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House | April 22, 2015 | Committee Room | House: State Personel

Full MP3 Audio File

We have the following pages with the survey day, weeks from Wake, sponsor of [xxx] Gill, John Smith from Rendap, [xxx] John Piccolo[sp?] Appreciate you being with us. Sergeant at arms are Bill Batts and John Brahman and McCowen. Thanks guys That she had been doing that in the last day or two, I'm glad you're here. You want to be first, Representative Collins, you're going to take up house Bill 495 and this is PCS, I need a motion to accept the PCS.  Got it McNeill, Larry, Secozit[sp?] all in favor say aye? OK we have House Bill 495 before us. House Bill 495 is modernization and technical changes to our State Human Resources Bill. The bill summary does a good job if you have that of describing what this changes. In section one there are two, well there's one clarification and one change. The clarification is on line 12, this is clarifying how you reach career status as a state employee. Line 12 simply says that it's a permanent position with a permanent employment, that means we don't have a temporary employee serving in a permanent position. We're trying to describe what permanent means. It's the nature of the employment as well as the position that you're in. And the second one I think is one that just takes us back to 12 months to reach career status rather than 24 months which I think the employees would like that. The section two there were also two changes in this one. The first one just deletes language so that the department can be a little more flexible or the departments can be a little more flexible in the contracts they offer. This has nothing to do with merit pay or bonuses. What this has to do with is incentives like for instance maybe for scientific positions or health service positions that are hard to fill. This would not preclude them from offering a signing bonus or something like that. And then the second thing that's in the section beginning on line 19 establishes a temporary assignment agency function in the LSHR for temporary staffing services for state government positions. And that continues on to section three, in fact the entirety of section three deals with LSHR doing their own temp service and it makes every requirement down through there, for instance, on line 14 all the divisions, departments, and agencies will use this temp service. On line 20 it defines that an agency cannot keep a temp in the same job function for more than 12 months and call them a temp. Basically this is for efficiency and consistency within the state. Section 4 just changes some reporting that departments have to do to [xx] annually rather than quarterly. Section 5 makes several changes. The first one is lines 25 and 26, this amends the law to require the States Human Resources Commission to adopt policies governing priority and salary rights for state employees separated as a result of arrear for rejection force. Line 34 simply states that we're changing substantially equal to greater, if person has greater participation. What the state wants to do is hire the person with the best qualification or the person that's most suitable for the job. That change is that substantially equal to greaters, repeated twice, once on line 34 once on line 44, on page 4 beginning with lines 7 and 8. This is simply says that if a state employee who's been at rift, applies for a job with a higher position, a higher pay scale

whatever and then declines an interview for that job, then they lose their 12 months priority whatever. Line 16 changed years of experience to years of apable experience in other words, my experience as a nurse in the Department of Corrections or whatever we're calling that now, I guess that's part of public safety that does not necessarily carry over and give me an advantage for somebody who's trying to be drafter for the proper transportation or something like that. Line 27 just broadens something that we allowed last time, certain agencies under our state can now reorganize and re-structure through a voluntary separation process that would expand up to the departments in cabinet position, the departments or offices listed in GF 126-5, and that is provided that there is funding for that, this is doesn't necessarily guarantee that any particular department will be able to do that. And then section 5.3 most qualified has been stricken to qualified, so that all qualified candidates can be considered, and I think the issue here is as an employer I don't hire you to determine most qualified necessarily how do you bring it down one person either a person can be most proper on paper and then they certainly [xx] person in the world and can't get along with everybody and draws all your employees away, so if the person's qualified, the qualified [xx] that we can determine who's most qualified for a job. That's the saying that language continues throughout the first few lines of page 5. Section 5.4 there's a change here we want to take age and I only give my bill some record of my bill here we want to age out of the information that is kept in the agency records easy for protection of the state employee. And then finally I think the only have the change is on page six and it simply says that and the employees personnel files they can be open for inspection during the interview process if the state supervisor is interviewing someone for potential hire only with regard to their performance documents in disciplinary actions that might be taken against them and that is the summary of the changes in this bill. Mr. Chairman. Any questions  from members?   look like we had a lot hands go up lets try it again.  I just want. Good is that what y you wait. Representative shepherd I just want to [xx] Yes   [xx] [xx] I also wanted to make sure the [xx] tell us time before it goes to the board Representative Carl. Am not sure what basis speaker morris is pushing bills out of the floor even a strong request of the but I have not ask him to explain this to the floor if he waits tomorrow it will lead to punishment attorney [xx] the way that would probably rate

