PEF-DEC LABOR MANAGEMENT Minutes
STATEWIDE PEF/NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSERVATION LABOR/MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES
June 12, 2008
David Persson, LM Chair
Karl Berger, Albany LM Co-Chair
Katy Murphy, Region 1
Keith Browne, Region 3
Andy Marcuccio, Region 4
Kristofer Alberga, Region 5
Harry Spetla, Region 5
Terry Tyoe, Region 6
Frank Flack, Region 6
Don Nelson, Region 7
Jim Kersten, Region 9
Kevin Hintz, Region 9
Wayne Bayer, Albany
Mark Hyland, Albany
Mike Kanuk, SUNY-East
William Wurster, Albany
Sam Stallone, Albany
Denise Stephens, Albany
Tim LeBarron, Albany
John Donlon, Albany
Holly Clark, Albany
Ed Bradley, PEF
Josephine Rice, PEF
Joseph Lattanzio, DEC Director of Employee Relations
Carole LaVigna, DEC Director of Personnel
Mark Cadrette, DEC Director of Health & Safety Unit
Gail Balluff, DEC Employee Relations
Marie Furlong, DEC Employee Relations
Richard Wagner, DEC Region 5
John Vana, DEC Environmental Permits
Nina White, DEC Employee Relations [Minutes]
Paige Davison, Wildlife Center
Diana Fortune, Wildlife Center
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.
Rich Wagner welcomed group in Betsy Loweís absence.
Diana Fortune and Page Davison praised Betsy Loweís extraordinary efforts in supporting the Wildlfe
Center Natural History Museum construction project.
A. Management Presentation: Pollution Prevention Institute.
Management response: John Vana gave a Power Point presentation on the Pollution
Prevention Institute (see attached). The purpose of the Pollution Prevention Institute (P2I) is to
promote cost effective pollution prevention techniques so that large and small business can reduce
energy and resource use, hazardous substances, pollution and wastes. This will primarily be
accomplished through research and development to design and test "green" manufacturing methods
and provide technical support to businesses for pollution reduction measures that will help make them
more competitive. In addition, the P2I will support the work of DEC staff through direct technical
support on emerging issues, training for DEC stqff, the ability for DEC staff to refer clients to the P2I,
direct client assistance and R&D that can align with DEC regulatory direction, and supporting the
workforce of the future by integrating P2 and sustainability concepts in college level curricula. The
P2I will foster partnerships between government, academia and business to support the economy in NY
while also protecting the environment.
What compelling reasons will justify further contracting out?
For 2006-2007 DEC had $71.12 million in unreported professional services consultant
contracts. What is the reason for the under reporting of expenditures as required by
Chapter 10 of the Laws of 2006, the Procurement Stewardship Act?
What is DECís Spending Reduction /Financial Management Plan for implementing the
enacted 2008-09 budget and maintaining both budget balance and critical program goals?
What are the structural imbalances in the Conservation Fund, Environmental
Regulatory Account, Clean Air Fund, and Natural Resources Account and how are they being
Managementís response: As stated previously, appropriation amounts have been included to
fund all approved positions.
Lands & Forests
Did the Executive support the Lands & Forests plan for more Foresters, Real Estate Specialists,
Land Surveyors, Environmental Program Specialists, Citizen Participation Specialists, Natural
Resource Planners, and Geographic Information Specialists (GIS) in Budget request?
Managementís response: As stated previously, Executive supported additional staff for a
variety of offices. Again, just four items were approved in the final Budget. Three were for Invasive
Species and one for the Canal Mitigation Task Force. All are General Fund items. All will be Civil
Service titles (two Biologists, a Forester in the Invasive Species Unit and an Engineer or
Environmental Program Specialist for the Canal Mitigation Task Force.)
Did OGC draft legislation needed to modify both the PBS AND CBS statutes for equivalency
with EPA's UST regulations and to implement the Energy Policy Act of 2005?
Managementís response: Yes. DER, OGC and Legislative Affairs have been working together
to draft legislation needed to modify PBS and CBS statutes to make State law equivalent to federal
requirements and to address requirements under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Bills have been
introduced in both the Senate (S6055) and Assembly (A10952) and are under review. Several meetings
have occurred with legislative, industry and environmental stakeholders to identify issues of concern
and clarify the bills where needed. We are hopeful that passage of the bills will occur in this session.
