Human Resources and Labor Relations Centralization

What's Next

Through the signing of Executive Order 2, Governor Lamont created a Human Resources & Labor Relations Centralization Initiative Steering Committee, co-chaired by Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Commissioner Josh Geballe and Office of Policy and Management (OPM) Secretary Melissa McCaw. The Steering Committee is charged with providing governance for the initiative and oversight of the planning and implementation of a human resources centralization plan. Membership includes Chief Operating Officer, Paul Mounds, Jr. and a combination of other agency heads who represent a cross-section of affected departments and agencies to ensure varying perspectives and operational needs are taken into account in the modernization and centralization process.

If you have not done so already, please review this website to keep abreast of the Committee’s progress and review information and other related resources about the initiative.

 

Updated April 30, 2020

Thank you for your continued partnership as we all work incredibly hard to support our State and citizens in response to COVID-19. This is to provide you with an update on the Human Resource and Labor Relations centralization initiative and what to expect next.

Over the past number of weeks, we’ve received inquiries as to how the State’s efforts against COVID-19 would affect our work on the Human Resources and Labor Relations centralization initiative. After much feedback and thought, we will not “go-live” with our centralized operating structure as planned on April 30, 2020 in recognition that our immediate energies must be dedicated to supporting the effort against COVID-19. We will announce an anticipated “go-live” date once we are able to make that determination as part of an adjusted implementation timeline.

Moving forward, we greatly appreciate your collective support to reinforce with your agency leadership and Human Resources and Labor Relations employees that work associated with planning, training, and ensuring our employees’ work is being assigned in line with what their assignments will be under the new centralized structure should continue wherever possible. Your support in this endeavor is critical and, when done collaboratively and thoughtfully, we believe will also better support daily operations.

Thank you for your continued support of this important initiative.  Should you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this initiative, please continue to e-mail them to HR.Centralization@ct.gov.


Updated February 28, 2020

The Human Resources and Labor Relations Centralization Initiative Steering Committee met again on February 24, 2020. Below is the progress update shared with all in-scope agency Commissioners today.

This is to provide you with an update on our Human Resources and Labor Relations centralization initiative.  Our functional area leaders have brought together their respective teams and they continue their operational planning and training.  The following is to update you on what’s occurred over the past month, by functional area:

Labor Relations:

This Month:

  • OLR is coordinating the hiring of Agency assigned Labor Relations positions:
  • DCF
  • DDS
  • DEEP
  • The Agency Labor Relations Program Managers conducted Grievance Training at DAS for over 60 HR professionals through the International Public Managers Association.
  • On February 27, 2020, Agency Labor Relations Managers met concerning a significant Agenda around Labor Relations topics, LR Centralization Update and a planning session regarding service rating training.
  • The OLR Program Managers continue to visit their assigned Agencies and develop working relationships with each Commissioners’ leadership teams and Labor Relations staff.
  • Agencies are reminded to direct all Labor Relations questions through their assigned Program Manager to avoid duplication of effort.

Next Month:

  • Joint DAS/OPM discussion on roles and responsibilities for the centralized organizations.
  • Finalization of the upcoming training for service ratings.
  • Establishment of Supervision Meeting structure for Agency Labor Relations staff.

Human Resources Business Partners (HRBP):

This Month:

  • Held HRBP Leadership Kickoff meeting February 7th to discuss roles, expectations and a timeline of the next three months.
  • Held onsite Agency Meetings (ongoing and to be completed by March 13th)
  • 1:1 with HRBPs to set individualized direction on how to begin and manage centralized workflow
  • Group meetings to drive message of centralization and job expectations
  • When possible, agency leadership meetings to discuss any challenges as well as continued expectations from the HR partnership

     

    Next Month:

  • Continue to hold onsite Agency Meetings.
  • HRBP structure & design review and redesign.

  • Reviewing organizational charts to understand current and future workflow states
  • Reviewing job specific documents (may reconvene Generalists in a group meeting to discuss)
  • Training and work activity coordination discussion with Talent Solutions.

