Michigan Civil Service Commission called upon to maintain protections afforded to state employees
A coalition of labor leaders today called on the Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) to reject proposed rule changes that, if approved, would go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. These changes are aimed at severely limiting the collective bargaining process and undermining the rights of Michigan state employees.
These proposed changes – concerning the Employee Relations section of the Rules & Regulations – will have a significant impact on the collective bargaining rights of employees. Specifically, the changes would make certain subjects of bargaining –which are currently mandatory subjects of bargaining – prohibited subjects. Prohibited subjects of bargaining are terms of employment that the employer has complete control over. Prohibited subjects of bargaining are not subject to negotiation or the grievance procedure.
The Commission notes that its proposed changes are aimed at streamlining differences in existing union contracts, but the Coalition disagrees. Current language in Coalition contracts creates work environments conducive to maximizing employee service to the public. In addition, negotiated terms maintain a balance between public service and fairness and equity in the workplace.
The MCSC was created to protect tax payers and classified state employees from political partisanship, nepotism, and public corruption. Negotiated contract terms currently in place promote fairness in the workplace. These terms insulate citizens and employees from the very ills that the MCSC was created to protect against.
The coalition, as well as outside counsel, are reviewing the proposed changes and preparing a response. The Michigan Civil Service Commission will meet on Sept. 20 to vote on the proposed changes. In the coming days, the Coalition is assessing exactly how the changes will affect collective bargaining and current contract language.
Collective bargaining provides a civil forum for resolving disputes, resulting in more efficient service and savings for the people of Michigan. Before collective bargaining, labor unrest was common. Today, we resolve our problems at a conference table, where we foster communication and make better decisions for state employees and the Michigan citizens we serve.