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SPD > Policies & Procedures > State Civil Service State Civil Service System Video


Narrator 1: Welcome! As you may know, every year Indiana's General Assembly passes new laws. These laws keep Hoosier communities thriving and make Indiana a great place to live and work. One of the laws passed this year replaces our current personnel system with the new State Civil Service System.

They're 3 recurring themes to this system:

  • First, our current performance-based culture, in place since 2006, is now the law.
  • Second, the highest performing state employees will be rewarded; and
  • Third, the 70 year old State Personnel Act has finally been updated!

Let's begin with some background information. During the 1930s, Congress passed a series of laws to bring our country out of the "Great Depression." These laws are referred to collectively as the "New Deal."

New Deal legislation required states to adopt specific personnel systems and Indiana did just that in 1941 by passing the State Personnel Act.

However, this Depression-era law is no longer needed. Today, we have laws that protect the rights of workers and we don't need to have those laws duplicated in our personnel system. The Civil Service System gives us the flexibility to efficiently address the needs of Indiana's citizens.

So, let's highlight some key points in this new law.

State employment now consists of a "classified" service and an "unclassified" service.

Candidates will now be evaluated on their knowledge, skills, and abilities rather than rigid minimum qualifications. The complaint procedure has been:

  • expanded to include more employees,
  • revised to focus complaints and remedies, and
  • streamlined to include only the most effective steps.

We'll share additional details on these key points later in the presentation.

While the law may be new, the standards that drive the Civil Service system are not new concepts:

  • All state employees are still entitled to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.
  • Managers are still expected to apply policies consistently.
  • All state employees will continue to be held accountable for their own behavior and performance, and
  • The state will continue to focus on customer service.

These are basic management principles that have not changed!

So who is not affected by the new law? The Judicial and Legislative branches of state government are excluded from the new system. Additionally, elected officials, political subdivisions, quasi-agencies, offender workers, and the Indiana State Police are also excluded.

These agencies or branches may look to the act for guidance but are not under the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Department.

Narrator 2: So who is affected? Everyone else is part of the new civil service, which is broken into either the classified service or the unclassified service.

The Classified service is comprised of positions that implement specific federal programs that have a federal statutory or regulatory requirement to maintain a personnel system with specific employment terms.

The Unclassified Service consists generally of every other civil service position not assigned to the Classified Service. The Unclassified Service recognizes the need to adapt to the rapid changes driving the world economy and Indiana's place in it.

Many agencies and programs receive federal funds; however, not all of those funds require employees to be placed in the classified service. Two examples of programs that fall under the federal requirement for a specific personnel system are Unemployment Insurance and Medicaid. The receipt of federal funding itself does not require a specific personnel system.

Agencies with classified employees have been working with State Personnel, the Budget Agency, and the Governor's Office to identify which positions fit these federal statutory parameters.

Remember - the classified service is not the same as the former merit service which included many employees who will now be unclassified.

The Unclassified service generally consists of every other position not in the Classified Service - including all agency heads and superintendents.

All employees who were in the former merit system prior to July 1, 2011 will be in the unclassified service if they have not been assigned to the classified service.

The new law also changes how we recruit and select candidates for employment.

Now, talent acquisition for both the State's classified service and unclassified service will be based on the assessment of an applicant's knowledge, skills, and abilities. This will replace the concept of minimum qualifications used in the former merit system. The selection process will focus on job requirements that will be matched to experiences, and skill sets, that our most successful candidate should possess. The assessment of an applicant's knowledge, skills, and abilities will foster the State's performance-based culture.

Employees in the classified service, who have not already completed a working test period as of July 1st, 2011, are required to complete a working test period upon appointment. The working test period is still six months for full time employees, and may be extended an additional six months. During a working test, the employee's manager should complete a performance appraisal to determine if the employee will be retained in that classification.

A working test is not required for those appointed to the unclassified service.

Narrator 3: One thing the new law has not changed is our performance management system. This system has been in place since 2006.

The law emphasizes everyone's responsibility to participate in the performance management process and amplifies the responsibility of management to actively address poor performance.

An employee's performance, evaluated by annual service ratings, will be a major contributing factor in most important personnel decisions. Annual service ratings will identify which employees are the best candidates for promotion; those who possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities translating into leadership potential; and those who, due to their poor performance, may be subject to a transfer, demotion, or dismissal.

Your actions and performance will have an impact on your continued employment.

Should circumstances require the need for an agency to reduce staffing after June 30th, 2011, the process will be different.

Under the former system, we calculated retention scores to determine the order of layoff. These scores were primarily based on length of service. Now, length of service is merely a tiebreaker. Under the State Civil Service, the order of layoff will be determined by: performance, discipline record, and knowledge, skills and abilities.

Recall rights are available for employees who are laid off. Recall rights apply to the classification from which they were laid off, so long as the position is under the same appointing authority and in the same or a contiguous county from which the former employee was laid off.

Former employees must search the Job Bank and apply for vacancies and declare a right to recall. The right to recall is available for one year after the date of layoff, or when the former employee is reemployed by the State-whichever comes first. Those who qualify for recall rights will be recalled in the order of their service ratings provided they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the job.

Narrator 4: All employees will be held accountable for their behavior and performance. The principles behind the use of progressive discipline to correct behavior are still applicable in state government. Good management requires gathering all the facts before making important disciplinary decisions.

The opportunities to correct behavior and listening to the employee's side of the story when contemplating disciplinary action are still good guideposts for managers.

Whether the standard is just cause or legitimate business reason, a well reasoned decision requires a thorough investigation including a discussion with the affected employee.

All employees in the civil service have been given the right to file a civil service complaint. Recall that the State Personnel Act required a cumbersome five step complaint process, and adjusted the steps depending on the type of complaint. Now, the process has been streamlined to three steps.

On this screen, please note the timelines for filing a complaint and for moving it through the process.

Step 1 begins with the appointing authority. Employees still have 30 days to initiate a written complaint.

Step 2 involves a review by the State Personnel Department, and

Step 3 allows the employee to submit the complaint to the State Employees' Appeals Commission.

This new process should allow complaints to be resolved more quickly.

So, in what situations can you file a civil service complaint?

Generally speaking: All employees in the civil service may file a complaint if a law, rule, or policy was applied to the employee in a manner that allegedly violated the law, rule, or policy.

A new complaint form is available online that will describe the civil service complaint procedure.

Employees in the classified service, who have passed their working test, must be given a pre-deprivation meeting prior to being suspended with out pay, demoted, or dismissed. Management needs just cause for issuing a suspension, demotion or dismissal. Classified employees may file a complaint to challenge such actions.

Employees in the unclassified service are now at-will employees. Complaints are limited to those situations where management violates a law, rule, or policy as it applies to the employee who files a complaint. Unclassified employees who challenge dismissals must prove that they were dismissed for exercising a statutory right, such as filing a workers compensation claim, or was fulfilling a statutory duty.

Any complaint that does not identify the law, rule, or policy allegedly violated will be dismissed. All complaints must also state the remedy being requested. Since the standards of proof vary depending on whether you are in the classified or unclassified service and whether the complaint involves disciplinary action, the following examples have been provided:

For all employees in the civil service, a general complaint might look like this:

For a classified employee who is disciplined, a complaint might look like this:

And for an unclassified employee who is dismissed, a complaint might look like this:

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the new civil service system. If you have any questions about the State Civil Service System, please contact the Employee Relations Division of State Personnel at the number below [put number on screen].

Thank you for your time and attention during this presentation.

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