cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Given the high level of angst over recent changes being made, or threatened, in state bargaining situations, I wondered if civil service rules protected teachers, fire fighters, police and county employees. Wisconsin pioneered civil service rules and those are highly protective of state employees with or without union bargaining rights. While cumbersome from some perspectives, it appears that civil service has done what it was intended to do when enacted. People who feel unfairly impacted by an employer’s decision and who are covered under civil service rules have that as their recourse.
I have since come to understand that only state employees are subject to civil service rules, so those would not protect other employees in Wisconsin with the exception of those in counties with 500,000 or greater population.
However…there is a provision that stipulates that any county can have a civil service commission if it desires. Nothing precludes municipalities from having a civil service commission, either from what I can tell.
My interest was, of course, driven by the significant changes being made to the bargaining rights of state employees, and those changes that are permissible by school districts and municipalities under other of Governor Walker’s initiatives.
I know the major complaints have appeared to be centered on benefits and compensation, but much of the apparent over-reach that fueled some of the changes were caused by workplace rules that permitted the egregious use of overtime to build up pension benefits, etc.
Could at least some of the anger that we all witness today be quelled if our counties and municipalities and school districts were to replace the lost workplace rules bargaining power with civil service rules that served to protect the employees? If that were possible, would it be desirable?
I know that we seem to be pretty well divided; we are either for the changes or against the changes. There does not seem to be much middle ground and it is that division that is likely causing the splits between friends and families and workers, etc.
On the other hand, it could well be that relationships are now so irreparably damaged as to be beyond salvaging at least for a long, long time. I’d like not to have to be so careful of what I say to whom but there may be no other solution than self-censorship.
Any thoughts good readers?