Talent Solutions:

This Month:

  • Held Kickoff meeting on January 27th to discuss roles, expectations and a timeline of the next three months. 
  • Met on February 10th to discuss job expectations and what the future role of a State recruiter will look like and future involvement in supporting the State’s “Employer Value Proposition”, Employer Brand, future pro-active sourcing of candidates, and review of all modules of the JobAps system. 
  • Met on February 20th to begin a regular coordination and training rhythm where recruiters will meet once a week with their manager and supervisors for the next 11 weeks at 450 Columbus Blvd.  Each meeting entails a training component in the morning and a working group in the afternoon where recruiters will work together on current agency job openings, practice the shortlisting of eligible lists, etc.

Next Month:

  • Training for recruiters will continue on a weekly basis.  DAS’ EEO Director will educate the recruiters on how to write appropriate preferred qualifications on a job posting that are in compliance with EEO. 

  • Other training topics will include, reviewing applications to determine if applicants meet minimum qualifications of the job they are applying to; how to use JobAps to build recruitment pools and how to write effective job postings using Textio.
  • Meetings will be held with the HRBPs to discuss operational procedures concerning recruitments, freenames and classification/position management topics.
  • Research and discussions will continue with vendors who specialize in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for recruitment screening and shortlisting eligible lists; recruitment sourcing and learning management.

Human Resources Policy & Information Systems:

This Month:

  • Held Kickoff meeting on February 24th to discuss roles, expectations and a timeline of the next three months.
  • Held 1:1 meetings with employees moving into unit.  Determined placement based on skills discussion and workload needs.
  • Made job code/title changes per previous notifications to all affected employees and positions except for two in-scope agencies (reminders sent to those agencies to process).
  • Made adjustments in Core-CT for HRBP functional area to assume DAS approval authority in the position workflow process for all in-scope agencies.
  • Conducted survey of physical location and other logistical considerations for the upcoming scanning of Human Resources related files.
  • Developed an “Archival Plan” for our Human Resources related files.  This will provide the standardized structure for all of State’s digitized Human Resources related documents.
  • Held Kickoff meeting  on January 25th for HR Service Delivery project with vendors ScanOptics, who will digitize files, and PeopleDoc, who will build the platform to access these files and serve as the case management system.

Next Month:

  • Identify Core-CT security impacts based on new staff assignments (Phase 1 anticipated 4/30/2020) and upon transfer of staff to DAS (Phase 2 anticipated 7/1/2020) and develop a Security Implementation Plan.
  • Begin work on Transfer Implementation Plan.
  • Provide anticipated task lists for new employees.
  • Begin approximate 18-week PeopleDoc implementation project.
  • Finalize “Archival Plan” with HR Administrator and HRBP input.
  • Work with HRBP’s to determine schedule for digitization of Human Resources related files.

Benefits & Leaves:

This Month:

  • Held Kickoff meeting on January 31st to discuss roles, expectations and a timeline of the next three months.
  • Met on February 13th with a more in-depth discussion of the agency processes and procedures related to leaves.  Future meetings will be held to conduct training and develop consistent practices.
  • Met with OSC Central Payroll and Workers’ Compensation to clarify roles.
  • Mapped out the processing of FMLA requests.
  • Coordinated for future trainings on FMLA administration.

Next Month:

  • Meet with Kronos and Human Resources leadership teams to discuss impacts of centralization on the both initiatives.
  • Benefits & Leaves Team Meeting to be held March 5 to continue discussions of processes and procedures related to leaves and receive an overview of PeopleDoc.
  • Benefits & Leaves Team will receive CT FMLA Compliance Training on March 20th presented by the CT Department of Labor legal division.

Workers’ Compensation:   

This Month:

  • Held Kickoff meeting on January 30th to discuss roles, expectation and a timeline of the next three months.
  • Developed training programs for staff new to workers’ compensation; ex. WC 101, claim processing, 1st check reconciliation, EPM queries, etc.
  • Met with OSC Central Payroll and Benefits and Leaves to clarify roles.
  • Mapped out the processing of Less Arduous duty from agency survey responses and the interaction with Human Resources Business Partners, Talent Solutions, Benefits & Leaves, and Workers’ Compensation.
  • Conducted desk audits of in-scope agency staff identified to transition to DAS Centralized WC.
  • Identify existing duties and tasks of employees in their current role
  • Which tasks are relevant to WC centralization and which duties belong with another functional area
  • Reviewed and revised Statewide WC manual and WC processing manual.

