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State Management Personnel Manual


TO: Department and Agency Personnel and Affirmative Action Officers

FROM: John M. Keefe

SUBJECT: Section 55.b Procedural Guidelines

In her memorandum of November 15, 1985, Commissioner Burstein stated that new procedural guidelines would be forthcoming in regard to positions classified in the non-competitive class pursuant to Section 55.b of the Civil Service Law. Specifically, she announced that effective December 1, 1985, all such positions would revert to the competitive class upon vacancy.

The redesignation of such positions as "competitive" will be initiated by the Department of Civil Service. This memorandum provides procedural guidelines which will be applied in implementing this policy.

A. Separations of 55.b Incumbents

  1. All 55.b positions which become either wholly or temporarily vacant, shall immediately revert to the competitive class, except;

  1. where the separation results from the incumbent being placed on sick leave without pay and where the transaction (PR-75) reporting the leave indicates that the duration of the leave is expected to be three months or less;* or
  2. other separations where it is expected that the 55.b incumbent will return within three months or less.*

*Agencies must be sure to indicate the nature and duration of leave being authorized on the PR-75 reporting the transaction.

NOTE: The hold items of 55.b incumbents appointed to other positions on a temporary canvass basis will immediately revert, to the competitive class since "temporary canvass" appointments are often certified beyond the original 60 day period.

B . Status of 55 . b incumbents' Hold Items

  1. 55.b items which become temporarily vacant due to the leave of absence of the incumbent (other than as described in A.1. a. or b. above) will revert to the competitive class. They may he refilled as any other temporarily vacant competitive class position, i.e., by means of temporary, provisional or 4.11 appointment.
  2. The return of the prior 55.b incumbent will of necessity cause the displacement of subsequent appointees to the item.

C. Reinstatement of 55.b Incumbents

  1. When reinstating a 55.b incumbent from leave, agencies must indicate in the Remarks Section that the employee previously served in the position under Section 55 .b.

D. Conversion of Currently Vacant 55 b Items

Steps have been taken to revert all vacant 55.b positions (except those vacant for the reasons described in A .1. a. or b. above) to the competitive class, and position records as maintained in APPS have been updated. Agencies should review and conform agency position information in similar fashion.

Any questions on this memorandum should he addressed to Nick Vagianelis, Office of Civil Service Commission Operations, 457-2575

(signed) John M. Keefe
Director of Civil Service Operations and Administration


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