Will a DER work assignment issued to CDM complete PBS inspections at approximately 1200
facilities regulated under the Energy Policy Act over the next two years?
Managementís response: Yes. DER has issued a work assignment to CDM to have it assist in
the inspection of approximately 1,200 federally regulated facilities over the next two years. This work
is funded under a grant from the EPA to meet EPA requirements under federal law. It is intended as
an immediate and short term solution to address EPAís requirement to inspect facilities subject to
federal jurisdiction on a three year cycle.
Contracting Out Computer Services
Can DEC fill positions from other higher grade titles and provide alternative promotional
Managementís response: The Division of the Budget recently approved the establishment of
temporary Project Assistant positions at the Office for Technology to enable them to appoint their
consultants to competitive positions. Candidates who are interested in a permanent competitive career
promotion track could take the entry level Grade 18 IT Specialist 1 T&E examination. Their temp item
could be replaced by a permanent competitive IT Specialist 1, SG-18. Candidates could then compete
in promotion examinations and, possible, some candidates could be eligible for permanent
appointment to the SG-27 level within three (3) years.
DEC could establish positions of this nature and ultimately provide promotional opportunities;
however, this would require budgeted fills which the Department is currently lacking.
2. Work Schedule Flexibility
What modifications did Civil Service make to CPP prior to GOER submission?
Managementís response: GOER wanted the Department to add : 1. "Establishment of an
alternative work schedule is a management right and can be revoked by management at any time that
such schedule does not assist in the agency carrying out its mission or the stated goals of this policy."
2. "Management has the right to discontinue the compressed pay period program in an emergency or
for other programmatic needs." 3. "Participation must not interfere with the operational or
programmatic needs of the Department" 4. GOER also clarified the opting out considerations.
Diversity of the workforce includes 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?
Karl Berger, Kevin Hintz, John Donlon Jim Kersten are PEF/enconís Diversity
Has DEC completed edit of the June 2, 1997 Affirmative Action Plan?
What are DECís specific goals and timetables for the prompt achievement of full and
equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, disabled persons and Vietnam era
Has DEC Legal completed review of this plan?
PEF requests copy of the most recent annual report.
What Divisions/Programs has DEC management identified as most in need of
Managementís response: The Affirmative Action Plan is still with the Legal Office.
4. Promotional Ladders
a. Did Fish & Wildlife develop justifications for individual Natural Resources titles to be
reclassified for parity with Environmental Quality? Executive had the Natural
Resources and Geographic Pay Differential packages since December 2005. The Natural
Resource Supervisor position was not part of the package. Is any part of the original
package still being pursued?
Managementís response: The Natural Resources Supervisors package went to Civil Service on
b. Did DEC and Civil Service develop rating scale for Biologist 1 examination?
Managementís response: Yes. Civil Service issued the announcement for this continuous
recruitment examination on 6/06/08.
5. Environmental Management Systems
6. Civil Service
a. How many DEC positions are currently filled?
Managementís response: The Department currently has 3754.8 filled items.
b. Did DEC fill all waivers?
Management's response: Waivers are constantly in process. Carole will give more information
on the waiver process.
c. Did Civil Service approve Job Classification Standards with professional titles of
Environmental Engineering Technician and Environmental Analyst?
Management's response: No, not yet.
d. When will DEC ask Civil Service for the downstate geographic pay differential for the
Biologist 1 and Biologist 2 (Marine) in Region 1 and 2? Bureau of Marine Resources
organizational chart shows that the entire Bureau (all programs; all regions) is riddled
with vacancies (34 to be exact) out of 90 positions. The fact that the high percentage of
vacancies in BMR is "historic" and ongoing just proves that salaries are too low to recruit
and retain Marine Biologists 1 & 2 in programs in downstate offices.
