House Republicans introduce bills to gut civil service protections

LANSING — State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) and state Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-Meridian Township) are criticizing a package of bills to lessen the protections of civil service employees. These bills, introduced by House Republicans, are pointing the blame at civil servants in state government for the Flint water crisis that has been ongoing.

“The civil service system works. Hundreds of civil servants were fired last year that were not doing their job. Anyone not doing their job should be let go, but otherwise our state workers deserve the same security and due process as everyone else,” Schor said. “Meanwhile, political appointees (including those overseeing the health officials, tax collectors and food inspectors mentioned by the House Republicans) are earning upwards of $180,000 a year. The governor and legislative Republicans continue to cast blame on line employees without taking responsibility for their role and the role of their people in this crisis. We need to work together to fix the problem in Flint, and we can start by looking at the decision makers and policy makers by reforming the emergency manager law.”

Democrats in both chambers see this as an attack on state employees, with Republicans shamefully using the Flint water crisis as their tool to go after civil servants. Beyond that insult, public employees are dedicated to the people they serve, often working for far less money than they would in the private sector.

“People have been poisoned, tax revenues are down and the GOP continues to underfund education and infrastructure on the backs of Michigan families,” Hertel said. “And now, Speaker Cotter’s only solution is apparently to scapegoat hardworking civil servants.”

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