Civil service agreements at heart of city Propositions 10, 11
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Two of the City of Austin propositions causing a bit of confusion this election cycle are 10 and 11.
Essentially, Propositions 10 and 11 would establish guidelines for the firing of city and Austin-Travis County EMS employees.
"They must be done for cause—a just cause—as opposed to the current at will system that says you can be fired for good cause, bad cause, no cause and no explanation," Greg Powell with AFSCME Local 1624 said.
As it stands, only firefighters and police officers are required to be fired with cause.
Greg Powell with the local AFSCME labor union says the decision to fire city employees should also be made by a review panel. Right now, the City Manager makes the final decision.
EMS employees already have a review panel in place, but Tony Marquardt says their panel's recommendation is just that.
"The last few have recommended the return of their jobs with back pay. Unfortunately, what happens is it is up to the discretion of the City Manager, which overturns our decision the majority of the time," Tony Maquardt with the ATCEMS Employee Association said.
Marquardt says Proposition 11 would also create better rank and file within EMS—the higher the position, the better the pay.
"Civil service does not open the door to collective bargaining,” Powell said. “That can only be achieved with enabling legislation through the state legislature."
AFSCME tried to pass that legislation the past three sessions, but failed. He says the union will try again in January.
In the meantime, he will continue to rally voters behind his push for civil service.