Thursday, April 25, 2013

Equality Advocates in a Catch-22: City Charter Propositions 7 - Non-Discrimination Amendment or Anti-Municipal Employee Amendments

Equality Advocates in a Catch-22: City Charter Propositions 6, 7, and 8 - Non-Discrimination Amendment or Anti-Municipal Employee Amendments
 Domestic partner benefits are not in jeopardy -- but workers rights are

by Ike and Ben
Recently a “newspaper reporter” tried to scuttle the campaigns of some mayoral candidates by misrepresenting their position on 1 of 7 amendments in Proposition 7 on behalf of Steve Ortega and some financial interests who are funding him allegedly.
The “reporter” then attempted to portray Steve Ortega as the lone ranger of civil rights riding in on his Glass Beach horse (Bill Sanders) to save benefits for domestic partners in El Paso.
Fortunately these mayoral candidates have previously stated publicly they are against all 9 Propositions because of the questionable ballot format.
  1. The ballot language does not reflect the actual language of the Charter changes so voters do not know what changes they are actually voting on or the resulting Charter language and
  1. The voters should have been given the ability to approve or disapprove each amendment without having to approve or disapprove all amendments.
Currently there is no organize effort against benefits for domestic partners and what effort there is, it is severely demoralized and in debt. What the “reporter” failed to report is that domestic partner benefits are not in jeopardy -- but workers rights are.
There is an organize effort by the City Manger Joyce Wilson and the cabal to take rights away from municipal employees. Several of the proposed amendments are very anti-worker.

Propositions 6, 7, and 8 are Anti-Municipal  Employee Propositions
Proposition 7 reduces civil services jobs. The amendment greatly increases who City Manager Joyce Wilson hires without having applicants go through a competitive process.
The amendment allows for the privatization of city jobs by allowing the City Manager to replace certain civil service positions with outside contractors.
Worker advocates have seen this privatization tactic being implemented all over the city. Proposition 7 along with Propositions 6 and 8 look like minor changes -- but they are not.
All three have a significant impact on city employees. They shift more power to the City Manager with regard to city employees especially in regard to discipline and termination.
Machiavellian Tactic
Proposition 7 may be a “red herring”. If it fails it seems Proposition 8 makes the desired changes with regard to disciplinary action and termination of city employees.
Proposition 6 changes Civil Service Commission powers to reduce disciplinary action and re-hear cases.
The city manager and he cronies are hoping people are focused on LGBT rights -- and not changes that impact all employees.
The city is very sly. They slip in a non-discrimination clause hoping that will get voters attention while at the same time voters ignore the anti-municipal workers clauses within these three propositions.

Equality Advocates in a Catch-22 
This all leaves equality and human rights advocates in a Catch-22. Support non-discrimination, but screw workers over,  or advocate for workers and not support non-discrimination. 

But again, by voting against Prop. 7, it does not endanger the fact that domestic partners already have benefits by vote of the city council. The real danger is to municipal workers.

The city manager and her cohorts should be ashamed of themselves for putting these together in one proposition.
Protect the integrity of El Paso’s City Charter VOTE AGAINST all 9 Propositions.