To mark Public Service Recognition Week, the Wisconsin Coalition to Save Civil Service is calling for a repeal of Wisconsin Act 150, set to begin implementation on July 1st. Act 150 will eliminate civil service exams and dismantle other key parts of the Wisconsin Civil Service Merit System.

Wisconsin Civil Service is no less relevant today than it was in 1905 when it was begun. Wisconsin Act 150 will decimate the idea that ‘the best shall serve the state’. Instead, cronies will fill public agencies and will refocus state government to serve corporate special interests over citizens,” said Gary Mitchell, a retired state employee and AFSCME leader.

A group of related anti-democratic policies have been implemented recently in Wisconsin including Act 150 on Civil Service, allowing dark money in elections, a restrictive voter ID law that suppresses the vote, so-called right-to-work, and the dismantling of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board (GAB).

As part of State Employee Appreciation Week, many state agencies offer workers a treat, a tradition continued under the Walker Administration.

“Giving treats after smashing public service through Act 10 and Act 150 is the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig,” said Bill Franks, a retired state employee.

“Therefore during this week, normally reserved for expressing true gratitude for the work and the work ethic public employees provide, we are compelled to expose the hypocrisy of an Administration that would injure and insult public workers while paying lip service to their invaluable service.” Mitchell said.

The Coalition to Save Civil Service includes the South Central Federation of Labor, AFSCME Council 32, American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin (AFT-W), the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Blue Jean Nation, AFT-W State Employee Council, Wisconsin Professional Employee Association, POWRS, NAACP-Dane County, Progressive Dane, AFSCME Locals 171 and 68, AFSCME Retirees Subchapter 52.

(Used with permission of the author)