Government & Politics

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

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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About Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado covers the city of New Orleans and other local government bodies. He previously worked for Gambit, New Orleans’ alternative newsweekly, where he covered city hall, criminal justice and public health. Before moving to New Orleans, he covered state and local government for weekly papers in Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.

  • > “When you can start picking and choosing who you want to promote
    and who you want to give pay raises to, it inevitably opens the door to
    appointments and promotions to friends and supporters,” said Donovan
    Livaccari of the Fraternal Order of Police

    But isn’t that what you have now in the form of Civil Service heads and Commission who
    “rule” and decide if someone get’s fired or hired anyway? Sure you got
    some paper application, but if a Civil Service supervisor wants a
    certain person, that supervisor can “show” or walk them through before
    the person even applies. Or even let them “practice” before hand. There
    are “ways” around Civil Service hiring and promotion just like
    recruitment of high school athletes and support of college athletes.

    Just look at the Police Details scandal of “who can start to pick and choose”.

    Why would any supervisor, public or private, want to work with someone
    they can’t get along with? “Every kingdom divided against itself will
    be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not
    stand.” Matthew 12:25 NIV

    The same goes for any organization, public or private.

    The Civil Service original goals of “hiring and promoting on merit and performance” was flawed from the very start as hiring and promoting requires “judging” by human supervisors.

    Civil Service has no real accountability to the citizens and tax payers of New Orleans, except say, “bankruptcy”.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Years of Employment is not the same as Years of RESULTS.

    Years of Experience is not the same as Years of RESULTS.