26, No. …12, 1933, Congress established a Federal Emergency Relief Administration to distribute half a billion dollars to state and local agencies. Civil Service: Some Pros, Cons and Suggestions for Reform (by Pat Hardy, MTAS, 10/06), Introduction The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the pros and cons related to civil service, and to offer suggestions for improvements. 124. 57. But in modern times the term “civil service” has come to mean not the complete strata of officials who administer government but a more formalized set of standards by which many of them are selected; it reflects the idea that government functions best when it is staffed based on merit and not political patronage.1 Most employees who work under these formal civil service systems are chosen based on written examinations. 1993. Privacy & Terms, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=14548. 2000-2003. - There may be lack of management accountability for personnel actions because management has little discretion regarding hiring and firing decisions. Faced with continued high unemployment and concerns for public welfare during the coming winter of 1933-34, FERA institute the Civil Works Administration (CWA) as a short-term measure to get people to work. In these cases civil service has greatly contributed to the professionalism of local workforces. 1992. We’re sure we went through some of the most highlighted pros, that most definitely out-weigh the scarcity of the cons. 6420B, November 9, 1933, University of California Santa Barbara, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=14548, accessed February 9, 2015. They also vary in terms of the groups of employees to whom they apply. In these cases civil service has partly helped to ensure the non-politicized appointment and advancement of the workforce. For example, one author has noted that the “legal straightjacket” on the hiring process is almost universally blamed for a widespread sense that the overall quality of employees is declining.4 In addition, with the advent of professional management (largely through the emergence of the Council-Manager form of government) the need for civil service has been reduced. Autumn 1997. As long as human exist, they will need house, roads and other building structures. Pros of Works Progress Administration (WPA) Over its eight year lifespan, the agency put more than 8.5 million people to work. Civil Works Administration (CWA) _ _. Congress establishes the Civil Works Administration. 129.18 Winter. (3) Robert D. Leighninger, Jr., Long-Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2007, p. 47. New York, New York. Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The only notable absence in this regard are testing requirements, and especially those pertaining to police and fire. It is imperative that an adequate set of Personnel Policies is in place so that the rationale for initiating civil service for all remaining employees is partially removed. Vol. 6. The term normally excludes elected officials but includes the vast bulk of those who see to the daily functioning of the public sector. This has been especially true in non-managerial positions, where the bulk of the local government workforce operate. Knoxville, Tennessee 37921-6741, Phone: (865) 974-0411 In other communities, changing to a Council-Manager type form of government would be a viable option when considering civil service reform. - There’s an old saying: “Government workers are like headless nails: you can get them in but you can’t get them out.” The process of (dismissal) is so time consuming and difficult that few managers ever fire anyone. )* Advancement opportunities available through work experience* Wide variety of workplaces for … In short, one reform size may not fit all. However, it should also be noted that the rigidity of many civil service testing and advancement procedures have given rise to numerous criticisms, many of which point to the absence of other important hiring or advancement criteria (such as performance). Introduction The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the pros and cons related to civil service, and to offer suggestions for improvements. Not all governments, though, … CWA Local 1180. In government, it is a control function - and managers bitterly resent it. - The system may discourage the retention of the highest-quality employees by rewarding longevity rather that performance. 118.8 Olson. An additional benefit of civil service may be its influence on unionization (which may or may not be considered a benefit, depending on which side of the unionization debate a decision- maker resides). The term "Civil Service" was coined in 1872. Civilian Conservation Corps (1933–42), one of the earliest New Deal programs, established to relieve unemployment during the Great Depression by providing national conservation work primarily for young unmarried men. This being the case the elimination of civil service should remain a “reform” option in these cities as well. It has been especially effective in jurisdictions where elected officials are responsible for the hiring, discipline, and dismissal of line employees and where strong personnel policies and procedures are not in place to guide these efforts. The effect of this “career ladder” is that employees feel comfortable with the process of selection for advancement, as they more clearly see the future and possibilities for their movement through the organization. These systems are not standardized, and they vary from city to city in terms of their procedures and regulations. Help us create more content like you see here: Sign up for The Fireside, The Lowdown, and other news. This reflects a movement toward productivity, service orientation, accountability for results, and improved capacity to devise and track policies; it also reflects a movement away from the civil service- based model, which is characterized by specialized, hierarchical, and relatively closed bureaucracies that are governed by rules, paperwork, and official procedures.7 Another author frames the civil service question in this way,One big reason for America’s global economic success is that its business managers have traditionally been free to hire and fire staff in search of high performance. Osborne and Gaebler point out:11In business, personnel is a support function, to help managers manage more effectively. Vol. This will allow greater flexibility in staffing. Pros. Introduction The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the pros and cons related to civil service, and to offer suggestions for improvements. They have to hire most employees from lists of those who have taken written civil service exams. A small number of executive branch jobs are ‘political appointment’ positions. After all, isn’t the only alternative the evils of the spoils system?8 A number of years ago a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation surveyed state managers and found that, “No issue... evoked such a consistent and intense response as civil service hiring procedures. Remarking on the program a few years after its termination, Harry Hopkins wrote: “Long after the workers of CWA are dead and gone and these hard times forgotten, their effort will be remembered by permanent useful works in every county of every state. 