If you want a review of civil service law and coverage, I believe there are different systems covering the Federal Government and the governments of the several states. I found the law too extensive to offer a quick review, but here is a site that seems to cover a fairly extensive overview.
From a quick look, it appears that, no, not all government jobs fall under that category. The primary initial concern with the system was and still appears to be that applicants are well qualified for the jobs they take. This is established by examination. It provides protections that make it difficult for politically motivated transfers, hirings and promotions to happen. It limits the pay of these people, so that rewards are limited and cannot be seen as spoils or as a license on the part of the office-holder to steal.
It does not appear to provide collective bargaining rights, and seems to keep the power for determining the appropriate pay level and benefits level out of the hands of the workers. There are advantages in this and disadvantages as well. I, for one,
am uncertain about allowing the rewards of my work to be established entirely by people with whom I may at some point have an adversarial relationship with.
In brief, however, to reply to Denise, it does not appear that all employees of the government except administrators and elected officials are governed by the civil service.
More specifically, in terms of personal experience, I know that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as at times specifically attempted to get around these protections by hiring “contractors” to do jobs that normally people in the civil service would fill.
If Massachusetts can do it, I’d bet most other governments can and do do the same thing. This is, in fact, much of the Republican platform in many states. Talk about “privatization” means destruction of Civil Service protections for the voters and for the employees both, and opens the way to the return of the abuses of the spoils system that Civil Service was supposed to cure. As Uncas points out, one of the provisions of the Wisconsin law that their governor and Republican legislature are trying to enact, is exemption from the system of competitive bidding. Some may feel that the inclusion of such a provision in this law is purely accidental; I believe it is part of the same agenda that attempts to weaken collective bargaining in general for government employees.
[Bold]Until the economy improves, I agree with Denise[/Bold] that an increase in pay and benefits of government employees is unwise. Furthermore, it seems that the unions themselves have come to the same understanding. It is on collective bargaining that they have been intractable, as, in my opinion, they should be.