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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Transfers getting tougher for California state workers

SacbeeFor years, the state has given employees a pass on meeting the minimum requirements for some jobs.

Now that’s over, and moving up the state job ladder just got a lot harder for thousands of state workers.

State human resources shops and union officials have been buzzing since California’s merit system watchdog, the State Personnel Board, recently told departments that they can no longer transfer employees into jobs for which they’re unqualified.

Last November the board ruled that the California Public Utilities Commission awarded a transfer without a test to an employee who lacked the experience and the education for the job. Employees can move between similar types of jobs without taking a civil service test if the pay difference between the two jobs is less than 10 percent. The big advantage: Those so-called “lateral transfers” sidestep civil service tests everyone else has to take to apply for a state job.

And why should they? Lateral transferees are experienced, proven and are doing similar work already, right?

The board’s PUC ruling morphed into a broad review of minimum qualifications for all state jobs. It also outed the transfer policy that many departments, such as the PUC, have followed for many years that moves unqualified insiders around via transfers while denying those jobs to other applicants who meet minimum qualifications. continue reading...

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