Live blog: Civil Service Commission considers overhaul of hiring, promotion rules

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At its meeting Monday, the New Orleans Civil Service Commission will consider Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s overhaul of the city’s Civil Service rules on employee hiring, promotions and evaluations.

The meeting starts at 12:30 p.m.; The Lens will live-blog the meeting below.

The proposals would give departmental managers — political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the mayor — greater discretion in hiring decisions by reducing the importance of examination scores and eliminating the requirement that laid-off employees be considered first.

Landrieu’s proposals would eliminate the employee evaluation system, replacing it with a “performance management system.” Unlike the current job ratings, those measurements could not be appealed.

Landrieu has promised such an overhaul to the city’s Civil Service rules since he took office in 2010. He says his proposals will lead to better hires and increased efficiency in disciplinary actions. Opponents, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the New Orleans Fire Fighters Association, argue that the rule changes would politicize the city’s personnel practices.

The Louisiana Civil Service League, which advocates for public-employee merit systems, has called for careful deliberation on the changes, warning that one of Landrieu’s proposals represents a “serious and blatant attempt to return to the spoils system.”

LaTanja Silvester, president of the Service Employees International Union’s local chapter, stood behind Landrieu at his press conference announcing the proposal and praised his proposal to increase the minimum wage for city employees to $10.10 per hour.

Live blog

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