WWL>Topics>>6-4-14 2:10pm Angela: on NOLA's civil service system

6-4-14 2:10pm Angela: on NOLA's civil service system

Jun 4, 2014|

Angela talks about the New Orleans Civil Service system with First Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin, Greg Rusovich of Forward New Orleans, Fraternal Order of Police attorney Donovan Livaccari, and Nick Felton of the NOFD.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- thank doctor -- bomb once again for spending an hour with this he really touches a lot of people's lives and again we will continue to have him on to answer anybody's questions. But we're doing sort of a mental shift now to something that is very important in our community. Should the New Orleans civil service commission be overhauled. Or stay the saint. Mary Landrieu says yes new Orleans police and fire unions saying oh. The civil service commission takes up the mayor's overhaul package this month. And of course the big issue the hiring and firing system of New Orleans public employees. We would love your thoughts on this so give us a call at 260187. Day. But here to talk with us first deputy mayor and CEO of the city and the copilot. Also a dominant global -- the attorney with the fraternal order of police is joining us by phone. As is -- Felton -- of the New Orleans fire. Department there union. And businessmen -- -- pitch in studios spokesman for. Forward New Orleans and past chair of the business council and also on the line we're so grateful is. Richard pavlik who was with the young leadership council so everybody's going to have a voice and this. Let me start off though with Andy -- I have to say from the get go. We've been on the eight months we've tried to get this man in studio audience here and we are so very appreciative and I mean that from the heart. We're we're we're thrilled to be here and thank you so much for the invitation well this is this is a big deal this is and a major change. Major changes with a significant improvement I would OK I think that com. It's really important to have the best human resource assistant for the city of new -- So that our employees can get paid the recognition the promotions that they deserve. And that we can focus them and their efforts on providing great services that the citizens of the city. Expected. And so what we're asking on our civil service commission to do. Kinds of changes that the state civil service commission did. Over the last fifteen years and that many other civil service commission throughout the country have done to modernize. And improve their their. HR systems and we think we can do that -- better pay. Better careers better hiring. Better administrative processes and better training. The big issue which I'm sure all of our other representatives are gonna mention is that it will continue to protect. Civil service. Yes there are no changes to. The constitutional. Provisions. That. Have been established both in the city charter the state constitution. There will be a civil service commission its job remains to keep politics. Out of the personnel decisions in the city. And there's no change that all we're talking about is the policies and procedures. By which the commission operates there are hundreds of actually. Policies and procedures and we're talking about making changes to about thirtieth. Okay one illegal for two love Donovan Donovan your thoughts on this. Our first -- remember on. Your own. At all close to making social service system more efficient and more. -- I think they had the comparisons to the Louisiana State civil service system in our. From our perspective our little off because police and -- -- not looted. In the State's civil service system. A bomb and perhaps for good reason. And so are concerned law that specifically where. They expect an impact on we -- so -- am not so much in the disciplinary sense because I think that day. It is the ministry polls don't necessarily impact the ability to appeal that area actually. In -- And promotion robo officers and how those -- impact -- results well it may change the constitutional. He would shoot that brought shall -- the first place. If you wanna comment to that because you know I'm hearing from you that tan. This clearly would still protect from the patronage from the fears an -- Right those those protections and again I appreciate the question in and the comets that we agree with. You do FOP and others we've got to protect. -- employees from the influence of political interference. And so one of the reforms that was brought forth across the country in the last century. Was to create civil service commissions to protect against the spoil system where a new mayor comes in and in the entire. A city workforce gets fired and new group is brought in that was not appropriate was not sustainable it was not fair. And our. Six state and local charter provisions. Make clear that there's no political interference and nothing in our proposal changes that whatsoever. The next Felton with the fire department your thoughts. Thank you -- so and salute -- as the components each year and well we seem just like the police and everyone else. Absolutely won't this drive whether it's civil service so what else actions that city government is trying in bed batter that. True sort. That truly. All of departments -- the civil servants and others police fire as. Street whatever we've also ordered that. But we do today. And I think it's a bit stretched -- It makes it that they want to change things. And people we've from goals spoils system. And look like the other state civil service systems. When currently in cherry picking -- -- absolutely. Alone the ability. Or individuals. And -- But a rule