In Region 2, two dredging items (Biologist 1 - Marine) became vacant in 2004 & 2006, the
Regional Manager's item (Biologist 2 - Marine) became vacant in 2007 & the Jamaica Bay
Damages Account item (Biologist 1 - Marine) became vacant in early 2008. The Region 3
regulatory item (Biologist 1 - Marine) became vacant in late 2007. This is not "historic".
East Setauket office BMR H/Q: Marine Resources-Shellfisheries Surf Clam (Item 37251)
Biologist 1 Marine position vacant since January 2008 and;
Marine Resources-Shellfisheries Sanitation Program (Item 37333; public health
protection) Biologist 1 Marine position vacant since January 2008
Managementís response: On 7/25/03 DFWMR provided detailed documentation for a very
specific Region 1 and 2 geographic pay differential proposal. There was also an earlier
proposal in 2002 which did not go into the detail of the follow up proposal in 2003.
Additionally, a 2/18/04 memo from G. Barnhart to L. Stark proposed a reallocation of the
Biologist titles that, if implemented, would reduce the cost of the Region 1 and Region 2
geographic pay differential by approximately one-half. While salaries have increased
somewhat since 2003, the great differences between DEC Biologists and non-DEC biologists
remain, and DFWMR believes their proposal is still well founded. DFWMR has asked that a
specific proposal for a geographic pay differential and a reallocation of the Biologist series to
be submitted to Civil Service for a number of years now, but DEC has yet to submit either to
How is Management implementing Commissioner Priority for "Succession Planning" in
regard to the Shellfisheries Section Head, Biologist 3 Marine (Item 37329) position, which
will become vacant in July due to retirement? This Section Head supervises three units
which implement the Department's Shellfish Sanitation Program which protects public
Shellfish Inspection Unit Leader, Food Inspector 3 (item 37237) which is now vacant due
to retirement on May 9? The Food Inspection unit has significant public health protection
functions which are supposed to have priority for backfilling.
Managementís response: Due to the agency currently being over target, DFWMR will seek to
fill the Biologist 3 (Marine) position when it is vacated by the incumbent in July.
What are now listed as the Division's highest priorities?
ē Biologist 4 (Ecology) that serves as the Chief of the Bureau of Habitat: Establishment of
position pending at Civil Service.
ē Waivers requested for and in the process of filling:
Biologist 1 (Wildlife), Region 5, for Freshwater Wetlands Regulatory Program;
Biologist 1 (Wildlife), Region 3, for Endangered Species Regulatory Program;
Biologist 2 (Wildlife), Central Office, to supervise the Sportsmanís Education Program;
Biologist 1 (Aquatic), Region 6, for Stream & Waters Protection Regulatory Program.
The DFWMR is currently developing a prioritized list of positions to seek to fill once the agency
is below its target fill level.
e. Why is management not petitioning Civil Service to allow a provisional appointment to the
Biologist 2 positions in the Bureau of Forestry and the Bureau of Wildlife, so that these
positions may be filled by Biologists who are willing to work in the Region, and would be
qualified to take the exam at the next offering, as is done with other programs?
Managementís response: There is no Biologist 2 position in the Bureau of Forestry. The
Biologist 2 position in the Bureau of Wildlife was filled provisionally on 2/21/08. Civil Service
has not yet scheduled a date for this exam.
f. Has the Department submitted an Engineer-in-Training proposal to the Division of the
Budget (DOB) for final approval and worked with DOB to facilitate a timely review?
Managementís response: This "engineering escalation plan" was sent to DOB on 3/12/08. The
Department is still awaiting approval.
g. 42% of State workforce will be 55 within five years. What is the succession plan?
Managementís response: Developing succession planning processes will be a priority for SFY
08/09. Executive would strongly welcome written suggestions from PEF.
h. Acting Positions
According to the latest Remediation Roster, the Remedial Bureau B (Regions 2-4)
Chief and the Section D Chief are acting. Is this still the case? In Solid & Hazardous
Materials, Bureau Program Management - Division of Planning & Analysis Section
Chief and Hazardous Waste Radiation Management Bureau Chief; are they also
Management's response: Yes, the incumbents of these positions are "Acting." Civil Service
cannot provide us with Environmental Engineer 3 and 4 Rosters, from which we could make
permanent appointments, until sometime this summer. The written component of these exams was
held in March of this year; the information provided by candidates for the Evaluation of Education
and Experience component is still being processed. We are expecting Civil Service to produce
position-specific Rosters for us by August. At that time, these divisions should be making
permanent EE 3 and EE 4 appointments to supervise these bureaus and sections .
