CIVIL SERVICE SENORITY OVER PROVISIONAL

I AM A CIVIL SERVICE BOOKKEEPER FOR A LITTLE MORE THAN 2 YRS. I AM BEING TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER BORO, SAME TITLE.
IN MY OFFICE THERE IS A PROVISIONAL BOOKKEEPER WHO HAS BEEN EMPLOYED FOR MANY YEARS.
DO I HAVE SENORITY OVER HER? SHOULDN"T SHE BE TRANSFERRED INSTEAD.?
MY UNION DC37 SAIDS THE EMPLOYER CAN CHOOSE. MY EMPLOYER SAIDS I HAVE LESS SENORITY.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 28, 2007 5:31 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Provisional Appointments

Caution to other readers: This answer deals with New York State civil service law. What is discussed here would have no application to private sector jobs in New York State.

This conflict concerning the relative seniority of a permanent appointee and a provisional appointee shouldn't exist at all because provisional appointments are supposed to be temporary. If I recollect correctly, a provisional appointment is suppose to last no longer than 18 months.

We shouldn't be hearing about provisional appointments that last for years. The idea behind a provisional appointment is to temporarily fill a needed position until it can be filled after the next civil service test.

This wouldn't be the first time that I've heard about long-term provisional employees. I've even heard of some who lasted so long that they retired with a civil service pension.

Unions have little interest in going after illegal long-term provisional appointments. Provisionals get the same benefits as permanents, and they pay the same union dues.

The public, however, gets harmed by the improper use of provisional appointments. Civil servants are supposed to be appointed on merit, and preferrably as a result of competitive examination. Provisional appointments, if not checked, allow in particular elected officials to go back to the old days, when you got a government job because of your connections and not your ability, a situation which history shows greatly undermined the efficiency of government.

Interestingly, because of the strong state policy against the improper use of provisional appointments, any citizen of the State of New York, including any permanent civil service employee adversely affected by an improper provisional appointment, can go to court and challenge the improper provisional appointment. The remedy is fairly severe. The court will order the governmental agency to eliminate the provisional appointment -- that is, the provisional employee, who was supposed to be temporary to begin with, gets fired.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Jan 29, 2007 08:18 AM [EST]

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