making changes. Suggesting. It -- -- -- that would allow the appointing authority. To make those. Decisions. On promotions. -- are an apple also who they were also concerned -- -- preference for all that subject every day. -- -- -- What thank you Angela off first the -- -- wall -- coalition which comprises the Urban League the business council young leadership council on the chambers whole host of organizations twenty civic and business law and grass roots organizations. -- got together sometime back and demanded really put in a mandate for civil service reform we view the system and said not quite keeping up with the times. Are we all would applaud the mayor for pushing this forward and looking -- system that will reward success where employees can be inspired where we can have robust screening systems. Where are where we can motivate employees -- we can build their careers where we can give them hope and opportunity. -- so we think that much of this reform does that. And is a positive step in that direction it moves aside some of the all bureaucracy which we think is good at the same time it gives us the ability to attract. And retain and motivate good voice and that's what we want. To build an excellent workforce we have a wonderful workforce now. This will build an even better put -- more operating. A speedier more Agile structure in place. And it'll put foreign -- say this it will it will put more decision making. In the hands of the managers the manager's closest to the decisions Angela the managers -- -- there watching employees on the day to day basis. So world for giving mattress so more discretion and that's what really go to organizations do. Okay we've kind of laid out what the situation is what to changes in a broad sense would be. We're gonna take a break we'll come back I'd love again to hear from you and I'm -- GT called. Others to 60187. -- but we're gonna break it down and talk specifics right after this I'm Angela under the W well. Well we're talking about a very important subject that will affect not just employees of the city. But the city itself and we're talking about the proposed sort of overhaul or re tweaking of the civil service commission that's been in business very long time. Concerning the employment hiring the letting go of the system. Of keeping. Our employees are sitting employs. And what we're learning is that perhaps the time is now to make some changes and I don't think that the police and fire representatives we have on our against total change they may have some concerns about specific points. So again we -- very delighted to have the CEO of the city we have -- -- -- -- studio talking about representing forward New Orleans and a group of many. Organizations that are looking for some changes. Let's talk about specifics and let's go to that. Rule of three. If first someone could explain it perhaps a to simplify it to our listeners who are not involved in civil service but it isn't a sticking point. What it is and I think that its interest of folks who work in the private sector or managed private sector organizations are currently. Asking themselves what would rule three B and why don't we have one and and we would suggest that rule of three. Is an outdated. Vestige of the older -- in service where civil service commission. Staff establish with the department's what are the minimum qualifications. Currently. And then yeah that they establish that bar they go. Review Reza -- they -- testing. And they rank folks. And they say you know all these people are perfectly well qualified might have eighty on the list but only. These ten people are in the top three demands currency can only consider those ten or in some cases there may only be three. And we think that that's an artificial restriction. That sometimes leads to discriminatory outcomes in most cases doesn't lead to the city of new loans being -- higher. The very best person. And so what we wanna be able -- give managers the ability to look at anybody that the commission deems. Qualified for the job. The ability to interviews many of those candidates is they want to pick the very best one for them and that's really. The way I think -- -- which would do it his business. And other folks in the private sector that's what you would think what the civil service commission does is protect. To make sure that we don't hire somebody who's not qualify. But once you've met that bar qualification let's try to find the best fit for the city to do that job. So in times past to simplify. They have criteria they test people interviewed people look at rest amazed pick the top within certain bands as you call it and then say now you pick your. One in -- -- saying is let us broaden that. Still within the criteria. But we don't necessarily have to take the top point. Right and and and let's talk about what the top one is. It may be the top one -- test and who is best able to identify the -- -- You know -- in South America. I'm not sure what that has to do. Maybe sheriffs are -- is in South America. But but we will get calls. Right now who can we will and we'll be cracked and the question is is is what job in the city requires knowledge of the geography to go where sir Thomas. They also review recipes. And again resonate in a degree from MIT is different from a degree from some other school. Yet bear rarely. Is there any distinction made by the commission staff and -- this resonates GPA relevant courses. What your major was. It's it's all sort of wrote. Here's XP your early years of experience is important. -- I don't know about it. Let distant let me ask you nick Shelton and also Donovan your thoughts on the rule three. Okay thank you to look away and I