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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

House committee advances bill undoing classified system of state employment

March 18, 2013

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— Republicans on a House committee on Monday approved a measure that would undo the protections of the classified employment system for many current state workers and future hires.

House Bill 2384 now goes to the full House for consideration.

The legislation was proposed by Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, but during a public hearing on the measure no one testified in favor of it.

Rep. Jerry Henry of Atchison, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said, “This is a pretty hasty bill. I’m concerned we didn’t go through the proper channels.”

HB 2384 would make all state attorneys, supervisors and information technology workers unclassified. After July 1, all new hires — or any current state employee who is either transferred, demoted or promoted, or is promoted into a different position — would be unclassified. The bill would exempt employees of public safety agencies from the changes.

Henry said drastically altering a decades-old system of classified employees who can appeal job dismissals and demotions through the Civil Service System deserved an in-depth study.

Rhoades said based on anecdotal information he has received, agency heads want to have more flexibility to reward and manage employees.

Appropriations Vice Chairman Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, said the bill will allow supervisors to bring in top qualified people in information technology and legal support.

But representatives of state workers said the bill would mean jobs would be awarded based on politics instead of merit.

Comments

Jen43 1 year ago

Would this affect the KU Classified employees since they are now different (not by their choice) from other Kansas Classified employees? What about public safety employees within larger organizations like KU and the Medical Center in Kansas City? Or the other Regents institutions? BTW, it is the higher paid unclassified supervisors who are in position to make questionable purchases, promote or demote and generally run their departments the way they see fit, not the classified employees.

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Alceste 1 year ago

It is not simply that these "bills" that KILL civil service result in patronage....it is more of issue of keeping silent any manner of creative idea making in the state work place: Cross your boss....you're terminated. Why? Your boss is more in bed with Mr. Charlie than you are: If you don't think and act like your boss, it'll be found out sooner or later and you'll be terminated.

Kansas is a great state what with it being a right to work state to start with. spit Removing Civil Service simply gives more POWER to Mr. Charlie to put the clampdown on any manner of thought that is contrary to "the program". Head bobbers.

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petty5069 1 year ago

It's interesting how they advertise this Bill as one that eliminates the "protections" State employees have. State employees are not "protected", they cana be fired just like anyone else, but there is a process to follow in order to do it. It is misleading the public by advertising this Bill the way they are. State employees are some of the poorest paid employees in the state. Soon your government will be run by people who cannot get jobs anywhere else. There is no incentive for educated, dedicated and loyal employees to even want to work for the State. State employees are not respected by the Governor or the Legislature. When was the last time a pay raise of any sort was given? Well over 5 years. The pay grade study was ditched, with some employees receiving the benefits of the study and the others left standing out in the cold. And a 401K retirement system? The benefits are the ONLY thing keeping many employees working for the state, and now they want to do away with that. With all the mergers and downsizing that has occurred over the last several years, workloads are huge, efficiency is lost, and morale is horrible.

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year ago

Pepe, you don't understand state government. Most state employees are "classified" which means they are professional, career service employees. Classified status means they are to be hired and promoted based on merit and they can only be fired or demoted for cause following due process. Most unclassified employees are the political appointees who "lead" the various state agencies. Unclassified employees can be hired or fired for almost any reason. The whole point of having a civil service AKA classified system of employees is to prevent a governor from coming into office and replacing competent people with people whose only qualifications are they voted the right way, belong to the right political party or contributed to the campaign in some way. Think of it this way, do you really want a guy to get to design a bridge on a state highway just because Brownback owes him a favor? I wouldn't drive over that bridge...

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William Weissbeck 1 year ago

Strange how people forget their history. Presidents for 25 years at the end of the 19th ran on policies of bringing civil service reform to the hiring practices of the federal government. Anyone who saw the movie, Lincoln should recall that it was accepted practice to reward political supporters with jobs.

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autie 1 year ago

I would normally rant a bit about this however question4u said it all so well. Thank you.

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oldexbeat 1 year ago

This will allow lawyer friends of the Governor to be hire, without qualifications, at very high pay.

