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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 17, 2013 09:53 AM
From: Representative Mike Tobash
To: All House members
Subject: Housing Authorities Law: Professional Employment Contracts
I intend to introduce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Housing Authorities Law to limit the use of employment contracts by public housing authorities in Pennsylvania. The legislation is supported by the Pennsylvania Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies and is in response to legislation enacted in 2006, which authorized public housing authorities to enter into employment agreements.

Act 145 of 2006 was enacted to provide, among other things, public housing authorities with the power to enter into employment agreements for persons necessary or convenient to exercise the powers of the authority. Under the law, housing authorities could enter into employment contracts so long as the position being filled is not one which is represented either by a bargaining representative, or is part of a bargaining unit created by an order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

Act 145 has created a situation allowing all housing authorities to enter into employment contracts for professional employees thereby bypassing the Civil Service Commission process. As you know, the civil service process is a merit based employment system that hires, retains and promotes people based on their qualifications and ability to perform the job. This ensures that candidates seeking employment, and advancement, have the skills and qualifications necessary to perform the job required by the public housing authorities.

My legislation would correct this oversight in state law.

This legislation is substantially similar to legislation I introduced last session, House Bill 1844, which was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives in June, 2012 but was not considered by the Senate in the limited Fall legislative Session. One revision I have made to the proposal is to protect the limited number of employees hired through an employment contract, who work for public housing authority covered by the Civil Service Commission by allowing them to remain in their current position after this law takes effect.

Introduced as HB1319