City Charter Vote Would Add Worker Protection
The City Council approved a charter amendment today that would ask voters to change the process that city staff go through during disputed personnel decisions like hiring and firing.
Essentially, rank-and-file city workers could not be fired or disciplined without “just cause” and would be granted an appeal arbitration.
City Manager Marc Ott objected to the measure. He said that the added benefits would be expensive and hinder department managers’ ability to run their departments.
Greg Powell, business manager for Local 1624 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, disagrees.
“There’s an interview process that should be conducted,” Powell said. “We’re not trying to change that, restrict it, or anything. All we’re saying is that the final decision, after that kind of vetting, ought to bear up to some scrutiny.”
The charter amendment will be put to Austin voters in November.