Under a bill working its way through the legislature now, most state employees will lose civil service protections. The rationale advanced is a favorite one of the political right – budget shortfalls require agency leaders to make cuts, and reductions cannot be made “efficiently” without removing all the “bureaucratic red tape.” Well, yes, procedures of due process do get in the way of managers firing workers at will and generally doing whatever they want without being held accountable; imagine that!
Mississippi social workers, quite a few of whom labor for the state, should be appalled and resist this assault on employee rights where possible. Let’s especially keep in mind two things:
- The same leadership that claims extreme measures are necessary to manage the state’s budget crisis created that crisis by tax cuts benefitting corporations and the wealthy.
- The budget crisis is more rationalization than rationale. Our state is being run by ideologues and privatization advocates who denigrate the public space, and will take advantage of every opportunity to shrink it, consequences for workers and citizens be damned.