Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dispatch... 200 state jobs moved to civil service

Columbus Dispatch…
200 state jobs moved to civil service
By James Nash
Jan. 6, 2011

Two hundred state employees have been granted civil-service protections since the November election, shielding them from the normal firings that occur with a change of administration.

Records released to The Dispatch yesterday by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services show state agencies responsible for transportation and services for disabled Ohioans moved the largest number of employees to protected status.

The Ohio Department of Transportation shifted 48 employees from unclassified to classified status, giving them civil-service protection. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities reclassified 40 workers.

The status changes are normal during times of political transition. State officials defend them as protecting career public servants from arbitrary dismissal when political leadership turns over.

State government will shift next week from being primarily run by Democrats to being entirely under Republican leadership, headed by Gov.-elect John Kasich.

Ron Sylvester, spokesman for the Department of Administrative Services, noted that not all of the 200 employees are being reclassified to protect them from political firing.

"If someone were a temporary employee (which is an unclassified position) and they applied for a full-time position that was classified, they would be on the list," Sylvester wrote.

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