PEF-DEC LABOR MANAGEMENT Minutes

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STATEWIDE PEF/NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL

CONSERVATION LABOR/MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES

June 22, 2006

Attendance:

PEF:

David Persson, LM Chair

Karl Berger, Albany LM Co-Chair

Chris Spies, Region 1

Joseph Battista, Region 3

Terry Tyoe, Region 6

Tara Blum, Region 7

Jim Kersten, Region 9

Andy Marcuccio, Schenectady

Wayne Bayer, Albany

Bill Wurster, Albany

Denise Stephens, Albany

Robert McDonough, Albany

Tim LeBarron, Albany

John Donlon, Albany

Holly Clark, Albany

Kuldeep Gupta, Albany

Dylan Keenan, Albany

Mark Hyland, Albany

Jim Kemenash, PEF

Management:

Jack McKeon, DEC Assistant Commissioner for Administration

Joseph Lattanzio, DEC Director of Employee Relations

Carole LaVigna, DEC Director of Personnel

Mark Malinoski, DEC Assistant Director of Operations

Mark Cadrette, DEC Health & Safety Unit

Carl Gonzalez, DE Employee Relations

Marie Furlong, DEC Employee Relations [Minutes]

PEF's questions and statements are in bold faced type.

Managementís responses are in italics.

It was mutually agreed that the minutes will be finalized within 30 days of the meeting. Updates to

be forwarded when available.

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I. New Business:

A. Discussion

1. Privatization

What are the number of contracts for consulting services, value of contracts, the number of

contract employees performing such consulting services, types of services provided by such contract

employees, the number of hours they work and their total compensation under the contract, at the

Department of Environmental Conservation?

Managementís response: As a result of recent retirements, our filled positions number is down to

3,315 as of 6/14/06. As of todayís meeting, that number is probably higher. We have 92 unrestricted

waivers. We are in the process of putting together a second round of waivers to be submitted. Since

January 2005, the Department has hired 292 new people. The number of promotions and

reclassifications since that date is 403. The Department acquired 36 new items in the 2006-07 budget,

and our target figure is now 3,371. In January 2005, we were actually at 5 or 6 above our target.

A contract for consulting services means any contract entered into by DEC for analysis, evaluation,

research, training, data processing, computer programming, engineering, environmental health and

mental health services, accounting, auditing, paralegal, legal, or similar services.

What were the appropriations, including reappropriations made for FY05-06 and recommended

for FY06-07 for contracts for consulting services?

Managementís response: Guidance has recently been issued by OSC regarding contract

reporting . It will pertain to contracts approved after 7/19/06. [See Budget Bulletin G-226 issued on

6/19/06; http://nysosc3.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/gbull/g-226.htm.]

Contracting Out Computer Services

What were the expenditures by vendor for SFY 2005-06, budget costs, and purpose of contracted

out computer support?

Managementís response: The fiscal year invoices are just being processed so a complete,

accurate accounting is not yet available.

Do Information Technology (IT) contracts with consultants cost between 53 percent and 62 percent

more than what it what it would have cost to use public employees (including benefits)? Will DEC

support the Article 15 professional development needs of PEF represented State IT employees?

Managementís response: DEC would support Article 15.

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PEF requests an update on the DECALS and MCI (WorldCom) remaining sportsman education

application responsibilities and OSC approval of the contract amendment past May, 2006? When

will DFW&MR take over operational responsibility for application?

Management's response: The no cost contract extension has been approved by OSC. The

extension for the additional five (5) years of operation is in negotiations. DEC continually monitors the

status of technology and the point of sale industry for future opportunities.

As the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) transitions to an implementation

phase, did DEC use $2,937,728 State Wildlife Grants funding to add six (6) new staff?

Managementís response: Currently, we are in the process of filling 10 Biologist 1 positions, one

in the Central Office and nine in the Regions, to help implement the Comprehensive Wildlife

Conservation Strategy that was approved by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service in May this year.

All ten of these positions are permanent NYS employees. In short, of the 12 positions either filled or

being filled to deliver the State Wildlife Grants Program, all are permanent NYS employees.

The State Wildlife Grants program coordinator waiver was approved and the position, a Biologist 2

in Albany, was filled. Why is this position now a contract Environmental Program Specialist 1?

Managementís response: The State Wildlife Grants Coordinator is a Biologist 2 (Aquatic), a

permanent NYS employee. This position was filled via internal promotion in 2003. In 2005, we hired an

Environmental Program Specialist 1, also a permanent NYS employee, to assist with federal grant

management and administration of the State Wildlife Grants Program.

What is funding source for Hudson River Coordinator?

Managementís response: This position is funded from Special Revenue-Federal.

2. Work Schedule Flexibility

a. What is status of CPP policy and survey?

Managementís response: We are very close. The project has been broken down into two active

committees: one surveying all the participants; the second is a L/M policy and guidelines committee. The

Policy Committee has circulated a final draft to the entire committee. After another meeting of the full

committee (yet unscheduled), the policy and guidelines will be finalized. We are utilizing the survey to

finalize the guidelines.

