Purview of PEF Civil Service Enforcement/Research (CSE/R)

PEF’s Civil Service Enforcement/Research Department works with PEF leadership and staff to support the Union’s efforts to enforce the merit system. The department continuously monitors the activities of the NYS Department of Civil Service & other State appointing authorities, and challenges these entities when PEF interests are at stake.

CSE/R staff provides technical information and assistance to members through answering inquiries from Field Service Organizing and other PEF staff, Executive Board members, Council Leaders, and Statewide L/M Chairs. Civil Service-related inquiries that CSR/E staff attends to include but are not limited to the following:

  • Salary determinations and reconstructions,
  • Jurisdictional classification,
  • Civil Service exam announcements,
  • Eligible lists and appointments,
  • Attendance and leave,
  • Geographic wage differentials,
  • Minimum qualifications
  • Jurisdictional classification challenges,
  • Probationary terminations
  • Salary upgrades (reclassifications/reallocations)

Civil Service Violation & Inquiry Intake Form
In response to a 2018 Convention Resolution, CSE/R developed a Civil Service Violation & Inquiry Intake Form designed to 1) document possible violations of Civil Service Law , and 2) provide CSE/R with the information necessary to follow up on the submitted inquiry. L/M Chairs, Executive Board members, and Council Leaders can submit the Complaint Intake Form directly to CSE/R, and all other members should submit the Form through appropriate Field Staff, per PEF Policy.

The Form will be submitted to the CSE/R Administrative Assistant Nina McCauliffe. Complainants will receive a notice of receipt and case number. Directors will assign cases to CSE/R staff, who will contact the complainant as needed.

A brief history of the Merit System and the New York State Department of Civil service (Source: Career Mobility Office: Merit System)

The Merit System is part of New York State Civil Service Law, designed as a method of recruiting, appointing and promoting staff by allowing them to compete for positions based on merit and fitness – wherever possible – through a competitive examination process.

In 1883, New York State was the first state in the nation to implement such a system, which has proven to be a foundation of modern government, and for well over a century, merit and fitness has been the yardstick by which career State employees are hired and promoted. Through this system, public employees are chosen on the basis of their competence. The high standards envisioned by the system’s founders are a reality today and hold bright promise for the future

Governor Theodore Roosevelt, who later became President, was a firm proponent and moving force in the establishment of the merit system and it was during the tenure of Governor Al Smith that the Department of Civil Service was established to handle the functions of finding, developing and retaining the people best qualified to do the work of New York State’s government.

In addition to providing the State with a trained, capable and motivated workforce, Civil Service plays a key role in assisting the Governor and the Legislature in developing human resource policies. In addition, the Department partners with the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations in strategically planning for the workforce of tomorrow.