How protected is any employee in any municipality? City Hall as near as I can see after all these years is divided into several different ways. You have our elected officials ( Clerk, Treasurer, Council, and the Mayor.) All who take an oath to follow the law and the City Charter. The Mayor who appoints almost all the department heads who then become (officers of the City.) Then you have union employees, but even these employees are divided into the (get and the get not’s.) The DPW department are in the group of the (Get.) The rest in the AFSCME Union get little to no protection or representation. The other group of employees are non-union. Police and Fire each have their own union to represent and protect them.
I bring all of this up because over the years I find that when ever there might be a potential problem. City officials, and officers (Department Heads) go into protection mode. If an employee in the City has an issue with elected official of the City, or an (officer of the City) they can file a grievance/claim. That grievance is then investigated by the same people who have to protect the City.. The employee files the grievance lets say to the HR department. Who appointed that person to their job? The Mayor. Their job is to protect the City they aren’t on the side of the employee who filed the (grievance.) City council members are told from the beginning of any potential threat against the City not to talk.. While all the above are employees of the City they are not equal in their employment. You might be saying as I have over the years this is un-fair. It might be, but the one thing that must be kept in mind is taxpayer dollars. Any (grievance) that could end up costing the City money that money is taxpayer money.
I think this system is the problem (protect at all cost) the City. This is creating an environment ripe for any number of horrible things that could happen. Some have already those are still being played out (going through the (grievance) process. If history shows anything it won’t end well for the employees who filed the (grievance.) Some of you might point out that they have a Union true, but that union from what I’ve been told over the years does little to nothing. The (get nothing) half of the union have little to no help/protection from the union. With that being said what happened to doing the right thing. Let’s say God forbid someone was raped over at City hall by their department head. Does everyone over there just go into protection mode for the City? Is there no heart? Is there no compassion for the victim?
Any claim is more complicated when an elected official is involved. The Council doesn’t have the power under the charter to remove someone from office. That doesn’t stop them from voting on recommending someone resign from office.. As happened in San Diego that council voted that the Mayor should resign. When the council did that and it was all over the news nation wide. That sent a clear message to the employees. We as a City won’t tolerate sexual harassment by anyone. San Diego is a Charter City like Dearborn Heights,
The embattled mayor of San Diego has lost the support of many of his own allies. Arecall election is still possible, though such an effort would face high hurdles. But the city’s own regulations appear to protect Bob Filner from state laws that would otherwise provide several avenues for his enemies to push him out of office. Read full story
I’ve heard over the years by supporters of the Mayor what a “caring guy he is.” I hope you’re right. I hope the Mayor cares enough to protect his employees all of them.. We will see in the next coming weeks just how caring the Mayor and council members are..