Civil Service Commission vote takes us back to cronyism, nepotism and political partisanship

For Immediate Release: September 19, 2017

Contact: Leigh Fifelski  210.215.9415 / leigh.fifelski@seiu.org

SEIU 517M Executive Director Estlund Olson: Civil Service Commission vote takes us back to cronyism, nepotism and political partisanship

LANSING – In response to Governor Snyder’s Civil Service Commission appointees’ vote today to pass a number of rule changes that will strip State employees of their right to enforce the term and benefits written in their contracts, SEIU Executive Director Liza Estlund Olson issued the following statement:

“This is another sad day for Michigan’s State employees and our economy. Governor Snyder’s Civil Service Commission, in a 3- 1 vote today, passed rule changes that are a direct attack on State employees’ rights and benefits.

“When the Michigan Civil Service Commission was set up in 1963, taxpayers and State employees were given the guarantee that rules would be put in place to fight political partisanship, nepotism, and cronyism. Today’s rule changes take us back in time and prove Governor Snyder is rigging the rules in favor of corporate interests while Michigan’s workers suffer.

“This power grab is a blow to all State employees and the people they serve. By giving more power to Governor Snyder and his Commission, these rules take away the freedom for state employees to come together and negotiate fair working conditions, overtime, scheduling, seniority and destroy families by punitively transferring employees with no recourse. In addition, the state loses the benefits that attract skilled, talented employees and instead provide jobs to political allies at the taxpayer expense.

“But make no mistake, though these rules have passed, we are ready to fight. SEIU 517M members are ready to stand together and ensure their voice is heard on the job. Our members know that their contracts help to create a more efficient, accountable government and that taxpayers deserve quality, public services not the Governor’s friend and family plan.

“We will continue to fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. SEIU 517M members are ready to stand up and let Governor Snyder, James Barrett, Jase Bolger and Janet McClelland know that we mean business and that their votes won’t keep us down.

“In 2018, we will use our voice to put working people first. We will continue to fight for a system not rigged by self-interested politicians and their cronies and that will put working people of Michigan first.

“Now, more than ever, our members’ union contract is the only thing that keeps us from returning to the 1930s where long hours, low pay and little workplace safety existed.”

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