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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2016 03:43 PM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich and Sen. Mike Folmer
To: All Senate members
Subject: Civil Service Modernization Legislation

In the near future, Senator Folmer and I will be introducing legislation to offer much needed modernization to the Civil Service Act. Put simply, in order for the Commonwealth and Counties which use the Civil Service Commission for hiring to compete in 21st century workforce government must adapt to the changing landscape. Our bill will make the following changes to the Civil Service Act:
  • Allow applicants to be notified of an open job or test by methods other than US Mail, such as an email.
  • Allow the Civil Service Commission to expand the “Rule of Three” by permitting the Commission to provide agencies with a list of more than 3 applicants. The final number being determined by the Commission. This would create a stronger pool of qualified and capable candidates to fill positions.
  • Allow for “vacancy-based hiring,” which will permit the Civil Service Commission to post actual job vacancies, rather than a general list of job classifications. Currently a prospective employee applies for job classifications -- not an actual open position -- and is placed on a list. Agencies must reach out to the applicant lists to determine availability and interest when a job becomes available. This wastes an applicant’s time and the agency’s time as opposed to posting the job and allowing for prospective employees to apply for it.
This legislation will place the Commonwealth more in line with hiring practices of the private sector and many other civil service covered states while maintaining the merit based and non-political nature of the Civil Service hiring process. With 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s workforce classified as Civil Service, this legislation is needed to ensure vacancies are filled with qualified people in a timely manner. The legislation does not affect the absolute Veterans Preference already in law. It is our hope expanding the “Rule of Three” will see more Veterans interviewed and hired by the Commonwealth.

The Civil Service Commission and Office of Administration have worked together on this legislation, and both support its passage into law.

If you have any questions please contact Charlie O’Neill in Senator Vulakovich’s Office at 717-787-6538 or Fred Sembach in Senate Folmer’s Office at 717-787-5708.

Introduced as SB1154