Skip to comments.Gov. Haslam signs government employment reform
Posted on 04/24/2012 2:28:38 PM PDT by SmithL
Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law today his reform of state government employment practices.
The Republican governor held a signing ceremony this morning for the passage of the Tennessee Excellence Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act, one of the major components of his legislative agenda this year. Some business leaders pushed for the measure, saying it would improve regular and often expensive interactions with state government, though critics cautioned against political patronage.
Lt Gov. Ron Ramsey, the Republican head of the Senate, followed the signing ceremony with a statement applauding the law. Republicans were generally supportive of the measure, though it was subject to a long legislative slog as the Tennessee State Employees Association vetted and pushed back against numerous proposed changes to the state's complex worker protection system.
The following are excerpts from Haslam's announcement:
"For decades, employment decisions in state government have been based solely on seniority with job performance never being considered, and employees have either received modest, across the board pay increases or nothing at all," Haslam said in a statement. "No one has been able to convince me that is a good way to manage our employees or serve our taxpayers. We have to do better. It is what hard working employees deserve and what taxpayers expect."
The TEAM Act calls for two divisions of state service: preferred service and executive service. Executive service employees remain "at-will" as they currently serve. Preferred service replaces the traditional "career service" designation and preserves a streamlined appeals process along with other considerations.
Some of the changes to the state employment system made by the legislation include:
A new hiring system that requires agencies to define minimum qualifications and to identify specific knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies required for each position.
Veterans and their spouses will receive interview preference for both appointments and promotions, and if there are two candidates with equal qualifications, knowledge, skills, etc., preference will be given to the veteran.
An overhaul of the state's performance evaluation system to provide for performance standards and expected outcomes that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time sensitive (SMART goals).
In the event of a layoff, job performance becomes the primary consideration followed by seniority, abilities and disciplinary record, which also must be considered.
A new nine-member board of appeals to conduct a streamlined, three-step appeals process.
And a mediation process will also be established by the Department of Human Resources through rules.
I swear that political types spend more time making sure their program acronyms spell something clever than concentrating on the substance. I’m getting pretty tired of it.