Move to eliminate labor practice known as ‘bumping’ fails 

A proposal to eliminate the controversial labor practice known as “bumping” has faced a major setback. The Civil Service Commission is expected to officially withdraw the recommendation to eliminate the practice and do additional studies.

Known as “interdepartmental bumping,” under existing labor rules, laid off employees are entitled to displace, or “bump,” other city workers in similar job classes in any department if they have more seniority.

The Department of Human Resources has been critical of the practice and said it has led to waste and service degradation.

“Citywide bumping can have significant impact not only [on] departmental operations but also employee morale,” says a Dec. 10 memo from Human Resources Director Micki Callahan. “The department loses a trained and experienced employee and receives an employee who may be unfamiliar with its services and responsibilities.”

Labor unions had rallied against the latest proposal to eliminate it, and appear to have gotten their way.

The commission is scheduled to vote Friday to reject the proposal to eliminate bumping and then study “reforms” on the practice of bumping “which would make the process more efficient, cost-effective and less disruptive to both departments and the bumped employee.”

The Civil Service Commission holds a special hearing Friday at 3 p.m. at City Hall to vote on the proposal.

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