think we lead the smoking meters because. What was the problem is Lou and to this is really all's questions. You know when service takes -- develops. A test. They take and they go to the subject matter expert as a compliment me it actually. And then talk to people in the biased. People in the police. And they drilled down on. Specifically. Questions not -- city insult America or not it's -- -- -- unit. That meant that not correct 00 -- uptake in most uptake in the past that -- happened. -- have reviewed that they're actually. In the all specific about -- engagement. Bob tactics about different -- so well -- different things at one would need to know on piracy. As well. One would be in the managers. And his men that you would expect it it's about. Fan base but it suggested. In years and years and years ago because. I'm gonna jump in the things that people like in the city but because. A lot of the -- or use it. He gave the -- practice and that's why we got into them not to step in that this administration look in June. Because that is one of the fears that we. Would build qualifiers who used. Can we look at what we have now we have. Not been well. The best qualified all of us would that would attest in all -- -- -- -- in this police involvement in you know the Altman and it them. Great to. They did great job -- stole. And UK until then did something wrong wrong wrong because those leaders should you know -- -- And they continued to LaGrange. We're not here people's seen anything like it is it is more attractive. Because -- better scores in because trust me when -- -- and so. I want the best team on what the best supervised. Can you want the best leaders because my life and my -- And so I think it's not broken the rules. Old old so all concede that -- based competitor tested it out as was done in other so it was systems around this country. Okay hold up I've just got a quick question for mr. Feldman is to. And and I agree with him a 100% on the effort the quality of of the professional men and women who work at the -- fire department. But in terms of whether things are broken or not. Do you think mr. felt that the walls fire department is represented of the population is diversity here in the Weill leans. Diversity. Is not to do anything that we talked about we talk about these credit protested. Diversity aspects at one. And did you hear from a recruitment as well we're tensions. And games so to those terms. We want the best qualified personnel bit. An absolutely can be very much of course and very much representative of the community that we -- And I actually -- oh you know national association of fighters human relations committee which strictly you would divorce -- Men and women black and white old and yeah. Eight screen that's -- -- we look at Qualls and Asians or an individual and absolutely insist diversity programs. -- and I guess the only point I would make and is that if you actually look at the diversity of the New Orleans fire department. In terms of race and gender. It is not nearly as diverse as it needs to be it doesn't represent the diversity of the city and that's what the existing system. Produced through the rule of three. And the testing that mr. felt has endorsed and again I think we've got to get a lot a lot better on that and I think one of the ways to do that is to eliminate this rule of three. Because I think it's artificially. Limiting the choices that the fire department can make in terms of attracting and retaining talent. Again the tests that he talks about are very good at assessing people's. Knowledge of how to fight fires and do that work. But they don't include. Actual information. About who the best performers are who you'd most want to go into a fire along side who's the best person in your engine house. To have on your team and those of the kind of intangibles. That we think good managers observing and working well with their employees. Can help pick out that are picked out in those tests that are. Given by. Firefighters. That we bring in from other cities and pay thousands of dollars to come in from being a Memphis or Minnesota. To test our firefight so everybody is in agreement that everybody wants the skill set of a firefighter or police officer remember to be top notch. It's the other things your word intangible is good the other things that perhaps can't be tested but are very very important as an employee. -- the. Angela but that the group that met -- -- problems. Is one -- -- -- That ability to see Andy here. This is the best and it and that introduce buys into situations. Like. And -- those. Windows and animal abuse you know I agree. Even sometimes. The -- the judicial system on the democracies. -- and doesn't. Work for us all time in the best of times we were. Looking -- And also lives little qualities in an effort to try amended but by saying and it's broken. And seeing them -- in putting in the hands one is to make that decision. Is introduced in both sides it was one is -- -- a new report -- law and -- owners weren't important to. In the -- -- you know you. And five walks into the room that you. By. Well those people -- close to me when a person comes from my alma. Little. And who was an emblem on. Well it buys should be billions in the ambulance when that. Happened to the oh but yeah. There's an -- -- no biases if you have any. Tests that will be testing. The specific skills that have to be covered and if everybody at this table agrees. That's the most important thing. But we must recognize that some people are gifted and other things with communication skills. Ability to work with people -- motivation. All kinds of things. And we shouldn't managers have a little more input into