Actually, it was really more of a rally.
On Thursday night, the Civil Service Commission held a public hearing on the Governor’s furlough plan for state workers in next year’s budget. Originally there was no mechanism for temporary layoffs, as the furloughs are also known, which is why the commission adopted the new rule on an emergency basis last month allowing for two days of furloughs this year – one in May and one in June.
You remember that meeting, right? four workers got arrested…NJN had exclusive video. But I digress.
to accomodate all those who wanted to speak, the public hearing was held at the armory in Lawrenceville. Hundreds of state workers showed up. They arrived by the busload.
In fact, they couldn’t all fit inside so the spill-over crowd held a rally on the lawn.
But that is not the only reason it was like a rally. The Civil Service Commission only had one person there. The 4-member panel ( normally there are five members but there is a vacancy ) was nowhere to be seen. That resulted in a bit of an echo chamber as the union preached to the choir.
The Commission meantime, said that was normal for these types of hearings. Of course, the newly created Commission has never had a hearing quite like this one. We asked if there were bylaws that specified who needed to be at one of these meetings and whether or not a quorum was necessary, but Commission spokesman Mark Perkiss never got back to us.