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Employee Handbook

STATE PERSONNEL ACT

Title 5, Chapter 57 of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S. Sections 5-193 through 5-269) is known as the State Personnel Act. The State Personnel Act establishes a statutory foundation for all terms of employment applicable to Connecticut State Employees. The Act is enhanced and clarified by State Personnel Regulations, as well as the periodic publication of notices by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), the Office of Labor Relations (OLR), the Office of the Comptroller and other agencies regarding items of specific applicability. In addition, most State Employees are covered by one of several collective bargaining agreements that further enhance and clarify the rights and obligations of employees. The State Personnel Act, State Personnel Regulations, relevant notices and collective bargaining agreements can all be accessed from the DAS Human Resource home page for Employees at HR Business Rules and Regulations.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT MERIT SYSTEM

The State of Connecticut Merit System is a series of rules and regulations derived from the State Personnel Act designed to recruit, hire, and promote employees who are the best qualified to do a particular job. Generally, the system requires that anyone who seeks a particular job with the State must meet a specified level of experience and training in terms of education and actual work background; be selected from a pool of qualified applicants; and successfully complete an on-the-job working test period. This system ensures that each

qualified applicant has an equal chance to compete for a State job or promotion while at the same time providing the State with qualified personnel to efficiently carry out its vital work. A key designation within the Merit System is whether a given classification of positions is considered Non-Competitive or Competitive.

Non-Competitive Classifications

Non-Competitive classifications are those for which operating agencies recruit and select candidates independent of a formal examination. Direct client care positions are the most common group so designated and, as a direct client care agency, DDS makes broad use of such classifications. Vacancies for these positions are widely posted on bulletin boards in each DDS Region. In addition, some DDS Regions maintain (24) hour job posting hotlines that can be accessed by telephone and are offered as a convenience to employees who may find it difficult to regularly review bulletin boards. Each posting lists the title, work location, hours of work, work schedule, a brief description of the assignment and a designated application submission point and closing date. Final selection of candidates is made in recognition of the candidate pool and relevant collective bargaining requirements.

Competitive Classifications

Competitive Classifications are those that require completion of a formal examination process as a precursor to consideration for employment. These examinations, generally administered by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), may include but are not limited to a written format, an oral format, or a factored evaluation of experience and training. Successful completion of this process places the candidate on an employment list from which the future pool of candidates for hire to positions in the given classification is drawn. Given employment lists are maintained for a limited period of time, most commonly one (1) year. In order to maintain eligibility beyond this point, candidates need to reapply as examinations are announced and be placed on an employment list.

Examination announcements for competitive positions within State Service, including the Department of Developmental Services, are widely circulated and posted on bulletin boards in each DDS Region. You may take any State examination for which you qualify and may consider openings in other State agencies as well as this Department. Instructions for applying for the exams are included on the announcement and application forms. The closing date for applications is rigidly enforced, so you should periodically check the bulletin boards for those examinations you wish to take. Applications for Statewide exams should be mailed to DAS-Human Resources, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT, 06106 via the U.S. Mail and not through the inter-office mail system or the DDS Human Resource Division. You may have paid time off to take State examinations that conflict with your regular work hours provided you let your supervisor know in advance. Listings of current examinations are maintained and updated by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) and can be accessed at www.das.state.ct.us/exam/

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Most DDS employees are assigned to one of ten collective bargaining units for the purpose of negotiating salary increases and other terms and conditions of employment. New employees covered under collective bargaining may obtain a copy of the collective bargaining agreement (union contract) currently in effect for their classification from either their Union Delegate/Steward or local Human Resources office. Copies of these contracts may also be accessed online at Collective Bargaining Contracts

Your collective bargaining agreement contains critical information on the rights, benefits and obligations described elsewhere in this Handbook. Employees covered by such contracts are encouraged to thoroughly familiarize themselves with these documents. Questions concerning the contract articles may be directed to your Union Delegate/Steward, and/or local Human Resources office.

MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEES

A managerial employee is an employee who, due to scope of authority or specific responsibility, is excluded from collective bargaining. The State of Connecticut Managers Guide provides specific information on the rights, benefits and obligations of managerial employees and is given to employees upon appointment to a managerial position. The document can also be accessed from the DAS Human Resources homepage for Employees at Managers' Guide.

Wherever reference is made to a collective bargaining agreement elsewhere in this handbook managers should consult the State of Connecticut Managers Guide for information on the particular subject.