73-93.14Matzer, John Jr. “Perspectives On Civil Service Reform.” in Creative Personnel Practices: New Ideas For Local Government. However, if elimination is not an option, adjustments to existing civil service regulations should be carefully examined, based on many of the specifics identified above. List of the Pros of the Jury System. This has been substantiated in research which has shown that the presence of civil service is between 28% to 46% lower (depending on city size) in council manager cities than in other forms of government such as the strong or weak mayor systems.5. Civil service versus political appointments. Civil Works Administration. The CWA ended in July of 1934 (although most employment ended by March 31, 1934) , but its success was so remarkable and its closure so clearly felt that it was recreated in the form of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935; and the WPA was led by some of the same administrative workers from FERA and CWA. Sources: (1) The American Presidency Project, Franklin D. Roosevelt: 167 – Executive Order No. Another positive benefit of civil service is that it can provide the workforce with a predictable and easy to understand set of criteria for advancement. The result is a system in which managers cannot manage, deadwood is kept on, and morale goes through the floor. For example, one author has noted that the “legal straightjacket” on the hiring process is almost universally blamed for a widespread sense that the overall quality of employees is declining. How can merit be served, for example, when supervisors are only allowed three choices from among hundreds of possible candidates for a job? It replaced systems of patronage with staffing based on merit, as determined through examinations. Prentice Hall, Englewood, N.J. 78. Over the past twenty years there has been much interest in reform. Conclusion In conclusion it should be noted that Civil Service has a long and varied history. We serve business and government to improve the lives of Tennesseans. Let us check out the pros of being a civil engineer first – Pros of being a civil engineer – Good pay: Skilled and qualified civil engineers often get to enjoy decent pay packages. In particular the paper will highlight insights provided by other authors, some of which contain hard research regarding civil service. Consider the following reasons not to buy into the business school hype: Later in 1933 came the Public Works Administration, headed by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes and the Civil Works Administration, under Roosevelt’s top aide Harry Hopkins. By January 1934, the Civil Works Administration had provided employment to more than four million Americans, including over 200,000 Ohioans. 24-25.11 Osborne and Gaebler. Hard Truths/Tough Choices: An Agenda For State and Local Reform. (6) Ibid. They seldom have anything to do with performance. [email protected] A person who has successfully completed an MPA degree program can work in a government office, in a company’s corporate office, or with a non-profit organization. Criticisms of Civil Service and the Rationale for Reform Osborne and Gaebler have noted that a personnel system built around civil service is one of the most destructive systems operating in government today.6 It is likely that this notion especially holds true in jurisdictions which have continued to utilize civil service systems in spite of other managerial changes in their structure or changes in the procedures guiding conditions of employment. “Fixing the Civil Service Mess.” City Journal. Legacy of the CCC Although the organization does not exist today, over 97,000 miles of fire roads were built, over 3 billion trees were planted and over 800 parks were built. Constantly expanded and diversified to offer use for the special skills and training of different types of workers, the CWA program finally extended its scope to almost every kind of community activity. The paper does not pretend to cover all aspects of civil service, because such systems vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but instead is meant to provoke thought and discussion aimed at improving our ability to govern - and to motivate and manage the employees in our local government workforce. 2000. 1.9 Osborne and Gaebler. Vol. However, it is likely that civil service has contributed to a reduction in the union activity in some jurisdictions. 3 Vigoda, Eran. He found that when comparing managers in government systems utilizing civil service with business managers the government managers perceive a weak relationship between performance and pay, promotion, job security, and recognition from the organization. John Matzer, edt.18-25.15Osborne and Gaebler. It would also help keep from another depression happening, … Another major issue of the post Civil War era was reforming the Civil Service system. Consider just a few of the major problems: - Hiring - Managers in civil service systems cannot hire like normal managers: advertise a position, take resumes, interview people, and talk to references. The CWA was created on November 9, 1933 by Executive Order No. In fact it is now a requirement for most Tennessee communities that a set of Personnel Policies and Procedures be in place, and that they contain the items mentioned above as well as a “grievance procedure.” This results in a document which then addresses key provisions of many civil service programs. Website: This movement, and the related civil service systems which emerged from it, were aimed at reducing or eliminating the system of “spoils”, patronage, and corruption which seemed to characterize many governments of the day, including those at the local, state, and federal levels. So all in all it is apparent that civil service can greatly