By James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West
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Generations of unclassified civil servants have survived multiple gubernatorial administrations and served out their careers without catastrophic results. Using the feedback from the respondents as a guide, however, the tone and direction of the HRM reforms that are now being advocated and implemented do not give much impetus for optimism. Several factors contribute to this conclusion. fm Page 17 Tuesday, September 5, 2006 1:47 PM Changes in State Civil Service Systems Ⅲ 17 the bureaucracy. Most of the new governors that were discussed previously came from the business sector and had very little experience in public service.
The traditional three-legged stool—job security, decent benefits, and the personal satisfaction gained from devoting one’s life to public service objectives—is losing one leg (if not the second, the benefits package) on which it has long relied to attract talent. Moreover, even the third leg—the notion of a public service career—is in serious jeopardy. Because these developments are occurring contemporaneously with the graying of the workforce, one might justifiably be very anxious about the quality and motives of the public employees who will replace those now retiring.
Restrictions on Due Process Rights Of all the myths surrounding public employment, the most questionable is probably the notion that civil servants are immune from termination or other disciplinary actions. This perception is probably attributable to federal General Schedule workers (at least before Homeland Security), and to stories arising from highly unionized settings such as California and Connecticut. In the vast majority of states—even those with heavy union representation—the range of managerial prerogatives can be large.
American Public Service: Radical Reform and the Merit System (Public Administration and Public Policy) by James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West