that. I agree which is seen with the -- two cabinet. And actually and that put him in the hands of the decision making process. It allows one person's side limits are equally one as we spoke about. We want in the courts of this particular. -- proposal and missed a couple of them all and then we absolutely fall there's enough. -- I hate to an erupting but they're gonna -- I mean any -- because we got into the newsroom keep that thought we're gonna continue our discussion. On changes proposed for civil service and Angela under the WL. Talking about some proposed -- changes to our civil service. And we're talking with the CEO of the city and Koplan also with. Greg gruesome bitch who was representing a whole group of civic organizations. And at the end to the leaders in the unions of police and fire Donovan. Little -- -- and nick Felton with the fire and I appreciate everyone joining us. Before we started and we do have some other people have called in and I'd like to get to them we have Stephanie hangs. Step you -- yes. Dental pain then I'm market saying. Toward. You agree -- involve a number of reform and number calling in and then a couple of and in Atlanta team. For initiating on the -- and taking place in -- including. Her. -- it really Gillick took it to win and our employees and citizens that -- wants to have a trust class. City Hall so just -- of -- which is why I leadership and for initiating this reform. OK I appreciate that Stephanie. Let this go over to Erica macondo it. -- -- -- -- -- Parade ground in -- are happening. Import costs and time AD and -- at her in the we have Mary. Each and making sure that you think -- and with the proposed changes one that the community knows that. We -- still the court and independent civil service. We know how important added to it it into the community. May vehicles that are the second thing it than that in terms. That that -- city -- that you had to add long lengthy discussion on particularly guarding who reached out we absolutely support. Making sure -- qualified people. Art in the predictions that are available however is equally important that. All of are and civil servants to represent the demographic -- -- -- and acts in Indy. It's not yet there there are. Several studies -- Done are -- by Nazis built into Monday's attack at. Well particularly on into an unintended consequent. How that works out there are intangibles that we. And they sure do that app and make sure it back on the fact that there and an -- -- amber. I get an opportunity to her. In the world and particularly. Particular -- to -- in her like in the department and in Iraq are. And we -- and other -- that hasn't and got the lead and I'm each issue and clearly at the Urban League. -- strong support in recent waves. We know it -- is is yet. Impact it down and now we are changed if a cult. Or every war and how currently at a time. That we take -- step forward and in China -- It forward and make sure that we capital represented populations. And represented -- safety net debt added. At progressive and as many neighboring. Eighties and now we are supported a great place to work initiative. And all which -- -- it -- be. Thank you very very much Erica I'm going back to Donovan with the police and also -- Felton she -- of a very good point change is difficult. You all are not a totally against change but are you seeing these proposed changes as progress. I think that these proposed changes without adequate amount of destruction are. Do they have the potential for. Regression of the -- program epic that mr. felt that the -- at the took the these issues -- included in -- constitution. For the specific purpose of protecting people from these abuses. That are potential was there and government service. We don't want. Just feel return to those. Times and you know we can make. Progress. Without opening the door to those are type problems we experienced and has. Then we're not post. I mean I think that this -- anything for example. Is really kind of blown four that the constitution -- A certain amount they changed -- submitted -- emotional constitution requires competitive chops thing. The rule -- really. -- flexibility to be appointing authority. They they've Port -- option of skipping those people. In that the community for. For art and that they skip over the papers and three times they can be removed but let's. So better options that are available to. Do to appoint doors and manages. To be able to make the decisions that are out there. On that point -- took anti Koplan. You're just asking for more options. That's corrected the constitution. In fact provides that. Not less than three candidates be provided to manager we're saying. Give us all of the applicants that you -- qualified and let us review them all competitively. Document objectively. There's strengths and weaknesses and and find the best match so if they offer ten and that you wanna see fifteen. Then we ought to be able to see it contained in the interest of making sure that the city hires. The most qualified best suited person to do the job. Because again we're all the citizens of the city counting on the to do great work and we wanna make sure that the managers have the -- the flexibility. To get those candidates who -- the right fit in some cases you've got folks who accounting backgrounds in which you really need is somebody. With -- and engineering background. Yet the engineers are all the bottom of the list they're not in your top three how does he PW -- engineer. When what they've got she's from his accountants or vice Versa with the -- -- look at for accountants it doesn't make any sense for us to exclude. People who civil service teams are qualified. Well