Article 16 -- Vacancies, Filling of Positions 2017-19 contract

Section 1. Definition of Vacancy. A vacancy is defined as a non-temporary (more than 12 months) opening in the classified service which the Appointing Authority determines to fill. A vacancy is not created by reassignment within thirty-five (35) miles to the same classification.

Section 2. Permanent Reassignment. Whenever the Appointing Authority determines to make a permanent reassignment within thirty-five (35) miles, the Appointing Authority shall, before the reassignment is effected, consider (but not be limited to) the following:

A. The employee's ability to perform the job;
B. The employee's qualifications to perform the job;
C. The employee's interest in the job;
D. The employee's current workload;
E. The employee's Classification/Class Option Seniority.

Section 3. Job Posting and Interest Bidding. Whenever a vacancy occurs which the Appointing Authority determines to fill, the Appointing Authority shall post the vacancy on bulletin boards in the seniority unit or by electronic posting for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days or through such procedures as are otherwise agreed to between the Association and the Appointing Authority. The job posting shall include: the division, section, classification/class option, employment condition, and location of the vacancy. A copy of the posting shall be furnished to the Association. Upon notice to the Association, the vacancy need not be posted if no one is eligible to bid. The Association may post copies of any electronic postings on their designated Association bulletin board. Permanent non-probationary classified employees in the seniority unit in the same classification/class option may interest bid on the filling of such vacancy by submitting a written application to the Appointing Authority on or before the expiration date of the posting. An employee who is selected for a position through interest bidding shall not be eligible for interest bidding for six (6) months from the date the employee reports to the new position.

For informational purposes only: if a vacancy is canceled during or after its posting period, the Appointing Authority shall post the cancellation.

The posting of a vacancy shall not be required if the Appointing Authority offers the vacancy to a seniority unit employee who has received notice of permanent layoff from the same or a transferable or higher classification.

Vacancies in Junior/Senior Plans shall be posted at both levels of the plan. Interest bids shall be accepted from employees in both classes. Interest bids shall be considered first from employees in the higher class and if there are no interest bids, shall then be considered from employees in the lower class.

An employee who is away from his/her work location on assignment or approved vacation in excess of seven (7) calendar days, may submit an advance interest bid for individual vacancies posted during his/her absence. The advance interest bid shall indicate the division, section, classification/class option, employment condition and location of the individual position. Such advance interest bid shall be submitted to the Appointing Authority or designee and shall be valid for the period of the absence or four (4) weeks, whichever is less.

At the Appointing Authority's discretion and when adequate time permits, positions in the unclassified service may be posted for seven (7) calendar days for informational purposes. No interest bidding is permitted on these unclassified positions. Employees may notify the Appointing Authority that they wish to be considered for the positions, however, non-selection shall not be grievable under Article 9 of this agreement.

Section 4. Filling of Positions. All eligible employees under Section 3 who have made a timely interest bid, shall be given consideration and may be appointed to the opening prior to the consideration of other non-interest bidding applicants and prior to filling the vacancy through other means. The Appointing Authority shall not be arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory and must have a legitimate business reason to reject all of the interest bidders. Seniority of the interest bidders shall not be a factor in appointing employees from among the interest bidders. All interest bidders shall be notified orally or in writing, which may include electronic mailing, as to the acceptance or rejection of their interest bid in a timely manner.

If the vacancy is not filled by an employee under this Section, then it shall be filled in the following order:

A. Seniority Unit Layoff List. Selection shall be made from employees on the Seniority Unit Layoff List, if such a list exists, in order of Classification Seniority pursuant to Article 17, Layoff and Recall. Employees shall be recalled to a vacancy in the same class (and same option or another option for which the employee is determined to be qualified by the Employer). No new appointments shall be made in a seniority unit in a class, geographic location, and employment condition for which a Seniority Unit Layoff List exists until all qualified employees on such list have been offered the opportunity to accept the position, except that the Appointing Authority may offer the vacancy to a seniority unit employee who has received notice of permanent layoff from the same or a transferable or higher classification.

B. Claiming. If the vacancy is not filled as provided in A above, the Appointing Authority shall consider claims of eligible Bargaining Unit employees facing layoff who request a transfer or demotion to a class (or class option) in which the employee served or for which the employee is determined to be qualified by the Employer.

Instead of accepting a claim, the Appointing Authority may choose to fill the vacancy by promoting a seniority unit employee whose name was submitted in the recruitment and selection process for the classification of the claimed position at the time the vacancy was first claimed, or by accepting the voluntary transfer or demotion of a current seniority unit employee on notice of permanent layoff. If the Appointing Authority determines to fill the resulting vacancy, and it is not filled by an interest bidder or a recall from the seniority unit layoff list or the transfer or demotion of a seniority unit employee who has received notice of permanent layoff, the Appointing Authority must consider interested and eligible claimers who were not selected for the original vacancy due to the promotion, transfer or voluntary demotion of a current seniority unit employee, prior to using any other vacancy filling method in 4(C) and prior to the consideration of any additional claimers for the resulting vacancy.