They already did this in Wichita with a woman that lost for legislature -- she got a nice non-classified non-advertised job with SRS. This will allow Ceasar (oops, Brownback) to give money to political friends.

http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/18/2641665/former-lawmaker-landwehr-lands.html

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Floyd Craig 1 year ago

well one way for a boss to hire friends or reletives n make room for others they know teh system is wrong anyway once tehy get a hate for u ur gone i workd there in all 25 yrs i didnt give them a notice but just handed them my keys n said bi they wanted me to stay but I knew theyd fire me so I didnt give them the chance to they need to get hard on teh boss's at ku they are running amuck

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UneasyRider 1 year ago

Can anyone remember the qualifications of last IT person our brilliant governor hired. My KPERS is now vested, Dec 1, I resign and apply for it. Jan 1 my residence will no longer be in KS. Bet I won't be only one leaving. Scary thing is so many states look better. Examples being: OK, AR, MS and AL.

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toe 1 year ago

All government jobs are based on politics. Having all workers subject to the whims of politics seems a good idea too. Now government jobs will be just like every other job in the private sector. Subject to the whim of the boss.

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Katara 1 year ago

FTA: "Rhoades said based on anecdotal information he has received, agency heads want to have more flexibility to reward and manage employees."

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bevy 1 year ago

Again, our illustrious Governor and his cronies forget the parts of our history they find inconvenient. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoils_s...

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Pepe 1 year ago

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't classified workers given extra rights above and beyond those afforded to a "normal" employee? In other words, aren't classified workers given (among other things) due process rights which most employees don't have which makes it much more difficult to fire a classified employee.

Thus, am I correct that if classified status is eliminiated, these workers will still have all of the normal legal protections given to typical employees, they just won't have the special protections that were previously given to them?

If so, I can't feel a lot of sympathy for them since even if classified status is eliminated, they will still be in the same boat as the rest of us.

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WilburM 1 year ago

Do not forget the religious test that will now be imposed for employment.

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Hooligan_016 1 year ago

Does HB 2384 match up to any ALEC templates? It really wouldn't surprise me ...

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Bruce Bertsch 1 year ago

A couple of things...

  1. This legislature does not believe in any form of workers rights.
  2. If they think they can attract top level IT people with what the State pays they are absolutely nuts, which is becoming more evident by the day.
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LHS1980 1 year ago

Say bu-bye to your appeal process state workers. Do you people not see they are taking your basic rights away? Can you not see how the party of less government has their hands all over your personal life? I grew up in Kansas, and this is one IT guy that would NEVER work for this corrupt administration. These people that you voted into office will ruin your state because it will soon be broke, and they won't have other freeway revenue to steal!

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Lane Signal 1 year ago

I think this is an awful idea, but the current administration is all about cronyism. I do have a couple of comments:

  1. It probably is hard for those in government who don't share the political views or agenda of Brownie and his right wing radical side show to take them seriously. It's harder still for those who don't share Brownie and Company's ridiculous views to keep from smirking or even laughing at their stupidity sometimes. I imagine this bill reflects a desire of the radical right to clear the decks of some those who make them feel so dumb.

  2. I think it's going to be hard to find IT resources with such radical right political leanings. At least one's who know how to turn on a computer.

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question4u 1 year ago

This bill institutes flat-out corruption. There's simply no other way to put it. Of course no one testified in favor of it. That's saying a lot, because we've already seen members of this legislature step forward to support bills curtailing freedom of speech and eliminating the separation of power in government.

This legislature is apparently willing to accept corruption in exchange for the ability to fire state workers when they become more expensive than entry level hires. The banana republic of Kansas takes another huge regressive step away from American ideals.

In what way can Marc Rhoades justify a bill that will reward state workers for their political leanings over their merit at doing their jobs? That should make any red-blooded American angry. Is "anecdotal information" all you need to support cronyism in the government workforce? Respect the party and prosper; question the party and lose your job: when has that ever been acceptable in the United States, apart from the McCarthy era?

Hand in your freedom of speech and your freedom to support the political party of your choice, or hand in your resignation: that's just the way things are in the third world.

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