The Michigan Civil Service Commission approved rule changes today aimed at standardizing several processes, including seniority calculations, overtime assignments and positions, and layoff and recall procedures. These changes aren’t scheduled to go into effect until January 2019.
The new rules also prohibit state employee unions from filing grievances on those issues. Additionally, commissioners reinstated the Rules of General Applicability, which, in cases of emergency, allows the commission to impose changes on state employees even if those changes conflict with contracts.
Commissioners Jase Bolger, Janet McClelland, and James Barrett voted in favor of the changes. Commissioner Robert Swanson voted against.
The vote was taken just before 2 p.m., after about four hours of comments from dozens of state employees, retirees, and others. Only two people – representing the Mackinac Center and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce – spoke in favor of the rule changes.
MCO President Tom Tylutki and MCO Vice President/Chief of Staff Andy Potter gave many comments urging the commission to vote no.
“24/7 operations are unique, and safeguards are already in place to run efficiently and safely,” Tylutki said. “MCO can go to any prison in the state, meet with the warden, and more times than not, get the issue resolved.”
The recruitment crisis could worsen, Tylutki said. MDOC wanted to hire 35 COs for the most recent class at Women’s Huron Valley, but could only hire 11, he said.
MCO comes to the table at bargaining not just with problems, but with solutions, Potter said.
“Our members do one of the most dangerous jobs that anyone can imagine,” Potter said to applause.
We understand the gravity these rule changes might have for members. As previously stated, these changes aren’t scheduled to go into effect until January 2019. We have more than one year to work with the MDOC to discuss the possibility of maintaining our current processes and policies that we’ve grown accustomed to.
In the coming months, MCO Board members and staff will be visiting each chapter to explain what these changes may mean and how we are going to address them moving forward. Please watch your emails, the website, and the members-only Facebook group for more information.
Similar to Right to Work, this was done to further silence your voice in the workplace. But in Right to Work, members stuck together, and we’re still standing strong. If we continue to stick together, we’ll weather this storm, too.
Thanks, members, for your support.