Chapter 05-052

2005 -- S 117 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED

Enacted 06/20/05

 

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES -- MERIT SYSTEM

     

     

     Introduced By: Senators Lenihan, Cote, Sheehan, Sosnowski, and Polisena

     Date Introduced: January 20, 2005

 

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Sections 36-4-2, 36-4-16, 36-4-16.2 and 36-4-16.4 of the General Laws in

Chapter 36-4 entitled "Merit System" are hereby amended to read as follows:

 

     36-4-2. Positions in unclassified service. -- The classified service shall comprise all

positions in the state service now existing or hereinafter established, except the following specific

positions which with other positions heretofore or hereinafter specifically exempted by legislative

act shall constitute the unclassified service:

      (1) Officers and legislators elected by popular vote and persons appointed to fill

vacancies in elective offices.

      (2) Employees of both houses of the general assembly.

      (3) Officers, secretaries, and employees of the office of the governor, office of the

lieutenant governor, department of state, department of the attorney general, and the treasury

department.

      (4) Members of boards and commissions appointed by the governor, members of the

state board of elections and the appointees of the board, members of the commission for human

rights and the employees of the commission, and directors of departments.

      (5) The following specific offices:

      (i) In the department of administration: director, chief information officer;

      (ii) In the department of business regulation: director;

      (iii) In the department of elementary and secondary education: commissioner of

elementary and secondary education;

      (iv) In the department of higher education: commissioner of higher education;

      (v) In the department of health: director;

      (vi) In the department of labor and training: director, administrative assistant,

administrator of the labor board and legal counsel to the labor board;

      (vii) In the department of environmental management: director;

      (viii) In the department of transportation: director;

      (ix) In the department of human services: director;

      (x) In the state properties committee: secretary;

      (xi) In the workers' compensation court: judges, administrator, deputy administrator,

clerk, assistant clerk, clerk secretary;

      (xii) In the department of elderly affairs: director;

      (xiii) In the department of mental health, retardation, and hospitals: director;

      (xiv) In the department of corrections: director, assistant director

(institutions/operations), assistant director (rehabilitative services), assistant director

(administration), and wardens;

      (xv) In the department of children, youth and families: director, one assistant director,

one associate director, and one executive director;

      (xvi) In the public utilities commission: public utilities administrator;

      (xvii) In the water resources board: general manager.

      (6) Chief of the hoisting engineers, licensing division, and his or her employees;

executive director of the veterans memorial building and his or her clerical employees.

      (7) One confidential stenographic secretary for each director of a department and each

board and commission appointed by the governor.

      (8) Special counsel, special prosecutors, regular and special assistants appointed by the

attorney general, the public defender and employees of his or her office, and members of the

Rhode Island bar occupying a position in the state service as legal counsel to any appointing

authority.

      (9) The academic and/or commercial teaching staffs of all state institution schools, with

the exception of those institutions under the jurisdiction of the board of regents for elementary

and secondary education and the board of governors for higher education.

      (10) Members of the military or naval forces, when entering or while engaged in the

military or naval service.

      (11) Judges, referees, receivers, clerks, assistant clerks, and clerical assistants of the

supreme, superior, family, and district courts, the traffic tribunal, jurors and any persons

appointed by any court.

      (12) Election officials and employees.

      (13) Administrator, executive high sheriff, sheriffs, chief deputy sheriffs, deputy sheriffs,

and other employees of the sheriff's division within the department of administration and security

officers of the traffic tribunal.

      (14) Patient or inmate help in state charitable, penal, and correctional institutions and

religious instructors of these institutions and student nurses in training, residents in psychiatry in

training, and clinical clerks in temporary training at the institute of mental health within the state

of Rhode Island medical center.

      (15) (i) Persons employed to make or conduct a temporary and special inquiry,

investigation, project or examination on behalf of the legislature or a committee therefor, or on

behalf of any other agency of the state if the inclusion of these persons in the unclassified service

is approved by the personnel administrator. The personnel administrator shall notify the house

fiscal advisor and the senate fiscal advisor whenever he or she approves the inclusion of a person

in the unclassified service.

      (ii) The duration of the appointment of a person, other than the persons enumerated in

this section, shall not exceed ninety (90) days or until presented to the unclassified pay plan

board. department of administration. The unclassified pay plan board department of

administration may extend the appointment another ninety (90) days. In no event shall the

appointment extend beyond one hundred eighty (180) days.

      (16) Members of the division of state police.

      (17) Executive secretary of the Blackstone Valley district commission.

      (18) Artist and curator of state owned art objects.

      (19) Mental health advocate.

      (20) Child advocate.

      (21) The position of aquaculture coordinator and dredge coordinator within the coastal

resources management council.

 

     36-4-16. Unclassified pay plan board -- Composition. Unclassified pay plan board

Abolishment Transfer of functions. -- (a) There is hereby created a permanent agency of

government to be known as the unclassified pay plan board. The board shall consist of seven (7)

members:

      (1) Two of whom shall be from the house of representatives, to be appointed by the

speaker;

      (2) Two of whom shall be from the senate, to be appointed by the president of the senate;

and

      (3) Three of whom shall be:

      (i) The director of administration, representing the executive branch of the state;

      (ii) The state court administrator, representing the judicial branch of the state;

      (iii) The general treasurer.

      (b) The board shall organize each two (2) years at the call of the speaker of the house of

representatives and shall elect a chairperson and such other officers as they deem necessary from

among their own membership.

     Upon the effective date of this section, the unclassified pay plan board shall be abolished,

and all powers, duties and obligations of the board conferred thereon pursuant to the provisions of

this chapter shall be transferred to and administered by the department of administration. Any

reference to the unclassified pay plan board within the general laws shall now be construed to

refer to the department of administration.