The receiving Appointing Authority shall determine if the employee is qualified for the position, and if so, shall not unreasonably deny the request (see the provisions of Article 17, Section 3(A)(5), regarding employee requests to claim positions in other seniority units to avoid layoff or bumping).

C. Other Means of Filling the Vacancy. If the position is not filled as provided in Section 3, 4.A. or 4.B. above, the Appointing Authority shall have the option of filling the vacancy by any of the following methods:

  1. Multi-Source Recruitment and Selection Process. If the multi-source recruitment and selection process is used, selection from among finalists shall be made on the basis of skill, ability, experience, efficiency, job knowledge and/or fitness to perform the duties of the position.

    However, if appointment is to be made from among two or more finalists who are equal in terms of the above factors and one or more of these finalists is in the bargaining unit, a bargaining unit employee in a class/class option other than the same class/class option as the vacancy shall be selected. If a bargaining unit employee is selected, nothing in this section shall be construed to set a standard for the non-selection of other bargaining unit employees who are finalists; or

  2. Department Layoff List. If a Department Layoff List is to be used, selection shall be made from among qualified employees whose names appear on the list in the order of Classification Seniority; or

  3. Voluntary Demotion. If a voluntary demotion is to be used, selection shall be made by accepting the application of an employee who is willing to accept a voluntary demotion; or

  4. Bargaining Unit Layoff List/Same Classification. If a Bargaining Unit Layoff List/Same Classification is to be used, selection shall be made from among qualified employees whose names appear on the list; or

  5. Voluntary Transfer. If a voluntary transfer within or between seniority units and/or classes is to be used, selection shall be made by accepting the application of an employee who is willing to accept a voluntary transfer. If an employee within the seniority unit submits a request to transfer during the posting period under Section 3 accompanied by a request to interview and substantial evidence of qualification for the position, the Appointing Authority shall grant an interview. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a standard for the non-selection of the interviewed employee.

    An interview must only be granted if the position is not filled through interest bidding, recall from the seniority unit layoff list, or claiming. Employees who fill vacancies through this method shall have a twenty one (21) calendar day trial period during which time they may elect to return to their previous position; or

  6. Bargaining Unit Layoff List/Other Job Classification. If a Bargaining Unit Layoff List/Other Classification is to be used, selection shall be made from among qualified employees whose names appear on the list; or

  7. Reinstatement. If reinstatement is to be used, selection shall be made by reinstating a former employee; or

  8. Other. The Appointing Authority may also use any other appointment procedure pursuant to statute.

    Notwithstanding any of the above, no new appointments of persons other than current civil service employees shall be made in a seniority unit in that class (or option) and employment condition for which any Layoff List exists.

    Upon request, the Appointing Authority shall provide to the Association President the name of the applicant selected, the method used to select the applicant and any lists of certified finalists used in the selection procedure.

Section 5. Reclassification. Employees may submit requests for job audits directly to Minnesota Management & Budget, or their own Appointing Authority if it has delegated classification authority, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 43A.07, Subd. 2 and the Minnesota Management & Budget Administrative Procedure 7. Minnesota Management & Budget or an Appointing Authority with delegated classification authority, shall acknowledge, in writing, receipt of an employee initiated request for an audit of his/her position within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the request. Upon request, the agency Human Resources office shall provide an update of the job audit status.

An employee shall be notified, in writing, of a downward reclassification of his/her position before such action occurs.

An employee who desires to protest a reclassification decision regarding his/her position may do so by following the provisions of Minn. Stat. 43A.07, Subd. 3; but the decision of the Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget or the agency with delegated authority pursuant to this Section shall not be subject to the grievance and arbitration provisions of this Agreement.

Minnesota Management & Budget or an Appointing Authority with delegated classification authority, shall notify the Association President regarding any class studies they plan to undertake. Prior to the actual implementation of any class study results, the Association shall be offered the opportunity to meet and confer with the appropriate authority regarding the results and the implementation plans.

A. Effect of Change in Position Allocation on the Filling of Positions. When the allocation of a position has been changed as the result of changes in the organizational structure of an agency or abrupt changes in the duties and responsibilities of this position, such positions shall be considered vacant under the provisions of this Article and filled in accordance with Sections 1-4.

B. Effects of Reallocation on the Filling of Positions. When the allocation of a position has been changed as the result of changes over a period of time in the kind, responsibility, or difficulty of the work performed in a position, such situation shall be deemed a reallocation and not considered a vacancy under the provisions of this Article.