Next Month:

  • Continue to identify staffing roles and assignments, in the WC service delivery teams (i.e., Pods).
  • Clarify and standardize processing practices for Selective Duty, LAD and WC claims.
  • Map out interaction/communication between Third Party Administrator and Pods
  • Further training and development.
  • Continued field desk audits and standardization of work.

We extend our continued thanks for your understanding that employee involvement in planning meetings, process improvement events, policy and procedure writing, and information system project management, etc. will have time and effort requirements.  As mentioned previously, employees are occasionally off site or otherwise engaged in activities that are separate from their normal duties and responsibilities.  However, please rest assured that every effort will be made to ensure that these activities are communicated and that daily operations do not falter.

Thank you for your continued support of this important initiative.  Should you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this initiative, please continue to e-mail them to HR.Centralization@ct.gov.

 

Updated January 28, 2020

The Human Resources and Labor Relations Centralization Initiative Steering Committee met again on January 27, 2019. Below is the progress update shared with all in-scope agency Commissioners today.

This is to provide you with an update on our Human Resources and Labor Relations centralization initiative.  As mentioned earlier this month, our newly appointed Human Resources and Labor Relations leaders who started on January 17th are in the midst of contacting the employees assigned to their respective functional areas to begin operational planning.  Some meetings have already occurred, others are scheduled for later this week, and the HR Business Partner meetings will occur in the coming weeks once Erica D’Angelo, our administrator for that group, officially arrives from UConn Health this Friday.  Moving forward, meetings and other activities will continue to occur on a periodic basis to ensure there is as much employee involvement as possible in planning and preparation. 

Thank you for your understanding that employee involvement in planning meetings, process improvement events, policy and procedure writing, and information system project management, etc. will have time and effort requirements.  On occasion, employees will be off site or otherwise engaged in activities that are separate from their normal duties and responsibilities.  However, please rest assured that every effort will be made to ensure that daily operations do not falter. 

Another critical activity that is underway is the backfilling of vacancies created by the appointment of our Human Resources and Labor Relations leadership.  Job openings have been or are currently posted and the selection processes will commence shortly.  DAS and OPM are actively partnering with agency leadership on the selection of individuals for roles in direct support to agency operations (e.g., Agency Labor Relations and Human Resources Business Partner positions).

Lastly, DAS staff will soon be contacting your Human Resources teams about the upcoming scanning of various Human Resources related files.  Critical information about where the files are located and other logistical considerations are needed to ensure our plan to physically move, scan, and return the files is well organized and as efficient as possible.  Your knowledge and support of this survey effort is greatly appreciated as we approach the kick-off of this project in the near future.  When this project begins, please know that files will still be accessible within 24 hours of the request for access.  

Thank you for your continued support of this important initiative.  Should you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this initiative, please continue to e-mail them to HR.Centralization@ct.gov.

  

Updated January 13, 2020

The message below was shared with Agency Heads earlier today by Fae Brown-Brewton, Undersecretary for Labor Relations and Nick Hermes, Chief Human Resources Officer.

At its monthly Agency Labor Relations meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the newly appointed Human Resources and Labor Relations leadership will introduce themselves to your respective HR Administrators.  They will share preliminary thoughts about meeting with their assigned employees who currently report to your respective HR Administrators and answer any resultant questions. 

Please consider Wednesday as the formal “kick-off” to operational planning.  Soon after, Human Resources and Labor Relations employees will be involved in meetings and planning sessions to begin the transition from their current roles within your agencies to their assigned roles in centralized functional areas. 

 

Updated January 2, 2020

The Human Resources and Labor Relations Centralization Initiative Steering Committee met on December 23, 2019. Below is the progress update shared with all in-scope agency Commissioners today.

Thank you for your continued partnership as our transition plan for centralized Human Resources and Labor Relations in the State of Connecticut progresses. This is to provide you with an update on our progress and what to expect next in the near future.

We’re excited to announce that the following State employees have been selected through a competitive process to serve in key leadership roles.

