard 08/19/2014 03:11:11
Brenda, do you see what this has disintegrated into...was it worth it?
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