The incumbent employee shall be appointed to the reallocated position provided the employee has performed satisfactorily in the position and possesses any licensure, certification, or registration which may be required. In any case where the incumbent of a position which has been reallocated is ineligible to continue in that position in the new class/class option, the employee shall be removed from the position within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of notification to the Appointing Authority of the employee's ineligibility. The position shall then be considered vacant under the provisions of this Article and filled in accordance thereof. Where the incumbent is ineligible to continue in the position and is not transferred, promoted, or demoted, the layoff provisions of Article 17 shall apply.

Except for reallocations resulting from a study of an agency or division thereof initiated by Minnesota Management & Budget or an Appointing Authority, if the incumbent of a position which is reallocated upward receives a probationary appointment to a reallocated position, pay for the reallocated position shall commence fifteen (15) calendar days after the receipt in Minnesota Management & Budget or an agency with delegated authority of a reallocation request determined to be properly documented, and it shall continue from that date until the effective date of the probationary appointment.

The Employer shall provide the Association notice of any reallocations that occur within the bargaining unit. Such notice shall include, but not be limited to: 1) name of the employee; 2) department or agency name; 3) original classification of the employee; 4) reallocated classification of the employee; and 5) date of the reallocation.

An employee who is demoted as a result of a reallocation shall have his/her name placed on the Seniority Unit and Bargaining Unit Layoff Lists for the class from which he/she was reallocated downward.

Section 6. Probationary Periods. All unlimited appointments to positions in the classified service except appointments from the Seniority Unit Layoff List shall be for a probationary period of six (6) months; and the Appointing Authority may require a probationary period of six (6) months for transfers, reinstatements, voluntary demotions and appointments from layoff lists other than the Seniority Unit Layoff List. The probationary period shall exclude any time served in emergency, provisional, temporary, or unclassified employment, or any paid or unpaid leave of absence in excess of ten (10) consecutive working days. Wherever practicable, an employee serving a probationary period shall receive at least one (1) performance counseling review of his/her work performance at the approximate midpoint of the probationary period.

Employees recalled from the Seniority Unit Layoff List who were placed on layoff prior to completion of their probationary period shall be required to complete the probationary period upon return from the layoff.

If the Appointing Authority decides that an employee cannot successfully complete the probationary period as provided above, such employee shall not be certified. However, if the Appointing Authority feels that an extension of the probationary period could result in successful completion of the probationary period, upon notice to the Association and the employee, the Appointing Authority may extend the period, not to exceed six (6) months. If the Appointing Authority extends any employee’s probationary period, the Appointing Authority shall provide the employee with the reason(s) for the extension. The supervisor shall meet with the employee and the Association to discuss the extension when the employee requests such a meeting. In addition, the employee shall receive at least one performance review at the midpoint of the extension period.

Notwithstanding the above, an incumbent appointed to a reallocated position shall serve a three (3) month probationary period. The Appointing Authority and the Association may extend the probationary period, not to exceed an additional three (3) months.

An employee who is serving a probationary period, except an initial probationary period, and who is not certified by the Appointing Authority shall have the right to be restored to a position in his/her former class/class option and seniority unit.

Employees transferring from one Appointing Authority to another shall be required to serve a new probationary period unless the employee receives prior written notice that the Appointing Authority has waived the probationary period, the duration of which shall not exceed the above stated schedule.

Employees who transfer or promote to a different seniority unit prior to the completion of their probationary period shall complete their probationary period in the previous class on the same date that they successfully complete their probation in the new class. If the employee does not successfully complete probation in the new seniority unit, the employee shall return to the former class and seniority unit and resume the probationary period at the point it was interrupted.

Section 7. Trial Period. Employees who are required to serve a new probationary period after either being appointed to a different class or transferred to a different seniority unit shall have a trial period of twenty-one (21) calendar days for the purpose of evaluation. During this trial period, the employee may elect to return to his/her former position. In the event an employee does not successfully complete the remaining probationary period, after the twenty-one (21) calendar day trial period, the employee shall be returned to the former classification within the seniority unit from which the employee came and, if a vacancy exists, to the same geographic area.

Section 8. Non-Certification. When an Appointing Authority does not certify a probationary employee, the employee shall have the right to a meeting with the Appointing Authority or designee to discuss the non-certification decision. The employee shall request this meeting no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after the effective date of the non-certification. Upon request, the employee shall have the right to Association representation during the meeting. Non-certification decisions are not subject to the grievance procedure. If non-certified after a trial period, see Section 7 above.

Pilot Program – Phased Retirement. See Letter 12 for Phased Retirement options at participating Appointing Authorities.