constrain key personnel decisions, and can possibly lead to mediocrity. Among its numerous projects, this temporary program employed over 10,000 nurses in a variety of health care settings, not only offering work for unemployed nurses but also providing the delivery of essential services to the needy. The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters. The culture of public management takes it for granted that employees in effect “own” their jobs as long as those jobs continue in existence. Should public managers have freedom to do the same? It also reduced political influence in the hiring, promotion and dismissal of employees. Civil service systems are probably least needed, and are thus the greatest hindrance to effective management, in cities with either the Council-Manager or Council-Administrator forms of government (or other professionally-based forms). Sorting Hype from Fact: Pros and Cons of Attending Business School If you're going to come out of business school with a degree that really means something, you need to be realistic. Some include:18 - Reducing constraints on managerial discretion (such as those imposed by civil service) and replacing these with clear protections for those who may face discrimination (such as those provided by comprehensive personnel policies). The Civil Works Administration was a subdivision of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration which provided work relief for a large number of men during the winter of 1933 and 1934. At its launch, two million workers came over from FERA and “Nine million people swarmed to the [United States Employment Service] offices to apply for the other two million slots” . What Is The Difference Between Civil Service and Public Service? That’s why the pros and cons of a jury system deserve a periodic review. 1979. William E. Leuchtenburg, the author of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (1963), has pointed out: "CWA was a federal operation from top to bottom; CWA workers were on the federal payroll. For our purposes here then, we will define civil service as the formalized set of procedures and regulations under which a defined set of employees work. Vol. People will ride over bridges they made, travel on their highways, attend schools they built, navigate waterways they improved, do their public business in courthouses and state capitols which workers from CWA rescued from disrepair. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized Hopkins to set up the Civil Works Administration (CWA) in November, 1933. Public administration careers are available in both the private and public sector which opens the door to a variety of career paths. Perhaps most important, the CWA experiment greatly increased support for public employment, creating pressure both within the New Deal and in Congress for the administration to end the general relief grant program and launch the WPA in 1935. - Classification - Civil service jobs are classified on a graded scale, and pay within each classification is determined by longevity, not performance. When you’re weighing the odds of your future career, of course, you will look down to the pros and cons. 1610 University Avenue As the CWA program drew to a close in March 1934, it was replaced by the Emergency Work Relief Program of FERA. A.2 DEFINITIONS The following words, expressions and abbreviations shall have the meanings assigned to them except … Projects included planting trees, building flood barriers, and fighting forest fires. Other potential reforms have also been identified. The paper will also offer suggestions for the reform of civil service, especially as it applies to Tennessee. If these are in place they may serve to address many of the issues also addressed by civil service, including procedures for hiring, discipline, and dismissal. But it can also help professionalize the workforce in the presence of a politically dominated workplace. Some of the advantages or pros of civil engineering career is that: It will always have high demand. If complete elimination of civil service is considered as a “reform” option, then the city must be sure that an adequate Personnel Policies and Procedures document is in place to address many of the issues typically found in a civil service program - including procedures for hiring, discipline, dismissal, grievances, etc.. It should be noted that this may be true to a somewhat lessor degree under the Council- Administrator form, where the council may retain all or some of the responsibility for hiring or dismissal and therefore may continue to see patronage as a tool of political gain. The very change to such a form will in itself move toward implementation of a merit-based system. The cost of the project was $243,000. We had two hundred thousand CWA projects” . Berkeley CA 94720-4740 The Civil Works administration is a public work program that gave the unemployed jobs such as building or repairing roads, parks, air ports, ect. For example, they are much more likely to feel that formal procedures make it difficult to fire a poor manager or reward a good one with higher pay. Often they have to take the top scorer, or one of the top three scorers - regardless of whether that person is motivated or otherwise qualified (in San Francisco, if two applicants tie for the top score, the one with the highest social security number gets the job). 4, November, 1993. www.mtas.tennessee.edu. As such the alteration or elimination of civil service should rest partly on the presence or development of a quality set of Personnel Policies and Procedures. When someone says they are a civil service employee or a civil servant, it means that person works for a government agency, whether it be federal, state, or local.Each government entity is responsible for its own employment system, takes care of its own personnel needs, and engages in different hiring practices. Almost every major company hires individuals who hold an MPA degree. Department of Geography The Works Progress Administration of the federal government (also known as Work Projects Administration) was the major relief agency of Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal; Supplanting the Civil Works Administration (an emergency temporary work relief program, 1933-34), which was the original sponsor of a variety of state and municipal, relief projects, the WPA employed over 2 million … 2, June 2006. In short, traditional political values ceased to control administrative appointments, and in its place technical expertise emerged as a preeminent