3. Diversity

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Diversity of the workforce includes as age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation,

military status, sex, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or marital status. How does

DEC propose to increase diversity?

Managementís response: As of April 2005, the Department is 88% White males and females.

Has DEC completed edit of the Affirmative Action Plan?

Managementís response: The Plan is still being edited.

4. Promotional Ladders

a. Please provide the updated table Comparison of Environmental Quality and Natural

Resources Allocations? When is the next meeting scheduled?

Will Natural Resources staff be reallocated for parity with Environmental Quality?

Management's response: Updated table is being provided. The next meeting is scheduled for

7/17/06.

We are still considering the best approach to assuring Natural Resources/EQ parity. We may

look to handle this on an individual basis rather than submit a large package.

b. Is DEC planning any title consolidations for development of parallel career tracks based on

the work responsibilities for master professional titles of Biologist, Chemist, Engineering

Geologist, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Radiation

Specialist, and Environmental Program Specialist? How can knowledge, skills, and abilities

be used instead of supervisory responsibilities in job descriptions for titles above SG-18?

Managementís response: DEC is not planning any title consolidations for the development of

parallel career tracks; however, the Personnel Office will review any proposals.

Job duties and responsibilities, not knowledge, skills and abilities, are considered by Civil

Service when they evaluate job descriptions. Supervision is not a requirement for Environmental

Engineers at the G-15, G-20 or G-24 levels; the Biologist 1, G-18, and Biologist 2, G-23, titles do not

require supervision.

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B. Information

1. Budget

a. How many DEC positions are currently filled?

Managementís response: As of 6/14/06, the Department had 3,315 filled positions.

b. If an ERI is offered, how will the agency determine titles eligible for participation?

Managementís response: It is our understanding there is an Early Retirement Incentive in the

works; however, we have no details at this time.

2. Civil Service

a. Did DEC fill all 98 waivers by June 19?

Management's response: No. Extensions have been approved for those who couldnít make

appointments by June 19.

b. Did Civil Service approve Job Classification Standards with professional titles of

Engineering Geologist, Environmental Engineering Technician and Environmental

Analyst?

Management's response: The classification standard for the Engineering Geologist title series

was issued by Civil Service in April 2006. Civil Service is still reviewing the Environmental

Engineering Tech and Environmental Analyst draft standards.

c. Did Management and Budget approve the submission of the Division of Fish, Wildlife &

Marine Resources fiscal impact forms that request $600,000 geographic pay differential for

the Biologist 1 and Biologist 2 (Marine) for appointments in Region 1 and 2?

Managementís response: This is still pending in the Fiscal Office.

Is the geographic pay differential approximately $5,000 to $20,000 for Biologist(Marine)

Series for trainee levels G-13 & G-14, to G-18 (Biologist) and final at G-23 (Biologist 2)?

Management's response: An appropriate geographic pay differential has not yet been

established. These figures were proposed by the Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources, who

submitted this directly to the fiscal office where it is still pending review.

d. Acting Positions

PEF requests that waivers be submitted for the vacant positions and that they in fact be

filled.

Management's response: We have and will continue to do so.

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3. Laboratory Consolidation

Where is DEC planning to relocate the DEC SUNY East labs? Will the labs be consolidated with

other DEC divisions or Agencies at the new site? Will the new location result in expanded lab space

and/or additional DEC staff?

Managementís response: The location of the proposed consolidated lab has not been chosen at

this time. Also, at this time, it is anticipated that the lab will be a consolidation of DEC divisions with

no plans to involve other agencies. The goal is to provide sufficient lab space for current workload and

mission. We are conducting collaborative meetings with SUNY Rockefeller College. The Department

will work through the OGS Lease Division to locate a facility.

Will DEC build a heavy duty Automotive Emissions Laboratory (EL) in Malta with funding from

the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act under NYSERDA? Will DEC use NYSERDA's

Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, and Protection (EMEP) program to provide policy-makers

with scientifically credible and objective information on the impacts of pollution associated with

energy and electricity generation?

Managementís response: DEC, with guidance and assistance from OGS, will be building the

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Research Laboratory (AFLVRL) at NYSERDAís Saratoga Technology & Energy

Park (STEP). DEC is partnering with NYSERDA in this endeavor as described in the Governorís 2006-

07 Budget. The AFVRL will provide for:

1) Comprehensive emissions fuel efficiency testing for light, medium and heavy duty vehicles,

including those utilizing alternative fuel sources;

2) Flexibility to test the full spectrum of emissions levels, ranging from near-zero emissions to

older vehicles with high emissions;

3) Sampling and testing of particle and toxic chemical emissions within integral laboratories to

enable routine on-site comprehensive vehicle measurements; and,

4) Support for mobile emissions testing for both on-road and off-road vehicles and equipment.

Among several sources of funding, it is anticipated that approximately $4 million from the Clean

Water/Clean Air Bond Act will be made available to help fund the AFVRL. Current funding sources do

not include the EMEP.

