Final ET/WDS class Study Update

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 30, 2010 - 1:57pm

Yesterday, June 29th, Ellie and I met with Nicki Neal, Director of the Division of Personnel (DOP) and Pat Morrissey, the Human Resource Specialist II leading the ET/WDS class study. We were joined by DHSS Assistant Commissioner Elgee, Miriha Scalf, DPA’s Administrative Operations Manager, and Maritt Miller, the DOP Human Resource Manger that oversees the DHSS Management Services center. Pat and Nicki briefed us on the final decisions and recommendations that have been reviewed and approved by Ann Kreitzer, Commissioner of the Department of Administration.

I feel that I can speak for every person who represented you during this study and say that we are not pleased with its outcome. Were there some wins? Yes. Did we get everything we wanted and you deserve? No. However, these decisions are final. There is no mechanism for the Division of Public Assistance to protest or appeal the outcome. Now we must move forward.

I know that this posting is going to generate scads of questions. Please hang on to those thoughts! In the next couple of days, DOP’s Classification section and our Management Services Center will distribute information about the changes resulting from the study. There will also be a list of commonly asked questions that may address what is certain to be buzzing through heads after reading this message.

Over the next few days staff in DOP will be updating many of the PDs to reflect technical changes resulting from the study. You will receive a notice generated by the On-Line Position Description (OPD) system. No response is needed from you.

Here is the upshot of DOP’s final decision.

Job Class and Series Structure

The Eligibility Technician series will have six job classes:
1. Eligibility Technician I
2. Eligibility Technician II
3. Eligibility Technician III
4. Eligibility Technician IV
5. Eligibility Office Manager I
6. Eligibility Office Manager II

Individual Allocations
The information below includes positions in DPA and OCS and is based on the tentative allocations reviewed and agreed to by both divisions.

• 16 ET Is will remain in this job class. – These positions are primarily in the Heating Assistance and Senior Benefits program offices.
• 90 ET Is will be reclassified up to ET II. – This change incorporates all staff at the ETI level in an ETI/II flex position and all ET Is in the Denali KidCare Office.
• 143 ET IIs will remain in this job class
• 40 ET IIIs will remain in this job class
• 1 ET III will be reclassified to up ET IV
• 1 ET III will be reclassified to EOM I
• 17 ETs IV will remain in this job class
• 7 ETs IVs will be reclassified to EOM I
• 2 WDS Is will be reclassified to ET II
• 1 WDS II will be reclassified to ET III
• 1 WDS III will be reclassified to ET IV
• 4 WDS IV will be reclassified to EOM II

The final document detailing individual allocations will be posted as soon as it is available from DOP. DOP will also provide clarification about changes in probationary status as well as other anticipated changes resulting from implementation of the study’s decisions.

Salary Ranges

Eligibility Technician I Range 13
Eligibility Technician II Range 14
Eligibility Technician III Range 16
Eligibility Technician IV Range 17
Eligibility Office Manager I Range 18
Eligibility Office Manager II Range 19

Despite being told time and again that the ranges and salaries are not the primary focus of a classification study, this is what it all comes down to in the end. Ultimately, how ranges were established hung on how DOP categorized the series. Throughout this process we contended that your jobs should be in the professional category and that the pay structure should reflect that fact. However, based on their analysis of the ET and WDS positions and their comparison across job classes, series, and categories, DOP found that ET Is and IIs are unequivocally technical positions. While the remaining positions in the series are distinguished by the specialized nature of their duties or their supervisory and managerial responsibilities, they remain in a “technical” job class and series through the technical expertise inherent in the positions.

No amount of information, data, evidence or persuasion was sufficient to convince DOP that the series could and should start, at the very least, with a Range 15 for the ET II. While the final determination of salary ranges makes the outcome of this study very difficult to accept, it is better than the recommendation that we were handed on June 11th.

So, what is next?
Today, we should receive the formal submittal of the final allocations. Tomorrow, the results of the study will be implemented. Upon notification by DOP, recruitment will be re-opened under the new class specifications. Staff in the Classification section will finalize submissions by updating PDs to reflect study actions. This is what will generate notices to you from OPD. Our HR Management Services center will also be making adjustments necessary to reflect updated positions. Over the next few weeks we will determine if any positions warrant changes, including re-classification under the new specifications.

Another broadcast will soon follow this one will links or documents that will help answer many of the questions you have and to provide instructions on where to route questions that are addressed by posted materials.