Walker's Budget Guts Civil Service Protections By Gutting Agency That Enforces Them

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Remember what Governor Scott Walker said when he eliminated public workers' ability to collectively bargain and be part of a union?

"One of the great myths, unfortunately for a lot of the protesters out there, is that somehow if we pass the budget repair bill dealing with collective bargaining, that all their rights as workers will go away:  Couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that Wisconsin, at the turn of the last century, passed the most comprehensive, the strongest civil service protections in the country. For our state workers, they have that right outside of collective bargaining, so regardless of their contract, they have the right because of the civil service laws of the state, to have merit hiring and just-cause when it comes to discipline or even to the point of termination. Those provisions, those safeguards protecting workers' rights continue." - Scott Walker

Now, Governor Walker has effectively eliminated those civil service protections by gutting the agency-- the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC)-- that enforces Wisconsin's civil service law by eliminating two-thirds of the agency's positions at a time when the civil service caseload of the agency is expected to sky rocket.  As Governor Walker pointed out, if public workers are not protected by their union contract, civil service protections are the last line of defense when they are treated unfairly.  If anything, in a post-union-protected Wisconsin, WERC staffing should be increased, not gutted.

Of course, had Governor Walker increased WERC staffing, instead of gutting it, it would mean that he was sincere when he said that workers would still have civil service protections in a post Act 10 Wisconsin. Clearly, he wasn't being sincere and this is just the latest in a long list of Governor Walker promising one thing and then doing something materially different, down the road.





Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Unions and Budget Cuts