 

     36-4-16.2. Duties and responsibilities of the board. Duties and responsibilities of

the department of administration. (a) It is the duty of the board department of administration

to establish maintain a pay plan for unclassified employees of the state, including any rules and

regulations that are necessary to implement and complement the plan. Upon establishment of In

maintaining the pay plan, it will be the duty of the board department of administration to allocate

all new unclassified positions to existing grades within the plan, and to review at least once

annually all existing unclassified positions and to reallocate those positions within the pay plan as

they deem it deems proper;. provided, however, that no No new unclassified position shall be

created or allocated or reallocated to any grade within the plan unless the proposed action has

been twice considered by the board at two consecutive public meetings unless state agency and

department heads have been afforded the opportunity to make recommendations regarding the

proposed changes; and provided further, however that any unclassified position that has been

vacant for more than twelve (12) months shall be canceled and removed from the unclassified pay

plan unless within that twelve (12) months the person having supervisory authority over the

position requests an extension, in which case the board department of administration may approve

an extension of not more than twelve (12) months; and provided further, that employees,

appointing authorities, and the general public, shall be afforded an opportunity at a public hearing

to provide testimony, orally and in writing, regarding the changes, prior to the department's

submission of recommendations to the governor. The agenda for the public hearing shall include

a summary of the proposed changes. Hearings conducted pursuant to this section shall be subject

to the provisions of chapter 42-46 of the general laws.

     (b) The department of administration, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, shall

only have the authority to make recommendations to the governor. The governor shall approve

and adopt the plan with such changes as he or she may deem necessary. Following approval by

the governor, all unclassified pay plan changes shall be included in the normal budget process in

the appropriate section of the personnel supplement.

     (c) When the pay plan and regulations have been adopted they shall constitute the official

pay schedule for the positions in the unclassified service. Thereafter, no person in the unclassified

service shall be paid a salary that is greater than the maximum or less than the minimum rates

fixed by the approved pay plan and regulations or by amendments thereto, nor shall salary

adjustments for unclassified employees made by the department of administration during its

review exceed two (2) grades per year at the maximum of the grade; provided, however, that

unclassified employees shall be entitled to all monetary additives accorded other state employees,

including, but not limited to, longevity and incentive training awards.

 

     36-4-16.4. Salaries of directors, judges, and workers' compensation judges Salaries

of directors. -- (a) In the month of January March of each year, the unclassified pay plan board

department of administration will meet shall conduct a public hearing to determine salaries to be

paid to directors of all state executive departments for the following year, at which hearing all

persons shall have the opportunity to provide testimony, orally and in writing. In determining

these salaries, members of the board department of administration will take into consideration the

duties and responsibilities of the aforenamed officers, as well as such related factors as salaries

paid executive and judicial positions in other states and levels of government, and in comparable

positions anywhere which require similar skills, experience, or training. Consideration shall also

be given to the amounts of salary adjustments made for other state employees during the period

that pay for directors was set last.

      (b) Each salary determined by the board department of administration will be in a flat

amount, exclusive of such other monetary provisions as longevity, educational incentive awards,

or other fringe additives accorded other state employees under provisions of law, and for which

directors are eligible and entitled.

      (c) In no event will the board department of administration lower the salaries of existing

directors during their term of office.

      (d) Upon determination by the board, department of administration, the proposed salaries

of directors will be referred to the general assembly by the last day in February April of that year

to go into effect thirty (30) days hence, unless rejected by formal action of the house and the

senate acting concurrently within that time.

 

     SECTION 2. Sections 36-4-16.1 and 36-4-16.3 of the General Laws in Chapter 36-4

entitled "Merit System" are hereby repealed.

 

     36-4-16.1. Meetings and staff. -- The board shall meet bimonthly at the call of the

chairperson to act on any recommendations or referrals made to it by the state's personnel

administrator or by appointing authorities. The personnel administrator shall be responsible for

providing staff and funds for whatever administrative assistance and expenses are deemed

necessary by the board.

 

     36-4-16.3. Salaries of unclassified personnel. -- The personnel administrator shall

initially submit to the board a proposed pay plan and regulations for all unclassified employees of

the state and periodically thereafter submit such revisions as to update the plan and its

regulations. State agency and department heads shall be allowed to make recommendations to the

initial pay plan submitted and after reasonable opportunity has been given to employees,

appointing authorities, and the general public, and after incorporating any modification, change,

or amendment it considers desirable, the board shall approve and adopt the plan and regulations

with such changes as it deems necessary and order their application to the positions in the

unclassified service. The unclassified pay plan board shall submit the plan and regulations to the

governor who shall approve and adopt the plan with such changes as he or she deems necessary

and order their application to the position in the unclassified service. When the pay plan and

regulations have been adopted they shall constitute the official pay schedule for the positions in

the unclassified service. Thereafter, no person in the unclassified service shall be paid a salary

that is greater than the maximum or less than the minimum rates fixed by the approved pay plan

and regulations or by amendments thereto, nor shall salary adjustments for unclassified

employees made by the board during its review exceed two (2) grades per year at the maximum

of the grade; provided, however, that unclassified employees shall be entitled to all monetary

additives accorded other state employees, including, but not limited to, longevity and incentive

training awards.

 

     SECTION 3. Chapter 36-4 of the General Laws entitled "Merit System" is hereby

amended by adding thereto the following section:

 

     36-4-16.5. Certain unclassified positions excluded. Sections 36-4-16.2 and 36-4-16.4

of this chapter shall have no application to those positions enumerated in subsections 36-4-2(1),

36-4-2(2) and 36-4-2(3), and the department of administration shall have no jurisdiction over the

status, tenure or salaries of those said enumerated positions.

 

     SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC00879/SUB A/2

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