September 20, 2011

Call Personnel Director today on CTS-IT issue

The personnel director’s hearing on the proposed package of information technology exemptions in the new Consolidated Technology Services (CTS) agency took place today.

Quickly, DOP Director Eva Santos did not act, repeat, did not act after a flurry of concerns raised by Federation members and state House Reps. Sam Hunt and Chris Reykdal of the 22nd District.

Before we get into more details, the call to action.


State Personnel Director Eva Santos said she will consider your phone calls and e-mails in making her decision. So, call Eva Santos at (360) 664-6350 or e-mail and urge her to hold off adoption of the CTS IT exempt package until at least January to allow legislators to clarify the intent of the law, to allow bargaining to finish and allow the Public Employment Relations Commission to determine bargaining unit clarification issues.


In delaying her decision, Santos said she will study the bargaining and unit clarification issues raised by the union.

The union on Monday – following previous court rulings – asked the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to clarify the affected bargaining unit “and in the process determine whether CTS can terminate the collective bargaining rights of approximately 72 percent of the union by exempting the employees” from the civil service and collective bargaining law.

Hunt and Reykdal asked Santos to give their colleagues time to revisit the intent in the legislation that created this whole mess, ESSB 5931. Hunt told Santos the original intent was to exempt high-level IT job classes with only about 30 employees. He said the final bill has conflicting language that legislators need to go back and clarify.

“We think the scope is broader than we had intended,” Reykdal said.

Required bargaining over the issue has not wrapped up either.

Even narrowly interpreted, approving the package “gives the signal that the state is not willing to fulfill its collective bargaining obligations,” said Gladys Burbank, the Federation director of PERC activities.

Santos stuck to the narrow focus of her jurisdiction – setting salaries for the exempt classes proposed by CTS. Even on that narrow issue, Federation members ruled the day.

“The question is would I give up civil service protections and collective bargaining rights for $8,000 a year more and I wouldn’t do it,” said Tim Young, an IT member at the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“I heard you,” Santos said at the end of the hearing.

“I will consider all that’s been said today” – (including the hundreds of e-mails and phone calls she has already received from Federation members), she said.

Santos said she would act at a later date, perhaps before the Oct. 1 deadline for the agency consolidation takes effect but possibly not until January to allow the Legislature to act.

“Time is of the essence, I’m not sure I can wait until January to make a determination but I will seriously consider that,” she added.

She said she will also consider the hundreds of phone calls and e-mails that have already come in from Federation members, the bargaining that is going on and the clarification process that is now before PERC.

That’s why it’s important to call or e-mail Eva Santos. Again: call Eva Santos at (360) 664-6350 or e-mail and urge her to hold off adoption of the CTS IT exempt package until at least January.

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