Scott Walker overhauls Wisconsin’s civil service system

Scott Walker signs a bill to revamp Wisconsin’s 110-year-old civil service system

Student workers may be the receptionist at the McPhee Physical Education Center who check in visitors to the gym

Photo by Andrea Montgomery

Student workers may be the receptionist at the McPhee Physical Education Center who check in visitors to the gym

“It’s time,” I thought to myself, shakily carrying a tray of water to a table of my peers. “You’re fine. Be confident,” I assured myself.

Naturally, when I made it to the table and reached for the first glass, I spilled the tray all over myself. I recently got a job at the downtown sushi restaurant Ninja Sushi. Since spilling water all over I’ve managed to improve my shakiness and can serve five tables at once with balance and grace.

Serving is probably the hardest job I have ever had. People are difficult and there are so many things to remember at once so even with practice I make a few mistakes a shift.

Even though I make small mistakes every day, I’m still a hard worker and enjoy working. I like to be protected and know that I won’t get fired for mixing up an order but if I were to do something horrible at work my employers should have the right to terminate me.

Scott Walker signed a new bill into legislation to overhaul Wisconsin’s civil service system on Feb. 12. Walker said the bill targets civil service protections to streamline hiring and firing practices inside state agencies.

According to an ABC News article, the changes being made eliminate job applicant exams, centralize hiring decisions within the governor’s administration, get rid of layoff protections and define what sort of infractions can result in immediate termination, like thievery and viewing pornography on the clock.

According to the legislation it will allow government agencies to keep new employees on probation up to two years rather than the current mandatory six months and the process for layoffs will be based around performance instead of seniority.

Democrats are worried the bill will lead to favoritism within state agencies and I have to agree. Wisconsin’s state Senate and the Wisconsin state Assembly have both had republican majorities since January 2011. Scott Walker is able to pass a lot of bills and have had a lot of fun doing things like slashing the budget of the UW-System, comparing protesting union workers to ISIS and somehow surviving a recall.

When a bill like Act 10, one that attacks teachers’ unions, is passed you can really get away with anything, even putting protections over workers who behave badly and give no incentive to work hard.

If there weren’t consequences for my mistakes and I could just mess around at work and get paid, that wouldn’t be fair to my employers who work hard to keep their local business running smoothly.

This should not only apply to me as a lowly waitress but also to our civil servants. A bill like this is going to allow our representatives to appoint their friends to office even if they are not qualified and then protect their bad behavior while they lay off senior employees who know how to do the job properly.

Freshman Connor McClun works at the PacSun in the Oakwood Mall. McClun said he is against the overhaul system. He said it’s bad when someone who works hard and needs a job gets laid off by someone who isn’t as qualified.

“I don’t want to have to deal with incompetent coworkers,” McClun said. “I don’t want to work with people who have a bad work ethic and have to do their job for them.”

With a governor made famous by taking collective bargaining away from public workers in 2011 and erasing local prevailing wage jobs in public service, Wisconsin is looking much less appealing with every passing bill.