WI AFL-CIO Statement Regarding Proposed Gutting of Civil Service


Wow, it didn’t take long for Scott Walker to continue his attacks on Wisconsin’s working people. Just days after Scott Walker deserted his Presidential bid because his union-busting message was rejected by American voters, he is back to attacking workers by supporting legislation to destroy Wisconsin’s landmark civil service laws, impacting over 30,000 workers and the public they serve.

Wisconsin has a proud tradition of fairness, openness and impartiality in our civil service system that allows for hiring based on skill and merit, not political connections. We believe that people should be hired based on what they know, not who they know. Currently, numerous safeguards are built in to the system to ensure integrity and public trust. A bill drafted by Sen. Roger Roth (R-Neenah) and Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) calls for the destruction of Wisconsin’s long standing, landmark civil service laws.

These changes to our civil service system open the flood gates for political payback and favoritism. The GOP plan will no longer requirement government employees to take a test to prove their knowledge. This will allow Scott Walker and his buddies to hire their friends, relatives and political cronies. The move promotes corruption and malfeasance in hiring of governmental personnel.

Changes to our civil service law include:

  • Removing entrance exams for new job applicants and replacing them with a resume only based system;
  • Giving hiring authority to the Department of Administration, a direct extension of Walker’s office;
  • Extending the probationary period for new hires from 6 months to two years.
  • Changing the layoff process from seniority-based to subjective performance analysis.

Remember, Scott Walker never once mentioned changing the civil service system while campaigning for Governor and he even touted its importance while defending Act 10. Since taking office in 2010, Gov. Walker has repeatedly eroded workers’ rights, wages and protections in the both the public and private sector. Gov. Walker’s record is clear: he does not have the best interests of workers in mind.

Do you trust Scott Walker to hire the best, most qualified person for the job?

Stripping working people of their rights and rigging the system so it is easier to hire candidates with political connections does nothing to help Wisconsin.

In Solidarity,

Phil Neuenfeldt, President

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer

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