MERIT SYSTEM GUIDE for MANAGERS

Merit System Guide For Managers-Free PDF

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Introduction, As an executive staff member or manager you will undoubtedly have responsibility for the selection or pro. motion of agency staff How do you know where to start and or what options are available to you in relation. to establishing your agency s workforce First it is important to note that New York State public sector em. ployment is built upon a merit system which is based upon the State Constitution and a foundation of Civil. Service Law Rules and Regulations As will be discussed in greater detail section 35 of the Civil Service Law. divides State employment into the unclassified service and the classified service For the most part positions. in State agencies are in the classified service of the State and fall within one of the four jurisdictional classes. into which the classified service is divided the competitive non competitive exempt and labor class How. merit and fitness is determined and how appointments are made varies depending upon the jurisdictional. classification of a position It is important to note that where an employee serves at the pleasure of the ap. pointing authority such as with exempt class or non competitive confidential policy influencing positions. other control agencies and or rules and procedures come into play including the Division of the Budget and. or the Governor s Appointments Office As discussed later the establishment of and or appointment to such. positions requires consultation with these entities and their approval Further agencies are reminded that the. July 30 2008 hiring freeze remains in effect only essential hires will be approved. Through a question and answer format this document highlights various tools which can help you establish. and maintain your workforce consistent with proper merit system principles Please keep in mind that this. general guide is not meant to be inclusive of all of the details and nuances of a system that is quite complex. In addition to reviewing this guide it is strongly recommended that you meet with your agency human. resources HR office to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the various hiring tools that can. be used in relation to the different jurisdictional classes This is important to ensure that candidates for. employment are thoroughly aware of their benefits and status Each agency may have unique processes. and agreements with the public employee unions It is critical to discuss these differences with the HR office. in your agency, We hope that this document will serve as a useful general resource of information about the various hiring. and selection options available to State agencies, What is the basis for the merit system in New York State. Article V section 6 of the State Constitution requires that appointments to the classified service of the State. be made according to merit and fitness to be ascertained as far as practicable by examination which as. far as practicable shall be competitive This merit and fitness clause is the underlying principle for the. appointment and promotion of employees in the classified service of the State The Civil Service Law Rules. and Regulations implement this constitutional mandate. Who administers the merit system in New York State. The Department of Civil Service and the State Civil Service Commission exercise authority over the classified. service of the State While many people make no distinction between the Department and Commission each. maintains its own independent identity and functions General authority and responsibility for the administra. tion of the Civil Service Law is vested in the Department The Commission is vested with broad merit system. oversight responsibilities for both State and local government. Do State agency employees serve in the classified service of the State. Generally yes The civil service is divided into the unclassified and classified service The unclassified. service includes,elective offices, offices filled by election or appointment of the legislature on joint ballot. legislative officers and employees,department heads.
certain officers and employees appointed by the Governor. officers members and employees of boards of elections. the largest group teachers and supervisory personnel in the public schools the State University. and certain community colleges, The remaining positions fall within the classified service and are divided into four distinct classes namely. competitive class,non competitive class,exempt class. labor class, Together they comprise the four jurisdictional classes of the classified service. Who determines the jurisdictional classification of a position. By law all positions in the classified service are automatically in the competitive class unless the State Civil. Service Commission takes action to place them in the exempt non competitive or labor class Agencies may. petition the Commission to place existing positions new positions within the exempt non competitive or. labor class Upon a Commission determination that competitive examination is not practicable positions. are classified as other than competitive and can then be filled outside of the competitive examination pro. cess Keep in mind that the jurisdictional classification review process generally takes at least one month and. requires justification by the HR office in your agency Agencies requesting an expedited review should contact. the Office of Commission Operations, Is the appointment process the same for each of the jurisdictional classes. No The Constitution requires appointments be made by competitive examination to the extent practicable. In recognition that competitive examination may not always be practicable the Legislature carved out a. number of exceptions and created the four distinct jurisdictional classes each having a separate yet equally. valid test of merit and fitness How merit and fitness is measured and how appointments are made will. depend upon the jurisdictional classification of the position Only those positions in the competitive class. are subject to competitive examination The remaining three jurisdictional classes generally afford agencies. broader powers of selection subject to certain protocols as discussed below. How is merit and fitness established in the different jurisdictional classes. The majority of civil service positions are in the competitive class and merit and fitness is generally established. by competitive examination of those candidates meeting minimum qualifications. Appointments to competitive class jobs are generally made from among the highest scoring candidates on. appropriate lists who are willing to accept appointment. The non competitive class consists of those positions for which competitive examinations are not practicable. For positions in the non competitive class merit and fitness is ensured through such educational experience. and other qualification requirements as may be fixed by the Department