Fish and Wildlife opted out of the process to secure a new lab facility to stay in Delmar and Albany

and do not want to fund this effort with Division funds. What is impact to the project?

Management's response: The decision by Fish and Wildlife to not participate will not have an

impact on the project.

5. Scheduling of L/M Meetings

The next meeting is scheduled for September 21, 2006 on Long Island.

Management's response: Management is agreeable.

C. Unresolved Topics

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1. Environmental Monitors

Will DEC prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Commissioner Policy to

replace Organization and Delegation Memo #92-10? In response to PEFís March 2004 request,

has the Department assembled information regarding how many independent environmental

monitors the Department has caused to be hired?

Management's response:

During October of 2004, DEC gave a public notice of its intent to change from On-Site

Environmental Monitors being DEC career, civil servants to allowing the regulated entity to hire a

private third-party consultant (a.k.a. "Independent Environmental Monitor") to perform this

critical function of safeguarding public health. When will the analysis of these comments will be

completed?

Managementís response:

2. Health & Safety

Specific updates and actions on all outstanding H&S agenda items are itemized within the

Statewide Health & Safety Labor/Management Committee meeting minutes which are available on

the OER website and through the respective union representatives.

a. PEF/encon requests written description of the NYS Threat Levels and security

enhancements as implemented by the agency and Region. PEF/encon is concerned that

threat level implementation be uniform in DEC and OGS buildings as it may affect

employees who are required to be available for immediate recall and who must be prepared

to return to duty within a limited period of time.

b. 18 DEC employees are now eligible for the Safety Incentive Differential. PEF/encon asks

DEC to request that Civil Service expand the criteria to include employees that conduct

investigations at hazardous substance spills or other hazardous substance emergencies; or

inspect hazardous substance facilities sites (e.g., manufacturers, storage facilities,

active/inactive waste sites); investigate and/or manage the cleanup of inactive hazardous

waste sites.

c. When will all DEC public buildings be equipped with AEDs? How many Regions have

AEDs? PEF/encon requests that DEC work to provide 100% training for staff in use of

defibrillators.

Management's response: Nothing new on the AED program. The DEC Implementation Plan has

been submitted to OGS, and we are waiting to hear back from them. We have been informed that they

will not be contacting us until they hear from all agencies. To date, only half of the State agencies have

submitted their plans which were due to OGS on March 31, 2005.

d. What is DEC doing to prepare for potential avian flu epidemic or pandemic ?

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Will meetings and/or field work be suspended to safeguard staff health ? What provisions

are being made to allow staff to work from home ? Will DEC provided anti-viral

medications to "essential" staff that will be required to work and exposed to avian flu and

to family members of "essential" staff being required to work and exposed to avian flu ?

Managementís response: The Emergency Response Team is coordinating our efforts regarding

the issue of Pandemic Influenza. Meetings are being held and the involved Programs are being surveyed

for their input. Programs which may be affected are making preparations for dealing with the Avian Flu

issues such as massive bird die-offs, collection and disposal. Solid & Hazardous Materials and Fish,

Wildlife & Marine Resources are developing SOPs to address these issues.

e. Right-to-Know (RTK): On December 12,2003, PEF filed a statewide complaint with the

Attorney General. On December 14, 2005 the Office of the Attorney General asked how

DEC plans to identify the specific toxic substances to which employees are routinely

exposed. Has DEC compiled the list of toxic substances that employees are routinely

exposed to provide appropriate training material?

Managementís response:

3. 625 Broadway

a. PEF/encon requests that an electronic pedestrian crossing button be installed on Water

Street.

b. Does 625 Broadway meet requirements for the Green Building Annual Eligibility

Certificate under Article 19 of the Tax Law?

Managementís response: Electronic pedestrian crossing button issue remains unresolved.

Yes, 625 continues to meet Green Building standards.

4. Office Moves

a. Is the projected date for the Region 4 move still late 2006?

Has management engaged in meaningful discussions for PS&T unit members in the context

of a Joint Labor/Management Quality of Worklife Committee, which shall make

recommendations to the Regional Director?

Management's response: Yes, the late 2006 date is still in place

The Regional Director has assembled a multi-disciplined building team which includes a

representative from both PEF and CSEA.

b. What is schedule of design contract for the additional 28,000 square feet at the New Paltz

office? What is the schedule to start the construction project?

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Does management continue meaningful discussions for PS&T unit members in the context

of Joint Labor/Management Quality of Worklife Committees?

Management's response: The preliminary design sketches, which are being modeled after the

Warrensburg office, should be ready in the next 2-3 weeks. The bid date will be November 2006 with

construction to begin by December 2006. The project includes an addition and renovation of the existing

space.

The Region 3 Director has agreed to the formation of a group to share ideas and involve

employees in the process.

DEC                                                                                                  PEF/ENCON

Joseph A. Lattanzio                                                                         David J. Persson

DATE August 14, 2006                                                                    August 14, 2006

 

 

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