Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Council Insults City Employees

The Fayetteville Civil Service Commission is responsible for examining and establishing eligibility lists for appointments and promotions within the Police and Fire Departments and acting upon appeals and disciplinary action taken by the Police and Fire Chiefs and the Mayor. To say it is unfriendly to the case of workers is an understatement. Not once in the last nine years has the Commission ever sided with an employee in an appeal.

Part of the problem is that the Commission has long been loaded up with Chamber of Commerce members who always side with management against city workers. For example, Fred Vorsanger, an employee of the Chamber is serving a term that will run through 2014. That's no wonder, really, because the official application for all City boards, commission, and committees asks whether the applicant heard about the opening from the Chamber of Commerce, so they can easily spot the business insiders.

Another serious problem is that the Secretary of the Board, William Brown, is the father of Police Captain William "Casey" Brown, whose disciplinary decisions against officers are subject to appeal to his father. How fair is that? None of his fellow Commissioners ever saw any conflict or raised the issue. None of them are known for showing much concern for employees or giving them a fair hearing.

Last night, the City Council nominated and unanimously approved, without debate, the appointment of Buddy Chadick, a distinguished citizen and a partner in the Bassett Law Firm. He has long experience in representing Tyson Foods and other corporations in fighting and appealing to deny Workers Compensation claims of injured workers; there is no record that he has ever represented an injured worker seeking medical expenses or any employee in an employment discrimination case. Mr. Chadick is a fine fellow, but he is an absolutely awful appointment to the Civil Service Commission that is supposed to be impartial and give employees a fair shake.

Chadick's appointment to a term that will run until 2016 is an insult to city employees and a poor reflection of the due diligence and concern for fairness by the members of the City Council.

1 comment:

Monroe Jesuser, Jr. said...

Couldn't agree more. Sometimes one wonders what criteria the three Council members on the committee use to determine their choices. After all, didn't Marvin Hilton get appointed to the very Board that oversees the position he was terminated from? And I don't ever remember the full Council ever objecting or voting down a recommendation from the nominating committee. Seems the process for selecting members of boards, commissions, etc. may need to be examined a little closer.