July 29, 2011

Compromise on internal transfers in DSHS reached may settle issue

A team of Federation DSHS members met with the state Labor Relations Office Wednesday (July 27) regarding the demand to bargain over the use of NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) in DSHS to apply for internal transfers. This comes under Article 4.3 of the new, 2011-2013 General Government contract.

Your union team emphasized the employees’ dissatisfaction with the online application process. They also stressed our concern for equality of opportunity in transfer and computer access for ALL Article 4.3-affected employees. (Article 4.3 does not apply to relief or shift positions in DSHS.)

In the end, both sides agreed to a compromise that could settle the issue. Another meeting is set Nov. 15 to see how much or how little progress has been made. The demand to bargain remains open, but idle, until that update meeting takes place.

Under the compromise reached Wednesday:
  • Between now and Dec. 31, 2011, DSHS will provide notification of transfer (posting) opportunities in two ways: via statewide e-mail to all employees and via notification on NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov).
  • DSHS will set up various NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) training sessions around the state that will be available to all interested employees on work time within this period. All affected employees are encouraged to attend.
  • If an employee is interested in a posted transfer opportunity, he or she will have to notify DSHS through NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) within the five calendar day period in the contract.

    If an employee does not understand how to access NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov), or has any trouble attempting to apply for a transfer using NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov), he or she must contact the recruiter listed on the job posting they received by e-mailing that recruiter within the five calendar day period. As long as the employee’s e-mail is dated within the five calendar day transfer period, the employee’s name will be placed on the list of interested transfer candidates.

    The recruiter will contact that employee as soon as possible and assist her or him through the profile creation and transfer application process on NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) so that the employee will know how to do that in the future.
  • After Jan. 1, 2012, all Article 4.3 transfers will occur through NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov).

    DSHS demonstrated the NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) transfer application process to those who were at Wednesday’s demand to bargain meeting. While not everything went perfectly, it was apparent to the members in attendance that NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) is very different from the much-cursed E-recruiting program. In the Federation caucus, members stated that DSHS had not done a very good job separating these two and there is definitely an “image problem” when it comes to automated application processes. The union let DSHS know that they should make the differences known in their trainings, as NEOGOV (careers.wa.gov) appeared less complicated than the old system.
DSHS will send the Federation a copy of their PowerPoint presentation, a sample e-mail of the job posting so we will know what they will look like and a list of all the training dates and locations.

The statewide e-mailed job listings should contain multiple jobs and the e-mail will probably be sent in the evening or on weekends, as these statewide e-mails tend to slow the DSHS e-mail system. The next business day will constitute the first day of the five calendar day posting requirement.

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