Civil Service and the Uncivil Changes Proposed in Madison

I would just like to make a few comments about the proposals that will result in nullifying 100 plus years of civil service in Wisconsin.

One of points in the new legislation will replace the exams currently given job applicants with scoring their resumes. And why would they want to do that? Well to speed up the process for starters…and to keep people from gaming the system. From an op ed piece by by State Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) and Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) the authors of a bill to reform the state’s civil service system:

We shouldn’t be relying on an exam process that is easily manipulated and an inaccurate representation of an individual’s skill set.

Wait…the state legislators who love to test the hell out of public school students think the exams can be manipulated and inaccurate? Write better tests! In this day and age of computer courses and computer testing coming up with a better test should be fairly simple…and speed up the process. But to replace it with a graded resume system? What is the one thing in our lives…even in the most honest of individuals…that is most likely to contain at minimum a fair amount of puffery if not outright lies about our work and education histories? OUR RESUMES!

And how do you know if you are getting the best of the best if you don’t test?

And the process is slow and candidates are lost when it takes too long. Well maybe it has something to do with Act 10? Maybe it has something to do with stigmatizing public service? Maybe it has something to do with less than market wages…which are no longer attractive…when coupled with more than market personal cost for declining benefits? If you want to compete with business you are going to have to step up to the plate with $$$.

And then there’s that probationary period thing.

Lengthen probationary periods for new employees from six months to two years.

TWO YEARS? I am old enough to have worked more than a few places and I have never heard of two years for probationary status. So I asked a casual question about it on Facebook and here are some of the responses:
From an employer in a small business: 3 weeks
From a number of employees: 90 days
From a local labor lawyer: Private sector Union contracts vary but are usually 30 to 60 days. Nonunion clients usually have 90-120 days.

It would seem that two years is a drastic overreach…even by Madison GOP standards.

And I guess like many others, I don’t understand the need to prevent seniority rights…why can’t a long term employee get to bump a shorter term employee during layoffs or downsizing?

There are other things on my mind about this…but they will just have to wait!


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1 thought on “Civil Service and the Uncivil Changes Proposed in Madison

  1. If I understand this correctly the DoA will have the final say on all hiring in each and every civil service department under the proposed new rules. Even Walker cronies presently controlling 37 state agency departments, aren’t to be trusted by their leadership in deciding who is best to fill any particular agency vacancy.

    Blacklisted Walker recall signers will be disallowed from any state agencies jobs, though following the logic of the other proposed destruction of WI civil rights, justice and fairness, i.e. the proposed changes deemed needed in dismantling the GAB, all hiring for state agencies should follow the equal partisan rules being proposed for the two new agencies being discussed to replace the GAB. Exactly equal hiring for all state agencies.

    I doubt we’ll see any consistency in winger theory if this civil service change is enacted.

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