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Originally Published: January 29, 2014

Release in advance of tonight’s civic conversation will begin civic dialogue on reform options for new administration

Citizens Union today released a report developed for Citizens Union by a Capstone Team of NYU Wagner students, “Tensions, Trends and Trade-offs: Recommendations Toward an Equitable, Efficient and Effective New York City Civil Service System,” which examines the current city civil service system, and offers possible reforms that are currently being vetted by Citizens Union.

The report is being released in advance of a Civic Conversation being held today, Wednesday, January 29th at New York Law School by Citizens Union: “ Civil Service Reform: Tensions, Trends and Trade-offs,” which is co-sponsored by New York Law School and RBC Capital Markets. The Civic Conversation will be a jumping off point for Citizens Union’s consideration of the issues at which CU members and the public will hear from stakeholders about the fiscal challenges facing the city and possible civil service reform options. Citizens Union was formed in 1897 in part to fight political patronage and push for merit-based hiring, leading to the development of the city’s civil service system.

The NYU Capstone Report was developed in 2011-2012, in the context of recommendations made by Mayor Bloomberg’s Workforce Reform Task Force, and provides an important primer on the following issues:

  • the history and origins of the New York City Civil Service System;
  • the governance framework for current civil service rules; and
  • reform recommendations in the following areas, which are presented as options for Citizens Union to consider, in seeking to advance common ground solutions:
  • civil service governance;
  • hiring and exams;
  • job classifications;
  • workforce management; and
  • teacher performance evaluations and layoffs.

Following the forum, Citizens Union will consider how different measures might produce a stronger, better supported and fairly compensated workforce that is managed well by the city, and meets the needs of taxpayers.   

The Civic Conversation details are below.  The event will be livestreamed on Gotham Gazette, a publication of Citizens Union Foundation, at

Public Forum Examining City Government Workforce Needs and Possible Reforms

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Reception at 6:00 p.m.

Livestream available at:

New York Law School
185 West Broadway, 2nd Floor Events Center
Corner of Leonard Street

Arthur Cheliotes, President, Local 1180, Communications Workers of America AFL-CIO
Henry Garrido, Associate Director, DC 37
Michael Jacobson, Director, CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance
Carol Kellermann, President, Citizens Budget Commission
Ronnie Lowenstein, Director, New York City Independent Budget Office

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