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JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF GIVING WORKERS AT C.K. HOMES STATE CIVIL SERVICE CLASSIFICATION

 Ruling Could Have Far-Reaching Impact on State's
 10,000 Group Home Workers
 WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The union that filed a successful appeal requiring C.K. Homes' employees to be classified as state civil service workers today said that the State Circuit Court judge's decision could have a far-reaching impact on the state's 10,000 residents who work in group homes for the mentally ill and retarded.
 Earlier this week, State Circuit Court Judge James Giddings ruled in favor of an appeal by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO. AFSCME's appeal went against a ruling by the Michigan Civil Service Commission in the C.K. Homes case. The commission accepted AFSCME's argument that the group home's workers were, in effect, state workers since the home functions as an arm of the state, including receiving public financing. However, the commission did not concur with the union's proposed remedy -- that the group home workers should be granted state civil service classification. The decision issued by Giddings will force the commission to classify these workers as civil service employees.
 "Judge Giddings has made a courageous decision," said George Washington, attorney for AFSCME. "This will ultimately make it much more difficult for the state to deny the right to organize to the approximately 10,000 employees who have been providing essential public services while working in veritable sweatshops. If this decision prevails, wages and benefits for these civil servants will be brought to a more decent standard for the work that they do."
 In his ruling, Giddings said that it is "undisputed" that "C.K. Homes and its workers perform functions which serve a public service." Furthermore, he said, "All parties agree that the Department of Mental Health has a statutory duty to provide care for the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill. ... The state is merely discharging its obligation to provide services to the developmentally disabled by having C.K. Homes deliver these services. Delivery of such services by C.K. Homes is, therefore, an integral part of the department's, hence the state's and the public's, business." Giddings found the failure of the Civil Service Commission to classify these jobs undermined the integrity of the state civil service.
 "We consider this a great victory in the battle against privatization of public service," said Flora Walker, president of AFSCME Michigan Council 25. "These workers are finally being recognized for the vital service they provide as state employees. After a seven-year struggle, our public workers are at long last getting the respect that they deserve."
 The 1.3 million member AFSCME is the nation's largest public employee union with more than 65,000 members working in the state of Michigan.
 -0- 10/1/93
 /CONTACT: Sondra Dimond of AFSCME, 202-429-1130/


CO: AFSCME ST: Michigan IN: SU:

KD-DC -- DC038 -- 7909 10/01/93 15:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Words:475
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