In a press release, Larson has vowed to restore integrity to Milwaukee County government by restoring the civil service protections that Abele destroyed:
State Senator Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee), a candidate for Milwaukee County Executive, is in Madison today fighting to protect Wisconsin workers against a bill that would gut civil service protections. This bill will consolidate power and streamline corruption in Scott Walker’s government.Since Abele changed the civil service code for the county, morale has dropped and turnovers have skyrocketed. There has been notable patterns of retaliation against workers, denials of due process for targeted workers and a conspicuously large amount of the most senior workers being harassed to the point of being unfairly fired and/or forced to retire. Labor strife has also increased as favored workers - especially new hires - are started at the top of the pay scales, making more money that workers that have been there for ten years or more.
But it should be noted that incumbent Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has already gutted civil services for county employees.
After Act 10 mandated that only wages could be collectively bargained, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that protected other important employee rights, including seniority, the evaluation process, weakening progressive discipline, and other due process protections.
Starting with the passage of Act 203, which gave the County Executive unilateral control over the Behavioral Health Division, Abele has asserted that this ordinance is no longer in effect. Within two months–from December, 2014 to February, 2015–thousands of public servants became subject to the same rules as political appointees.
The weakening of civil service protections can lead to cronyism and corruption. Larson said, “Wisconsin families are tired of politicians like Walker and Abele who continue to erode workers’ rights, wages and protections. As County Executive, we will work to restore civil service protections that ensure workers are hired based on what they know and not who they know.”
Milwaukee County is even more corrupt and in disarray under Abele than it was under Walker, as hard as it is to imagine.
It is good to see Larson making cleaning up the government a priority.