Government & Politics

Civil Service Commission sets August vote for overhaul of city personnel rules

The Civil Service Commission plans to vote Aug. 25 on the Landrieu administration’s revised proposal to overhaul the city’s personnel system, which city officials presented for the first time in public last week.

The commission set the vote and deadlines for public comment at its Monday meeting.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s original proposal granted hiring managers — most of whom are political appointees — much greater discretion in hiring and promotions. He also proposed changes in employee evaluations, removing their ability to appeal poor ratings.

The new proposal, presented Thursday at a special meeting of the Civil Service Commission, scales back those changes but retains key measures.

We have posted the revised proposal below, highlighting how the new rules would differ from current ones and from Landrieu’s original proposal.

The mayor still hopes to de-emphasize civil service exams and preferential ranking for prospective hires. But the Civil Service Department and the Civil Service Commission — an independent appointed body — would have greater oversight than under his original proposal.

The Landrieu administration changed its proposal after months of negotiations with the Civil Service Department and employee groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the city’s firefighters union.

But attendees at last week’s meeting remained largely opposed to the changes.

Landrieu proposes to eliminate the “rule of three,” which requires managers to consider the top three applicants based on test scores and other criteria. Opponents of his plan say that will open the door to political hiring and promotions. And the Civil Service Department’s staff believes the “rule of three” is required by the Louisiana state constitution.

Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin defended the plan, saying that decreasing the emphasis on testing will increase diversity because top test scorers tended to be white. Kopplin’s claim angered firefighters union chief Nick Felton, who said the remark was “absolutely insensitive.”

Monday, the commission outlined the following schedule for the rule changes:

  • July 7: Civil Service Department staff report due

  • July 14: Written comments and position papers from the public due

  • July 21: Regular scheduled Civil Service Commission meeting

  • Aug. 25: Special meeting to vote on the proposals

Read the proposed rule changes

As you scroll through the document, look for the passages highlighted in yellow. When you click on them, you can see how the latest proposal differs from the current rules and from Landrieu’s original proposal.

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  • What’s in place now rewards “webee” incompetence, but it was just as bad pre-CSC 100+ years ago in all political hires/fires. Today’s term limits give us an 8 and out clause- so to end the insanity in City Gov, I’m all for Mayors reforms.
    But to end our other insane dysfunction- change how City Contracts are controlled and awarded by the Mayors Office and give that duty to the Council, or were destined for repeats of Johnson Controls deals and Naginomics.
    Best from 5110 Freret,
    Andy Brott