CONFIDENTIAL EMPLOYEES

Confidential employees handle sensitive information for the state about the collective bargaining process. Confidential employees are not covered under collective bargaining contracts. Please contact your local Human Resources office for information on rights and benefits attached to those employees so designated.

TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT

The State of Connecticut offers employment in a wide variety of occupational areas and under a wide variety of circumstances. Rights and benefits are tied to the particular status of a position, its use and duration, and defined by statute, regulation and collective bargaining agreements. Some of the more common status distinctions are as follows.

Permanent Employment (Full Time)

Permanent employment (Full Time) is that for which a position is established and designed to provide services for the maximum number of hours applicable to that classification of positions. Typical full time schedules in DDS are either 35, 37.5 or 40 hours per week dependant upon the specific conditions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. The majority of full time positions in DDS direct care settings are established with 35 hour per week schedules. Individuals employed in permanent full time positions are entitled to health insurance, retirement and leave benefits. All individuals appointed to permanent full time positions are required to complete an Initial Working Test Period (usually six (6) months in length) in order to achieve permanent status in State Service. Entitlement to or use of certain benefits is restricted until this working test period or, in some cases, six (6) months of employment has been completed. For specific information regarding benefits for permanent full time employment, consult your collective bargaining unit contract and local Human Resources office.

Permanent Employment (Part Time)

Permanent employment (Part Time) is that for which a position is established and designed to provide services for less than the maximum number of hours applicable to that classification of positions. In order to be eligible for health insurance individual employees must be scheduled to work an average of 17.5 hours per week. Permanent part time employees are also entitled to retirement benefits and to accrue vacation and sick leave benefits in accordance with the number of hours they work and the terms of their applicable collective bargaining agreement. All individuals appointed to permanent part time positions are required to complete an Initial Working Test Period in order to achieve permanent status in State Service, however the length of that working test period is based upon hours worked as opposed to a specified calendar period. For those classifications for which a full time schedule is considered 35 hours per week this period is 914 hours. For those classifications for which a full time schedule is considered 37.5 hours per week the period is 979 hours. For those classifications for which a full time schedule is considered 40 hours per week the period is 1044 hours. For specific information regarding benefits for permanent part time employment, consult your collective bargaining unit contract and local Human Resources office.

Provisional Employment

Provisional employment is used in cases of competitive positions (those requiring an examination) when there is no certified list available. Individuals so employed must meet the minimum experience and training of the positions and must take and pass the next examination given for the job title, before a permanent appointment can be made. For specific information regarding benefits for provisional appointments, consult your collective bargaining unit contract and local Human Resources office.

Temporary Employment

Temporary employment is that for which a position is established for a period of six months or less. Individuals so employed are generally not entitled to fringe benefits unless they maintain six (6) months of continuous State Service though this may be modified by the specific conditions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. Your local Human Resources office will advise you of your particular benefit eligibility.

Seasonal Employment

Seasonal employment is that for which a position is established for a specific period, usually during summer months. Individuals so employed are not entitled to any fringe benefits.

Durational Employment

Durational employment is used to fill vacancies that occur when a permanent employee is on a leave of absence without pay or on extended Workers' Compensation leave. When the permanent employee returns to work the durational appointee must vacate the position. Individuals so employed are generally not entitled to fringe benefits unless they maintain six (6) months of continuous State Service though this may be modified by the specific conditions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. Your local Human Resources office will advise you of your particular benefit eligibility.

Per Diem Employment

Per Diem employment is daily "as needed" work based upon changing needs in a specific professional area. In DDS, these positions most commonly provide nursing, therapy, or other professional health care services. Hourly rates for such positions have been adjusted in lieu of regular fringe benefits.

Intermittent Employment

Intermittent employment is also work on an "as needed" basis, usually during the limited absence of a regular employee. In DDS, intermittent employees are most commonly hired as Substitute Instructors. Individuals so employed are also not entitled to any fringe benefits.

POSITION CLASSIFICATION

Your new job is one of many positions in the State classification system. Jobs involving basically the same type of duties and responsibilities, and experience and training requirements are grouped into a job classification. Formalized descriptions of each job classification, such as Clerk-Typist, Intellectual Disability Worker, Skilled Maintainer, or any other classification used by the agency are available in the various Human Resource offices, or at the State of Connecticut DAS website at http://das.ct.gov/cr1.aspx?page=13. Please keep in mind, however, that any job descriptions are only intended to provide general descriptions of the tasks and responsibilities of a particular classification and do not necessarily include all aspects of a particular job.