he's -- -- into debt. But opinions are important but -- -- and what you know that. And grass roots of it thank you so pop Angela so I think -- Fred clearly great conversation on the rule with rate. -- ones but I think forced their perspective. -- you know the one thing I think it's very important here this isn't only about the rule of three now. So we have to go back and also look at. If not -- employee evaluation systems we have to look at training. This whole civil service reform which is being well promoted by the Khmer. Is not only takes on the hiring element. But also takes on the our recruitment element that takes on the training element that takes on the promotional element. It's a broader scope than just one defined areas of rule through the rule of three obviously connects the -- -- chicken and if you. We happen to believe that if you have that the managers should have more discretion working in cooperation with the chart -- But it goes beyond that it's about employer evaluations an employee evaluation Wii Fit for decades now -- -- system. That's a very archaic employee evaluation system. Now with news or symbols are reform it's being put forward. We're going to have a modernize when he first -- point where employees can sit with them pictures and they can set performance schools. And they can analyze the match the manager was calm with schools except performance. And that is performance metrics Angela and performing schools can be packed into the strategic plan to beat one of the department's. Isn't that what -- you can department its strategic plan. -- strategic plan and along with employee goals in the man after schools and we have performance schools this is the way well on organizations and institutions. And it's very repression deceit. The city taking a step hopefully in that direction. In the in valuations of Hispanic archaic is that word of the employee can be evaluated and say you're not doing well enough. You know we have concerns. -- -- Fortunately unfortunately sent this system does not penetrate deeply -- the valuation form is not the form so it's not a one that really brings that's tough questions for improvements which is just my interest we want to tell -- the type of employee. Generation you don't have the -- you don't have that team building. The new system of every six more reviews. Team building. Dialogue will be a vastly improved on team building next SARS. Another break stay with -- we'll be right. Well we're talking again about proposed changes to the civil service. Situation in our city that's been around very long time. And up people within the city the mayor that the CEO firmly and the business community and other groups are saying it's time to freshen it to make it more efficient. And yet there is still some resistance and concerns are parts of the various unions of sitting employs something I think even nick brought opera may be Donovan once. Can everybody said the same table. And disgust that's so we are the police and fire represented in these hearings. With their concerns. Sure and in this is -- to compliment talking. The mayor. Introduced our package of proposals back very beginning of April because of second in the third. The civil service commission had a public hearing in the City Hall chamber. On the nineteenth of April and and mr. Felton mr. Le -- and others were there and spoke common civil service commission is that gonna have another hearing June 12. To get additional public comments on these proposals. We've actually made changes since. The mayor first introduced him. Based on the kind of things that people. Raised at that it in the initial reaction. And so we introduced at a number of changes. To some of the rules where people thought changes need to be made that's kind of a process that we've got at this point. And you know we're hopeful that later this summer the civil service commission will be -- take some action on the -- of it but right now that's the process -- and of course the public is welcome to attend. And there was vigorous. -- discussion at the last commission meeting I'm sure they'll begin on June 12. And still must and we went and discussed process. That that is the populations place. And they didn't in all of this rule changes is when we. It would two years' discussions behind doors and promised to Scotland and service commission he Bobby and all. Everything you want to do and we and file as an emotional police wasn't one network and those discussions. But now you will be able to go to those meetings and if what. And a couple of saying they've they've made some adjustments already don't you feel confident that you feel so strongly about some of these things that your voice will be heard. -- -- -- And so certain commission meeting -- the first time -- whatever changes they've -- to document that we did -- -- Okay listen guys I truly appreciate you joining us by phone and in the studio it is perhaps a subject that will touch again. Because it is is going to impact the city it's going to impact a lot of employees. And that we just appreciate everyone's input on this thank you very much stay -- We'll be back. It's a very interesting topic out looking at our civil service system. As it's been for a number of years and some of the changes that are being proposed this we're not finished with this discussion we are for today unfortunately but I'm so grateful to. Donna the McCartney and nick Felton and the people who got to come into the studio because we need to have that talks. Thank you gentlemen each and every one of you stay with this we're gonna -- a shift we're going to be talking about. Raising those twenty wins and how. How to survive it stay with us.