Human Resources:

Erica D’Angelo – HR Administrator (HR Business Partners)

Michael Cosgrove – HR Administrator (Talent Solutions)

Debra Atkinson – HR Administrator (HR Policy & Information Systems)

Nancy Harnick – HR Administrator (Benefits & Leaves)

Robert Giuditta – HR Administrator (Workers’ Compensation)

Labor Relations:

David Krayeski – LR Administrator

Michael Carey – LR Program Manager (General Government)

Sarah Cook – LR Program Manager (Healthcare)

Kristina Grodzicki – LR Program Manager (Public Safety/Law Enforcement)

All administrators will transition to their new roles beginning January 17th with the exception of Erica D’Angelo who will begin January 31st. Please join us in congratulating them on this achievement as they prepare to assume leadership of our centralized Human Resources and Labor Relations functional areas. Once on board, these individuals will make contact with employees assigned to their respective functional areas to begin operational planning. Their intent is to be as inclusive as possible. Beginning in mid-January, Human Resources and Labor Relations employees will be assigned to participate in planning sessions and perform other work associated with setting up their future operations. This phase is crucial to the success of this initiative, thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

In addition, DAS and OPM/OLR are prepared to transition Human Resources and Labor Relations employees to their new job classes in Core-CT not later than February 3, 2020. In early January, DAS’ Core-CT unit will be communicating with your respective Human Resources teams to outline the technical steps necessary to implement the new job class codes within Core-CT. As shared previously, the job class changes apply to situations where the current and future job classes are at the same salary level. In situations where incumbent employees are currently in higher job classes than planned for the future organization, those employees will be administratively “red-circled” by DAS in their current job class and the level of pay maintained. When vacated, those positions will be filled using the appropriate new job class as deemed necessary. Future promotional opportunities will be posted and handled through a competitive process. 

The following crosswalk reflects the changes in job class titles associated with assignment to specific functional areas:

 

For employees assigned to the Agency Human Resources Business Partner functional area:

Current Job Class Title

Future Job Class Title

Human Resources Associate/

Human Resources Consultant 1

Human Resources Generalist 1

Human Resources Specialist/

Human Resources Consultant 2

Human Resources Generalist 2

Principal Human Resources Specialist/

Human Resources Consultant 3

Human Resources Generalist 3

Human Resources Manager

Assistant Human Resources Business Partner

 

For employees assigned to the Talent Solutions, HR Policy & Information Systems, Benefits & Leaves, and Workers’ Compensation functional areas:

Current Job Class Title

Future Job Class Title

Human Resources Associate/

Human Resources Consultant 1

Human Resources Associate

Human Resources Specialist/

Human Resources Consultant 2

Human Resources Specialist

Principal Human Resources Specialist/

Human Resources Consultant 3

Principal Human Resources Specialist

 

For employees assigned to the Agency Labor Relations functional area:

Current Job Class Title

Future Job Class Title

Human Resources Associate

Position to be red-circled

Human Resources Specialist

Position to be red-circled

Principal Human Resources Specialist

Agency Labor Relations Specialist

Human Resources Manager

Agency Labor Relations Manager

 

The following job classes will be red-circled and abolished upon vacancy:

Job Class Title

Human Resources Administrator 1

Human Resources Administrator 2

Human Resources Administrator 3

Assistant Human Resources Administrator 3

Human Resources Manager (except where transitioned per above)

Personnel Aide

Statewide Workers’ Compensation Program Director

Lastly, please visit our website to review the updated slide deck which includes more specific information about the next steps.  Please note that we adjusted our anticipated “go-live” date to April 30, 2020. This is to ensure that our functional areas have sufficient planning and preparation time to be absolutely ready to operate within the new centralized structure.

Thank you for your continued support of this important initiative.  Should you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this initiative, please continue to e-mail them to HR.Centralization@ct.gov.

 

Updated October 31, 2019

The Human Resources & Labor Relations Centralization Initiative Steering Committee convened for its second meeting on October 28, 2019. Below is the progress update shared with all in-scope agency Commissioners today.

 

Thank you for your patience, support and optimism as we work to formalize our transition plan for centralized Human Resources and Labor Relations in the State of Connecticut. We are excited about this initiative that is underway and your partnership and role is critical to its success. We would like to provide you with an update on the progress to date. First, this letter is to inform you that DAS and OPM have completed a detailed multi-year financial plan for our Human Resources and Labor Relations centralization initiative as directed by Executive Order No. 2

 

We encourage you to review the updated information on our website that includes new and updated details of each functional area and our attached implementation timeline. A critical component of our plan development included a comprehensive review and revision of the job classes needed to implement the centralization of Human Resources and Labor Relations. The new and/or updated job classes that DAS and OPM/OLR will be utilizing are available for view on the State’s Online Employment Center.

