MIDLAND--Governor Engler appointed labor law specialist and Mackinac Center for Public Policy Director of Labor Policy Robert Hunter to the Michigan Civil Service Commission on December 23, 1996.
The four-member commission's authority and responsibilities are fixed by the state constitution and include establishing wages, classifying jobs, and reviewing and ratifying collective bargaining agreements for state employees.

Hunter was appointed along with outgoing Wayne State University President David Adamany and State Representative Susan Grimes Munsell of Howell. The newly constituted panel will oversee significant changes in the state workforce, including a recently enacted program which makes about 7,000 of the state's 63,000 employees eligible for early retirement and added benefits.

Hunter said he hopes to influence policies and agreements that are good for state employees and taxpayers. "I want to help civil servants exercise their rights with respect to both their unions and their employer, and I want taxpayers and state employees to treat each other fairly."

Hunter has extensive experience in labor law, labor relations, and government affairs. As an attorney in private practice he represented several Fortune 500 companies on issues including collective bargaining and federal discrimination cases.

In 1981, Hunter was appointed by President Reagan to the National Labor Relations Board where he analyzed and judged more than 3,000 cases. He also served as chief counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.

At the Mackinac Center, a Midland-based research and educational institute, Hunter analyzes the impact of Michigan and federal labor law on worker productivity, living standards, and the economy.

Engler said the three new commission members have, ". . .the foresight, vision, experience, intellect, and common sense to help state government recruit and retain a skilled and diverse workforce that fulfills the highest ideals of public service."