Home » Media Center » The Communicator » Convention delegates share litany of privatization, civil service abuses – 2019 Oct

Convention delegates share litany of privatization, civil service abuses

BY SHERRY HALBROOK

Delegates to the PEF convention in September had plenty to say about what’s happening at their worksites when they attended the workshop on Anti-Privatization and Civil Service Erosion.

The workshop was led by PEF Region 2 Coordinator Andrew Puleo, who also chairs PEF’s Jeff Satz Civil Service Enforcement and Shadow Agency Committee.

The delegates wasted no time unloading a wide range of objectionable practices that frustrate them and their fellow PEF members as they work to provide high quality state services.

Among those practices were:

• Construction inspection work being performed by private consultants while qualified inspectors still untapped on state eligible lists;
• Outsourcing IT help desk work to a private company outside New York state that pays poorly and experiences high employee turnover that results in poor service to New Yorkers;
• Recruiting foreign nationals to do state work, instead of hiring New Yorkers;
• Job applicants rejected by state agencies are hired by the private consultants to do the same work for the state;
• Hiring per diem workers to fill gaps caused by poor staffing of state employees;
• Using members of other unions to do PS&T unit work;
• Private consultants directing state employees;
• Members of other unions directing PEF members;
• Executive Department agencies merging with other quasi-public entities whose employees end up supervising PEF members;
• Shadow agency employees supervising PEF members;
• Shadow agency and other private consultant employees cutting our promotion opportunities for PEF members;
• Switching state civil service promotion exams to open-competitive;
• Tailoring the minimum qualifications needed to fill a position so that only a private consultant or one employee that the state wants to hire can qualify for the job.
• Working under supervisors with no degrees or qualifications;
• Private consultants making state policy; and
• Agencies tap different budget allocations to hire private consultants, to avoid spending state operations funding to fill vacant PS&T items.

Staff from PEF’s Civil Service Enforcement and Research Department said the best way to head off problems with promotion exams, hiring and promotions is to do it “on the front end” of the process. PEF can request the profile the state Department of Civil Service is using to create an eligible list.

Not only do these abuses greatly undermine the morale of the state workforce, they needlessly waste taxpayer dollars, Puleo said.

“The really big part of all this is the deliberate waste of tax dollars.” Puleo said. “They are giving away the store!”

Staff from PEF’s Civil Service Enforcement and Research Department said the best way to head off problems with promotion exams, hiring and promotions is to do it “on the front end” of the process. PEF can request the profile the state Department of Civil Service is using to create an eligible list.


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