years of experience it will be insane to just be [xx] period no you Mr speaker   Representative [xx] a year ago without a performance you asked in [xx] okay Representative Carlin okay response state your name, who you are although we already, know for the record.  I'm [xxx] Alexander Director of the state Human Resources, could you restate your question again just to make sure that I understand it, you're talking about on page four line 16 where it says aptable experience. What we're trying to do is to look more specifically at the experience people bring to the job, not just years of time in the workplace so that we get better selected candidates with more aptable experience to the job that we're trying to fill. Follow up? Aptable experience will also include years of experience doing that so we've [xxx] it to be a little bit more flexible and consider the aptable years of experience so you can have to go back to an example of the nurse, you can have the nurse that has 10 years experience as a nurse working at a doctors office, but to come in to a mental health hospital that 10 years of experience in a doctors office wouldn't necessarily be apable[sp?] to the experience of a nurse in a facility. And that's what we're trying to be more specific and get more qualified people directly into the jobs that we've got. OK Rep. Mitchell. [xx] Well, the job excuse me, could I respond? You're through OK, you may respond so, lets see then, what we're trying to do in that situation is the job description and the requirements for the jobs and basically what are the requirements of the job, and so that would be the test that it would go against would be the job description and the requirement of the job, and is the experience that the have applicable to the job requirements that they have been posted for the job follow up. [xx] [xx] Any answer. Yes I do have. while this is, this outlines the what, we also have another document that outlines the how in policies and rules and things like that make sure about how we go about filling positions that create the standardization for filling jobs. [xx] Follow up? we may have [xx] Correct. And we have [xx] Correct. [xx] Representative Petrol you may ask question. Would you first explain about [xx] are you under a person with a [xx] MBA who does not even have a lot of  knowledge ask for one story [xx] you all get with experience [xx] we've got a problem and there

seems to be that thing [xx] Mr Chairman I'd like to propose an amendment if I might. You may. This is being written [xx], I think it's simple and awkward you can understand it if you look at page 4 line 16 the line in question, I'd like to amend that line by adding the two words, use of, in front of applicable experience. So they would now read number one triangle education, number two use of applicable experience. yes the still same column and would still be there.  I'm glad you told him that hey he had to read between the lines. Everyone has heard the amendment, any discussion on the amendment? [xx] Pardon Okay on the Amendment. Okay [xx] If I may [xx] it may take year of experience [xx] now with the amendment [xx] years of applicable experience. Anyone else with discussion on Amendment? All in favor of Amendment say Aye. Aye. All all opposed say "no" the aye's have it the amendment passed someone announce the amendment [xx] discussion, Representative Eusco you Okay, over here Representative Dobson. Thank you, Mr. Chair a couple of comments, question, first I like the most qualified to qualify, I think that is a big change I don't want to work in the state personnel one term we had qualified applicant would do, would make good applicant for the job we are trying to seal but we couldn't have those qualified based now that your nearing number six I think that's a good change people move in the system already saying all this will be qualified I think that's a good did your client in the interview you have reforised because that used to happen more times in night without only full page rise to those Company questions, three line 34 has this sentence is talking about [xx] court again I think [xx] line 34 talks about how substantial equal or greater complications, I'm I interpreting instead of [xx] Mr. Chairman you may interrupt us to mean that a leaf candidate has to have greater complications, involves candidate were in the past if they have equal complication they had to have preferential treatment, I'm I reading that correct? Yes. That does concern me so likely I do think it is a state before yoU, may decide to dedicate it to the state that they do have preferential treatment if their the qualification were equal to  no less than but equal to, so that concerns me so lively but there is a lot of few thing in this bill that we must realize [xx] Mr. Chairman if you could just [xx] from your own inquiries. How extensive do you see that to be [xx]. Representative Collins. I would like to [xx] Alexander if he could to speak to our director, because he would know a lot more about how extensive the tent services but not the [xx]. Temporary solutions they have been around for about 33 years, [xx] baring service, activity through the years. About 2007/8 there was a lawsuit filed against the state because the state had continued to import temporaries year after year after year and their suit was based on the fact that they had worked continually year after year they should be entitled to retirement benefits they should be entitled to all the other benefits. They had signed a statement with understanding that there were

