Yesterday’s Press of Atlantic City illustrates yet another reason why civil service needs the axe. Civil service is an artificial government intervention. Artificial, because the mechanism does not accurately portrey reality. Civil service ensures that workers do not receive pay commensurate to the work they perform.
Michael Clark begins his article:
A City Council aide and sister to the Democratic nominee for mayor is suing the city after her salary was cut in half by her brother’s political rival.
Cheryl Banks, former Mayor Lorenzo Langford’s sister, recently filed a lawsuit against the city after Mayor Scott Evans’ administration reduced her $67,600 salary, which was twice the average salary of her colleagues.
The Press of Atlantic City reported in February that Banks was given a $31,650 raise when she was demoted back to an aide after serving as City Council President William Marsh’s chief of staff during his brief tenure as acting mayor. Before her short stint in the mayor’s office, Banks earned $33,350.
Look at this story in the following manner:
Ms. Anyone is employed to perform job “a” in city government. City government pays anyone $33,350 annually for performing job “a”. Ms. Anyone changes her job. She now works job “b” that pays $67,600 annually. The change in job responsibilities is what merits the pay increase. It is not one’s connections, skin color, or other extraneous factor that merits the pay increase between jobs “a” and “b”. Quality work and effort is what deserves payment through a salary and benefits. Factors other than quality work and effort constantly qualifies city government employees for salaries and benefits that they do not deserve.
When Ms. Anyone no longer is performing job “b” she does not deserve job “b’s” salary, pure and simple. There is no way around the fact that Mr. Anyone, Cheryl Banks in this case, does not deserve job “b’s” salary when she is not working job “b”.
Now, why is civil service responsible for Ms. Anyone’s exploitation of the taxpayers? Civil service makes it in theory difficult and in practice near-impossible to fire or demote a city government employee. Government is public and visible. Whether it is liked, or not, city government sets an example for the community. It is daily more and more apparent that city government employees receive salaries and benefits that do not relate to their job responsibilities and performance.
The average citizen is not inspired to work harder and be more productive, when he sees his neighbor in city government not working hard. Civil service ensures that a city government employee can work for a few years, earn civil service protection, and then relax their work effort to the slow monotony of government bureaucracy. The people need to force state government to axe civil service protection.