of Civil Service Appointments may. be made quickly to such positions by the appointing authority exercising its power of selection subject to. certain protocols as discussed below The non competitive class consists primarily of skilled trade positions. It may also include certain positions of a high level administrative scientific or technical character involv. ing a confidential relationship between the incumbent and appointing authority or one which requires the. performance of policy influencing functions In such cases the Civil Service Commission establishes such. positions in the non competitive class with a phi designation These positions are commonly referred to as. phi tagged non competitive phi or NC phi and are set forth in the rules with the symbol Incumbents. of non competitive phi positions serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority The non competitive class. also includes entry level positions normally filled by the competitive process but designated non competitive. for the purpose of hiring workers with disabilities under sections 55 b and veterans with disabilities 55 c of. the Civil Service Law see below for discussion on this topic. Agencies also have the power of selection subject to certain protocols discussed below for exempt class posi. tions The difference between the exempt and non competitive classes is that for positions in the exempt class. the appointing authority rather than the Department of Civil Service determines merit and fitness by setting. any educational experience or qualification requirements for the position and has the discretion to appoint. from among those meeting those qualifications The exempt class includes one secretary of each department. temporary state commission or other State officer authorized by law to appoint a secretary deputies autho. rized to act for department heads and any other subordinate positions for which competitive or non competi. tive examination is found to be not practicable, Positions in the labor class involve unskilled labor with no minimum qualifications although applicants may.
be required to demonstrate their ability to do the job through qualifying pass fail tests There are no eligible. lists for these jobs The appointing authority has the discretion in making appointments to these positions. without additional competitive tests of merit and fitness. What role does the Director of Classification and Compensation play in establishing a position. Unlike jurisdictional classification by the State Civil Service Commission the Director of the Division of. Classification and Compensation makes determinations on position classification This involves analyzing. the duties of proposed jobs and determining the appropriate title and allocation of positions in the classified. service of the State An agency or appointing authority can submit a request to the Division of Classification. and Compensation to classify or reclassify a position to an existing title or propose a new title Such positions. may be permanent temporary or seasonal If the title proposed is new the agency or appointing authority. must present justification for a particular salary grade Establishment of a new title will require justification and. may take several months to accomplish Some classification actions have been decentralized to agencies and. appointing authorities and may be streamlined or reviewed in a post review process Decisions on both posi. tion and jurisdictional classifications must occur before a position is established and an appointment is made. The role of the Director of Classification and Compensation is further discussed below under various Salary. Mechanisms, Are other control entities involved in the selection process. Yes By memorandum from the Executive Chamber issued in May 2008 to all Agency and Authority Executive. Deputies agencies were reminded that certain positions classified as non competitive or temporary are cov. ered by the same recruitment and hiring protocols as exempt class positions This memorandum specifically. governed those instances where agencies were seeking candidates to fill pending or existing non competitive. phi positions temporary positions for project assistant items established through the Department of Civil. Service and hourly workers whose pay rates exceed 20 per hour Therefore when recruiting and hiring for all. such positions agency executives must consult with the Governor s Appointments Office and the Division of. the Budget for their assistance and approval Please refer to the May 2008 Executive Chamber memorandum. for a detailed explanation of the appropriate protocols to follow in recruiting and hiring for the specified posi. tions Again agencies are reminded of the July 30 2008 hiring freeze referenced previously. Do all positions in State agencies obtain tenure protection. No Only those employees receiving permanent appointment in certain jurisdictional classes are entitled. to tenure protection, With certain exceptions exempt class employees serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and may. be removed at will Therefore they do not have tenure protection As discussed above incumbents of non. competitive phi positions also serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and with certain exceptions. do not have tenure protection The exceptions are for permanent exempt and non competitive phi employees. who are veterans or exempt volunteer firefighters and who are not deputies Recommendations or decisions. to terminate staff should be reviewed by your HR office before any final decision is made. In contrast Civil Service Law section 75 1 grants tenure protection to permanent competitive class employees. who have completed probation and to employees serving in non competitive class positions which have not. been designated phi provided that they have completed five years of continuous service in the non com. petitive class since last entry into State service This has been modified to one year of continuous service by. certain negotiated contracts Security contracts however do not have the one year clause and incumbents in. such non competitive positions must complete five years of continuous service in accordance with Civil Ser. vice Law section 75 Collective bargaining agreements have also extended tenure to permanent labor class. employees who have completed one year of continuous service in the classified service. Do all employees serve probationary periods, Every permanent appointment to a position in the classified service regardless of jurisdictional class requires. ered by the same recruitment and hiring protocols as exempt class positions This memorandum specifically governed those instances where agencies were seeking candidates to fill pending or existing non competitive phi positions temporary positions for project assistant items established through the Department of Civil Service and hourly workers whose pay rates exceed 20 per hour Therefore

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