no time for the benefits for the position on part of benefits  for that and the case was one based on the fact that one was given up without going into the job. judge that taught us that part in his order required us to put in place a tracking mechanism that will not allow or import used to work more than 12 months in a year so in order to reinforce that the government issued executive order for around two proestalation in the fact that all of the executive branch will follow executive order to use temporary installation for people are staffing and then we've been in the process of transitioning there over in the last year so when we got all of this positions now in the temporary solutions we do offer some experience exceptions for cease my worker like port people, agricultural people and things of that nature, but we have the tracking mechanism to do that and we are also work with the agencies to fill these positions we take care of their time keeping we cover the unemployment insurance we cover the other administrative cost to associated with that and we do that for relative to a small fee. [xx] so we are basically streamlining the 10 process that we already having in place, we're not expanding. I don't want to exchange temporary employment instead of [xx] for what we have now with the good saying employee that we have so the it's great to say we are streamlining and not expanding here. Correct we have a one attempts that were being held out by the agencies. This brings a consolidation and alignment. So we are not expanding? We are not expanding other than we are expanding the services to the agencies they are doing their own temporary unemployment we are bring that in, the other thing that we are trying is the affordable care act because we have to stare work more than on average of 30 hours a week and we also crack that and we did the billing back to the agencies for that cost would you like to do that?  Okay Representative.   This question I would like to raise Mr. Speaker on the last of payslip the new subject was reviewed, this scenario happens after regular exercise of the side of something else here and might need to be processed how about answering this question for me. OK, so, you raised a good point. What we would be having supervised for doing the interviews in order to consider fully the candidate they are looking at, and look at the performance plans and see the results of those and then also we would provide acknowledge that this person has a level one or level two disciplinary action and what that action was for. Not any of the details of the investigation or anything else coming out of that. We're just trying to create a level playing field, that's one of the biggest pieces of feedback that I've had since, that we've been here is that we'd be great to able to save personnel files, performance plans and whether or not somebody had a disciplinary action, in order to make sure whether to consider the candidate, so their considering a state candidate but they want to make sure they get the right one. That'd be a nearly [xx] Correct no, correct, right, yeah, any other member has a question? representative Dushelf. We're going to hear you say I'm going to do that somebody else mentioned that too. Representative Whitmire so

many things have been discussed, I think probably getting the things that we try not to legislate maybe administrative could do in general terms because change that's what makes I think a little bit more solid on some of these concerns that we've seen [xx] mitigates on lessens staff [xx] [xx] and there are things that have been [xx] This time I want to hear from the State Employees Association people Thank you very  much Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Artis Watson and I'm the government relations director for the state Employees Association. I regret to be speaking with you all without this bill at this time, I honestly wish we had been speaking with the agency we did get a call almost a week ago to the hour from the office of the Human Resources with the heads up that there would be a PCS coming on the fairly innocuous two paired graph, technical, correction bill and went over in broad concept with us, what it would say and I want to be clear about that, that we were told the PCS would be coming and we were told some, a lot of the broad concept that would be coming. Being an attorney and someone who came from the department of labor before I came to see [xx] it's really important to me to see actual language because obviously law is very depended on every word, and so could we not see the language of the bill or the PCS and we were not allowed to at that time, but we were told we would be able to before the PCS was in committee, and I never got the see it and the other, [xx] instead, Mitch Leonard our Executive Director and I have a meeting scheduled with Mr Alexander for tomorrow morning and we appreciate his time to do that. So, we would respectfully request that this committee could not take action today and let's  work with the agency because I believe they're having, I had a phone conversation with them, they have problems from the area where we could work things out, they'll be to the betterment of everybody, but in the mean time I feel like better to super quickly for a few things out there for all to consider. The bill in that first section of the career studying employees, I don't really know yet to be honest with you, if there is an issue there I don't have a feeling up to top of my head, in the temporary informal service established again, I don't really know yet what the thoughts will be on that, the first place where I've great confirm for state actually in disregard to liability, would be section 5.1 I think it's on page three of the PCS, the section over just taking a minute to go where greater instead of substantially equal has been inserted as qualifications.  with all due respect I'm curious if you cannot define more qualified how can you define greater qualification that seems to me you can't kind of have  it both ways. That is a very subjective

determination, but if it worked fair to put greater then I submit to you that it should be just fine to have the most qualified in Section 5.3 and in addition, that subjectivity and saying greater qualifications, officially takes away all priority I think someone eluded to that a little bit earlier, the whole point of this is priority rights, all things being equal, this person's benefit employees so they get priority rights. If you make that employee have to be greater than the other person, that's not a priority, they're just not that much more qualified, all we're asking is that state employees who are on level playing field with everybody else to start priority to be retained the other problem here is in section 5.1 that see section that's say human resources commission shell about rules and policies governing the priority and salary rights, that piece I think can give loss sometimes here and we debated this last year in this bill about state human resources Act, that policies have the effect of law, so part of Representative Mitchell Blender is certainly a huge concern of ours and again a concern for the state we regard to liability should people take legal action, if you go to the next stage where qualification were defined and you discuss says earlier as well applicable experience since or now, I'm sorry, after the amendment years of applicable experience. Applicable again could not be a more subjective term and it's always of concern when you set more subjectivity to the Act, the and the responsibility for the employees, years of experience leave to absolutely does chance for subjected or political bill to enter the informer [xx] what we are doing would be the best thing for those citizen of the state and for the employee for that matter. I've already discussed the most qualified person in the political hiring of limited section A 126 2.2 that's section 5.3 were not the most qualified if you don't have the most qualified that would make political hirings more likely and easier and section the next section [xx] on the next page with us qualified instead of not qualified as I'm concerned. Not sure what we think of the age being removed again that was still said here and I had no reason to disbelieve that it will the employee and may well be the case so [xx] but in the last page and this has been discussed a lot as well. If a local government supervisors gets that piece of the personnel file, whether or not and I will appreciate Representative [xxx] about how many details are devolved with regard to disciplinary action. However, the fact of the matter is, if the employee has not finished their due process rights with regard to that disciplinary action, it is an accusation and they're fighting that accusation without final resolution. It is our steadfast opinion, you're subjecting the state if you vote for this bill to liability under the 14th amendment, this would be a property taking, if that person doesn't get the job based on an accusation in a personnel file on which they have not received due process. We do want you to remember that and that's what I can add at this time, I do appreciate to talk to you and I do appreciate and I do devout the opportunity to continue to work with the agency I do wish you would [xxx] Representative Carl. I would like to find some responses the original PCS was not public last week and I think they were two changes between the PCS to established last week and this [xx] I only saw the final PCS yesterday. Any other comment? And we be out of time by the way so if you if already spoken I'd rather that you not be speaking again Representative Johnson [xx] This is the title from the

