Discussion board 6

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WhaAfter reading Chapter 6 please discuss the following.

Recent efforts to reinvent government and reform personnel process in the public sector have redefined the relationship between labor and management. How has this affected the unionization of public employees? Give examples to support your discussion.


Fundamental of Public Administration PPA 101




  • Understanding the value of a merit system in government employment
  • Learning about the activities of the human resources function
  • Understanding the importance of collective bargaining and labor-management relations
  • Learning about issues that affect human resources, such as diversity and discrimination
  • Understanding the relationship between the political and career administrators

Spoils vs. Merit “to the victor belong the spoils”

The ability to give government jobs to the party faithful (Andrew Jackson)

Prior to Jackson government jobs only went to the well-educated in society who were wealthier

It became a problem as office seekers came to claim their patronage positions

Public Administration in History Pendleton Act

  • One of two landmark legislations in federal personnel administration/ 1883 (the other is 1978 Civil Service Reform Act) bipartisian commission U.S. Civil Service Commission, open & competitive examinations, protection against political pressure, lateral entry, positions in Washington were apportioned among various states, president given authority to extend coverage to other government employees beyond the 10% federal employees

Basic Principles of Civil Service

Selection of government employees should be on merit rather than politics

Jobs are to be filled by merits of applicants they will have tenure regardless of political changes

Job security should be responsive to have political leaders appear to be legitimate in their selection

Civil Service Reform Act Criticism Directed at the

  • Different president’s have attempted to modify the act; Obama wanted high performance government, to address the challenges of the 21st century, acquire, develop, engage, compensate, recognize, and effectively retain talented employees
  • Trump wants?

President Carter Faced in Regards to Civil Service Reform

  • Technical overkill it was a maze and prevented action rather than aided, excessive protection to employees, lack of management flexibility, inadequate incentives to eliminate inefficiencies, discrimination (women & minorities,) the Civil Reform Act was proposed to restore the merit principle

State & Local Personnel Systems

  • Advertising or giving notice of vacancy
  • Testing and otherwise screening applicants
  • Preparing the list of qualified applicants
  • Selecting someone to fill the position

Classifications Systems

  • Method of testing should relate to the job to be filled
  • Previously developed set of questions for each applicant, panel interviews
  • Job related simulations
  • Then candidates are ranked and three top candidates immerge (some controversy in terms of women and minorities)

Recruitment Process

  • Advertisement giving notice of vacancy
  • Testing or otherwise screening applicants
  • Preparing a list of qualified candidates
  • Selecting someone to fill the position

Pay Systems

  • Based on grades in order to be transparent
  • COA
  • Merit pay is being done sometime based on performance appraisals
  • Union contract

Conditions of Employment & Related Matters

  • Drug testing
  • Compentency testing

Ways Government Combat Discrimination

Affirmative action- efforts to recruit, hire and promote members of disadvantaged groups to eliminate the effects of past discrimination

Sexual harassment- can consist of unwanted touching, physical contact of sexual nature, implicit or sexual propositions and/ or extortion of by a superior to subordinate of sexual favors in return for promotion/ raise. Hostile work environment that discriminates based on gender also constitutes sexual harassment

AIDS Policy

  • Considered disabled under the protection of the ADA

Other Issues

  • Workplace violence
  • Removing employees
  • Personnel reform efforts

Public Administration Reform: URGENT BUSINESS FOR AMERICA

Affirmative action- efforts to recruit, hire and promote members of disadvantaged groups to eliminate the effects of past discrimination

Merit system- organization of government personnel to provide for hiring and promotion based on the persons; knowledge, skills and abilities rather patronage

Steps in Bargaining Process

Public employee unionization- insist of seniority, aggressively seek higher pay & benefits

Collective bargaining a formal arrangement in which representatives of labor & management negotiate wages, benefits and working conditions

Major Components in the Bargaining Process

Public employee unionization- insist of seniority, aggressively seek higher pay & benefits

Collective bargaining a formal arrangement in which representatives of labor & management negotiate wages, benefits and working conditions

To Strike or Not to Strike

Most governmental jurisdictions prohibit strikes by public employees; public services are essential and should not be interrupted, you have option to lobby & vote, use of inconvenience cause redirection of budgetary priorities

On the other hand both labor & management gain greater understanding for each other, lack of ability to withdraw services weakens labor position, many private sector employees do similar work and have the right to strike

Americans with Disabilities Act

Questions of Compliance

  • Must prove that test and promotion process is the same for all
  • Must proof by numbers hiring fairness
  • Discrimination etc…

Affirmative Action Vs. Reverse Discrimination

  • Affirmative action correct past discrimination
  • Reverse discrimination to accept minority candidates less qualified than white counter parts to fill a quota (looks at the finding of a case on page 236 near the bottom)

Take Action: Advantages of Diversity

  • More democratic decision making
  • Improved bureaucratic operations
  • Better human talent development
  • Legitimacy of public service and other government to practice what they preach
  • Elevation of social equity

The Glass Ceiling

  • an intangible barrier within a hierarchy that prevents women or minorities from obtaining upper-level positions

Relationship Between Political Appointees and Career Executives

Newly elected have top level management positions to fill with people of their choosing

These folks become the ‘bosses’ of career civil servants

Career executives have knowledge and expertise but might be reluctant to be recruited having awareness of the problems that might arise

Group Discussion

  • Let’s divide into groups of 3 to 4 students; give each student a copy of your school’s policy on sexual harassment with regard to administrators, faculty, staff, and students. Have each group analyze the policy addressing the following:
  • (a) Is sexual harassment defined in a way that is understandable?
  • (b) Does the policy specify the kinds of actions that are considered harassment?
  • (c) Are procedures clearly defined through which sexual harassment charges can be brought and heard?
  • (d) Are penalties clearly defined for each action?
  • (e) Does the policy act as a deterrent to sexual harassment.
  • (f) What can be done to strengthen, clarify, and more easily enforce the policy?


  • Budget & financial management reflect important though sometimes changing values
  • Merit systems for public employment reflects such concerns
  • Managers must be concerned with recruitment, training, retention of the best possible people to work in your organization
  • Good public managers can help improve an organizations performance and in turn service to the public



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