appointment factor.2 From this point of view civil service has had a positive effect. More discussion on this relationship can be found below.Benefits of Civil Service Systems Civil Service systems in the United States emerged around 1877-1883 when both New York City and Brooklyn passed the first local civil service regulations. Alarmed by rising costs, Roosevelt dismantled the CWA in 1934, but… Read More Only 9 cities in Tennessee with populations above 10,000 have these formalized civil service systems (that’s about 15% of cities in this population group). During its existence, the CWA paid approximately forty-nine thousand dollars in wages to Ohioans, helping them to meet their needs during the Great Depression. Two special assistants provide day to day support to the USACE Civil and Military Programs and support to other agencies. Public managers have resigned themselves to the entrenchment of incompetents and shirkers at every level, as a necessary evil of government service. - Promotion - Promotions are controlled by the personnel department, not the manager. The administration, as per the definition states that it is the right execution of things and work has done in an office. Like other New Deal emergency employment programs, the CWA was designed to put jobless Americans back to work and to use them on beneficial public projects. Public Works Administration (PWA), part of the New Deal of 1933, was a large-scale public works construction agency in the United States headed by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes.It was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act in June 1933 in response to the Great Depression.It built large-scale public works such as dams, bridges, hospitals, and schools. While civil construction activities are a precursor to most building (residential and non-residential) works, there is little commonality in practices between civil and building construction works. - Streamlining the pay structure by utilizing a smaller number of broad pay bands. Other articles where Civil Works Administration is discussed: United States: Relief: Roosevelt also created the Civil Works Administration, which by January 1934 was employing more than 4,000,000 men and women. 5, September-October 1979, 443-444.13 Elling, Richard C. “Civil Service, Collective Bargaining and Personnel-Related Impediments to Effective state Management: A Comparative Assessment.” Review of Public Personnel Administration. - Many jurisdictions may already have regulations granting a “property right” to employees, and thus additional guarantees (such as those provided by civil service) are not needed. See Also: HOPKINS, HARRY; NEW DEAL; WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (WPA). In most cases where civil service is present it does not apply to the entire workforce. Until now, the question would have seemed far-fetched: for decades, at the federal and state levels, as well as in big cities like New York, civil service laws have made it next to impossible to sack most government workers, even for blatantly sub par performance. Organizational Politics, Job Attitudes, and Work Outcomes: Exploration and Implications for the Public Sector.” Journal of Vocational Behavior. Vol. - The system may not facilitate productivity improvement efforts. Clearing the right-of-way for the viaduct began in Nov. 1933. There are a number of both pros and cons which surround civil service. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information posted to this website. Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector. Its influence in terms of reducing political patronage in the hiring process has been commonplace. Here are the Tennessee cities larger than 10,000 in population, their populations, and the employees to whom civil service regulations apply:City Population Employees Under Civil ServiceGreeneville 15,274 Police, Fire, and many others Dyersburg 17,452 Police Morristown 25,402 Police and Fire Columbia 33,055 Most except department heads Johnson City 56,194 Police and Fire Jackson 59,643 Police and Fire Knoxville 173,890 Most except department heads Nashville 545,915 Most, with some exceptions Memphis 680,768 Most, with some exceptions It should be noted that only 3 of these cities operate under something equivalent to a “Council-Manager” form of government. (8) Works Progress Administration, Analysis of Civil Works Program Statistics, Washington, DC, 1939, p. 6. This will provide managers with greater flexibility when rewarding employees. When you’re weighing the odds of your future career, of course, you will look down to the pros and cons. (2) Harry L. Hopkins, Spending to Save: The Complete Story of Relief, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1936, p. 116. Pros and Cons of Public Employment Believed by many to be among the most secure work environments, jobs in government are highly sought after. 26-30. Another study found that civil service actually increased spending, and that such increases were associated with how long civil service had been in effect.15Civil Service Reform In terms of reform itself, it has been noted that a wholesale overhaul of civil service may not be the best solution in all cases, and in fact may not be politically acceptable in many circumstances. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, Albany, New York. A person who has successfully completed an MPA degree program can work in a government office, in a company’s corporate office, or with a non-profit organization. Civil Service.” New York Administrative Employees. 5.5 Frant, Howard. Here again, the removal of political influence in the workplace, be it either real or perceived, may contribute significantly to employee satisfaction.3 The effect of these dynamics may be that unionization of the public workforce has been slowed, or in some cases even prevented, through the application of a quality civil service program. About Us | This being the case, in addition to the alteration of existing civil service regulations for those to whom it does apply, each jurisdiction should also examine its current Personnel Policies so that they adequately address conditions of employment for the remainder of the workforce. - Reducing the number of job families into which employees fit. The Pros and Cons of Privatizing Government Functions Outsourcing may seem like a perfect solution for deficit-plagued governments, but the morning after can bring some unpleasant surprises. 999.6 Osborne, David and Ted Gaebler. 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