current statute I believe that statute was an at his limit currently made upon the local [xx] so I would act as [xx] Mr. Alexander Repeat your question again The statute is very clear that we do not hire anyone based on political affiliation. It is stated here it is against the law to do that and we are not changing that that's no change in that section we just do not do political hiring the only place we do we had this any flexibility of hiring is in the governor's appointments. Everybody else is held to the same standard and we don't take to insure that employers have that as a protected right to know that that is not going to happen and give coagulation to management supervision and we oversee that and we assure that that does not occur. Representative Johnson[sp?] that's not a part of this bill that's what that statute already says, the only thing we are changing are things that are struck through or underlined, that's not part of what [xx] that's already there. And also I want to speak if I could just two minutes. We're run out of time. Two minutes. First of all, I want to thank this committee for all the work they have done and especially Representative Collins for working with us on this and in bill drafting. There is one clarification that I want to make because I think it's a mare statement and it goes back to Representative Dave McNeel's question. We will only report a disciplinary action that has already taken place, something that is still in the process, could not be reported. It will have to be a disciplinary action in the system of record so there is a law on inaccuracies that in History times I will let this go. Thank you [xx] [xx] Okay. [xx] [xx] because I hear what you said. We have a motion Representative Floyd. [xx] mine is that, I spoke with representative Carl that if he's past today, that it would not be calendar. That it would have allowed two groups of any cause to me. I will be glad to, I speak of more not the count of [xx] if anybody has any concerns or any whatever you like to make if you'd be willing to see me about that, I'll see what we can work out.  No that's, I think the motion's okay. Any question about the motion now. All in favor say I, All opposed no the ayes have it and the motion's carried. And the [xx] representative Collins, [xx] today [xx] Representative Brody we are going to add [xx] to the State health plan if you ever heard this, I want you to bring up a lot of debate. Thank you Mr Chairman, yesterday on the floor we had three bills similar to this.

This is just adding another group so the tally will come to four on the floor. I don't know if anybody [xxx] understand adding three communities, two of them are mine and one of them by a request of one of our colleagues to head on and you followed the debate yesterday on the other three, I'll just leave it at that, unless somebody asks anything specific. Any questions Representative Brody [xx]. Okay, any other, if not, we're [xxx]motion. This is not a PCS OK you've heard the motion all in favor say aye. Aye. All opposed No. OK, the motion is carried and House bill 56, is a PCS and I need a motion. I move it. Got a motion for PCS, all in favor say aye.aye.ok Representative Holloway, you're on. Thank you Mr. Chair. Members I know we're running short of time so I'll try to give you the quick version. This bill is a bill that came out of education oversight. I will be upfront and tell you that since then the Senate has decided to take a slightly different path. The PCS is to include a potential appropriation that might be needed. The information that came through us after the ed committee, the Senate and now the treasurers office, health department. We've all been in communication, both chambers has decided that we want to each move our bill we had the senate bill here were going to hold it. We want to send them by our house version they're probably going to hold it and we're going to work it out and we'll have two engines one in each chamber to do it. I will be glad to get into more details what it has to do with is retiree coming back to the system. We're trying to make sure keep course board off the counties and make sure those retiree get there gold standard benefits if they need it. So all it really does and again we go work this out and you'll see it again. Be glad taking questions. Representative Elmore. A motion OK Representative Carl If someone has been in the middle of negotiation between Representative Halloway and the senate and I would like to see representative Elmore's motion put forward. You need any other? OK Representative Elmore, motion Motion favorable to the [xx] You've heard the motion any debate\/ no all in favor say aye. Aye All opposed say no the aye's have it the motion is carried. Thank you. Thank you Mr Chair this meeting is adjourned.