 

To begin, DAS and OPM/OLR will be posting job openings for the leadership roles within the DAS and OPM/OLR operating structures on or about November 4. Recruitment for these leadership roles is scheduled to occur between November 4 and 12.

 

While such recruitment is underway, DAS and OPM/OLR will immediately begin work to notify and transition affected employees to the new job classes in situations where there is no impact to current pay levels. In situations where affected employees are currently in higher job classes, those employees will be administratively “red-circled” in their current job class (i.e., level of pay saved). When vacated, those positions will be filled using the appropriate new job class. Future promotional opportunities will be posted and handled through a competitive process. Through this process, all employees will be notified of their transitioned role in the new centralized structure. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the updated organizational structure and its functional areas.

 

As you will note, this plan takes into account that, like our State workforce as a whole, we will experience the attrition of approximately one-third of our in-scope Human Resources and Labor Relations workforce by July 1, 2022. As we have expressed before, this is both a risk to mitigate and an opportunity to capitalize upon with proper planning. While we presently have approximately 350 Human Resources and Labor Relations employees, we expect that number to decrease through natural attrition over the next three years, offset by the filling of approximately one position for every two to three vacancies created, and then stabilizing at approximately 280 employees by FY 22-23. We believe this is the appropriate staffing level for an employer of our size when also factoring the benefits of centralization and additional technology and digitization that increases self-service and reduces certain labor intensive tasks.  

 

Please be assured that we will continue to provide timely updates and solicit your feedback as this transition is implemented. Thank you for your commitment to our great State and your contribution to the success of this important initiative.

 

Should you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this initiative, please continue to e-mail them to HR.Centralization@ct.gov.

 

Updated September 25, 2019

The Human Resources & Labor Relations Centralization Initiative Steering Committee held its first meeting on September 16, 2019. Below is the progress update that was shared with all in-scope agency Commissioners following the meeting.

Over the past several months DAS and OPM staffs:

•Have identified, drafted, and are in the process of finalizing the necessary job classes to support the proposed structure

•Continue to work through a detailed multi-year financial plan aimed at delivering the best possible services at the lowest possible cost

•Have begun the internal facilities work and property coordination necessary to move the Human Resources employees identified to move to 450 Columbus Blvd in approximately the Fall of 2020.As a reminder this includes about 2/3 of in-scope employees, with approximately 1/3 staying on site at their agencies serving as your HR business partners and labor relations support in our hybrid model.

•Have drafted an IT Investment Program application that enables the physical centralization of operations and provides automation for manual, repetitive tasks. A key aspect of this application is the State’s pursuit of a Human Resources Delivery System that will 1) digitize HR records to enable online file maintenance and use from any location and 2) provide case management functionality so that work can be consistently and efficiently routed in accordance with future workflows.

In the coming weeks we expect to begin recruiting for key leadership roles for each functional area.  Once identified, these selected individuals will work to form their respective functional areas within the framework of the financial plan and job classes. Please be reassured that once the leadership teams of the DAS and OPM portions of the human resources centralization are complete, they will begin to assign and involve existing employees in the operational planning process for the functional areas they are assigned.  All such communications will begin with agency heads, followed by the affected employees.

We are mindful that recently vacated Human Resources and Labor Relations positions are on hold for refill pending the rollout of the HR centralization. Our teams are aiming to complete the centralization planning process as thoughtfully and expeditiously as possible. In the interim, if there are specific challenges your agency is facing that warrant attention, please do not hesitate to bring to our attention.

Looking forward, resource impacts associated with the human resources centralization will be addressed as part of the process of developing budget adjustments that will be presented by the Governor in February.  While OPM will be centrally developing any required budget adjustments over the coming months, agency input is welcomed and should be communicated directly to the agency’s assigned analyst.

We want to ensure that the lines of communication remain open. If you have questions or concerns pertaining to this initiative, please e-mail them to HR.Centralization@ct.gov.