Tag Archive: civil service

Hetty Rosenstein Talks about Christie’s Attack on Civil Service

One area in which Chris Christie excels is in making unilateral decisions without considering the co-equal legislature. And for the most part, these decisions are not in accord with the wishes or best interests of most New Jerseyans, but rather cold, calculated moves to satisfy his right wing supporters and his financial benefactors.

He did this with the ARC Tunnel cancellation, with Marriage Equality, with lottery privatization, and with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative withdrawal.

Now, the Governor is doing it again. This time eviscerating the protections offered to middle class workers under the state’s civil service system. His administration is implementing some draconian measures that will increase cronyism, hurt veterans and minorities, and the only opportunity for the public to comment was at a single public hearing on a weekday.

Today, the Assembly State Government Committee heard testimony from the state’s largest union, the CWA, as well as from veterans, minorities, and other groups who oppose the changes to the protections offered by civil service.

Leading the charge was CWA’s Hetty Rosenstein. I’ll let her tell the story in her own words in this three minute video:

Assembly Committee Hearing on Evisceration of Civil Service

The Assembly State Government Committee will hold a hearing today on Governor Chrisite’s move to eviscerate civil service and remove much-needed protections for state employees. The hearing will be live-streamed here. Scheduled start time is 11 AM, but these events typically start 15-30 minutes late.

Quick note from Rosi: FYI you’ll need Windows Media Player to get the live-stream. It’s a free download at the bottom of the page Deciminyan links above. Refresh the page often; Status will shift from Pending to Listen (or Watch) when hearing begins.

Quick Rosi note #2: Deciminyan is now live-Tweeting from the packed hearing room. Follow us: @BlueJersey.

Blue Jersey is in Trenton, and we hope to have comments from the CWA after the meeting. Their press release is below the fold.

DiCicco attempts to fix a problem he will help create

Governor Christie wants to give local towns the chance to get rid of civil service protections as part of his toolkit and get rid of what he calls “unnecessary mandates.” Some of those mandates help ensure that veterans are able to get access to employment opportunities they sorely need. That realization has lead to this bill:

Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Gloucester) Tuesday announced he will introduce legislation on Thursday that would require all municipal and county governments to extend hiring preferences to veterans, regardless of whether they follow the state Civil Service pertaining to it.

That last line is why he needs this bill. To provide cover as he goes along with the Governor because one of Christie’s proposals would take away civil service protections and the issue has been raised by groups including Veterans for Education. They say that while on the surface DiCicco’s bill looks good, it’s really a disaster:

In reality Civil Service Reform is horrible for NJ’s returning veterans. The advantage to the Civil Service exams and Veterans Preference is that they provide State Mandates to all of NJ’s counties and municipalities and Veterans Preference is easier to monitor and enforce when it’s directly tied to the state.

By allowing each town to do their own thing, Veterans groups believe it would be harder to monitor what goes on because it’s not centralized. Veterans believe that the change will become a huge deterrance to getting jobs they should have access to at a time when they need it the most with Vets having double the unemployment rate of the national average. Of course DiCicco wouldn’t need this fix it bill if he didn’t go along with the Governor creating the problem in the first place.

New CWA ad hits “Christie’s rules”

I’ve seen this new ad from the CWA a few times on tv over the last day. It goes after the Governor’s toolkit proposals, specifically dealing with civil service protections:

While CWA fights the next battle the unions are in with the Governor, a state judge refused today to block a separate measure dealing with pension and health care benefits contributions for police and firefighters. The unions said they will continue to push forward to prove the legislation is unconstitutional.