On June 17, 2016, Wisconsin’s nonpartisan civil service system turned 111 years old. By this Friday, July 1, 2016, our impartial system of hiring and firing civil servants will be gone as Scott Walker’s Act 150 takes effect. The looming changes to our civil service system open the flood gates for political payback and favoritism and are another example of Scott Walker putting politics above commonsense and decency.
Last legislative session, Gov. Walker and Republican politicians rammed through legislation that invites cronyism and corruption in all areas of state government. GOP leaders replaced long-standing objective exam testing of job applicants with a subjective review of resumes. Now, final employment decisions will be made solely by the Department of Administration which is controlled by Scott Walker’s political appointees.
Starting July 1, there will be no more safeguards to protect current employees from unjust discipline, putting a chilling effect on any employee who might dare speak up for the public interest instead of blindly following orders from politically motivated managers.
In Wisconsin, we have a long tradition of fairness and transparency in government. Scott Walker has shredded our proud history in so many ways, the destruction of impartial civil service being another example in a long line of injustices to the people of Wisconsin.
As citizens, it is important to monitor specific and systematic abuses of power, cronyism and politically motivated decisions by the Scott Walker Administration that harm the public good. Together, we will continue to support the public interest by supporting workers’ rights and voices in both the public and private sector.
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer