By Joe Tyrrell, Courtesy of NJ Spotlight
Even before the state Civil Service Commission has completed action on one of Gov. Chris Christie’s pet projects, altering employee job protections, Assembly Democrats have declared any such action unconstitutional. With the commission scheduled to hold a hearing next month on its plan to group jobs together in “bands,” the Assembly voted 48-31 along party lines on a resolution prohibiting or invalidating such a change.
Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) said the proposal would undermine Civil Service safeguards created “to ensure that elected or appointed officials do not turn public employment into their own personal hiring agency.”
Commission Chairman Robert Czech last month described “job banding” as “a more effective option” for managers seeking to transfer or reassign employees. Under the current system, workers must pass tests to demonstrate their qualifications for specific posts. Since unveiling his 2010 “tool kit” for local government, Christie has pushed for relaxation of Civil Service regulations. He cited them as a significant obstacle to municipal cost-cutting efforts, such as consolidations of local police departments.
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