7. Laboratory Consolidation
When is the next DEC, Ag & Markets, DOH, DOT, & State Police meeting to discuss the
possibility of " identifying state laboratory resources in the Capitol region to try to coordinate
planned and future laboratory design and construction projects so that co-location at a
common site and efficiencies through use of shared facilities and infrastructure is considered.
Management's response: An informational gathering meeting was held by the Division of the
Budget at the State Capitol on 5/22/08. In addition to DOB, the following agencies were
represented: DEC, DOH, Agriculture & Markets, DOT, OGS, the Dormitory Authority and the
Governorís Office. The State Police did not attend. No follow-up meeting has been scheduled at
Will DEC share PEFís comments on the Health & Safety content of the CUH2A Document -
"Study - Rough Order of Magnitude ROM & Program Validation", Final Draft, Dated,
August 18, 2006, the Consolidated Laboratory Collaboration Effort. Where is DEC planning
to relocate the DEC SUNY East labs?
Managementís response: DEC will share PEFís comments on the Health and Safety content of the
CUH2A document at the appropriate time.
What is the staffing plan for the heavy duty Automotive Emissions Laboratory (AEL) at
NYSERDAís Saratoga Technology & Energy Park (STEP) lab? What lists of staff (titles and
numbers has DAR provided for the diesel lab and the consolidated lab? Is design complete?
What is funding source?
Managementís response: As reported at previous meetings, additional staffing requirements and
plans will be developed as the new facility progresses towards construction and occupancy. Any
State building under construction must meet the State Building Code.
DAR has provided lists of staff for the diesel lab and the consolidated lab. There has been no
discussion of having NYSERDA staff there. The design has been completed.
No funds were approved in the SFY 2008-09 Budget for a Consolidated Lab. The Department
continues to explore funding options.
8. Scheduling of L/M Meetings
The next meeting is scheduled for August 20. PEF will need to confirm the date.
PEF/encon invites the Commissioner to attend the next meeting.
Management's response: Management agrees.
9. Environmental Monitors
a. 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? If not, why is the
Department still avoiding answering this request after three years?
What is the status of the new administrationís review of this item?
Management's response: This matter is still under review.
b. 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 be completed?
What is the status of the new administrationís review of this item?
Management's response: This matter is still under review.
10. 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. Any employee who is required to be available for
immediate recall and who must be prepared to return to duty within a limited period of time
must be compensated as per programs established pursuant to Article 7.17(a), Article 7.17(b),
Chapter 33 of the Laws of 1999 and possibly Article 7.18 and Section 130.8 of the NYSCSL.
b. Does DEC support a Safety Incentive Differential request to Civil Service that expands 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?
PEF offered to assist managementís working group in draft revisions to the SID guidelines,
which would be more accommodating to DEC before submittal to Executive Office for review
and approval prior to submission to Civil Service.
Managementís response: Management will follow-up.
c. Has OGS identified the funding allocation for AEDs in yearly increments through fiscal year
Managementís response: 225 AED units have been deployed throughout the State and that the DEC
AED program is almost completely implemented. We are about to change providers for our online
training and maintenance tracking program.
d. What is DEC doing to prepare for potential avian flu epidemic or pandemic ?
Will meetings and/or field work be suspended to safeguard staff health ? Is telework an
element of the Departmentís Continuity of Operations? Will DEC provide anti-viral
medications to "essential" staff who will be required to work and be exposed to avian flu and
to family members of "essential" staff being required to work and be exposed to avian flu ?
e. Right-to-Know (RTK): On December 19, 2003, PEF filed a statewide complaint with the
Attorney General. On April 18, 2006 the Office of the Attorney General reminded DEC that
12 NYCRR ß 59-1.9(a)(4) requires that safety & health programs shall provide for and
encourage employee involvement in the structure and operation of the program, so that they
will commit their insight and energy to achieving the goals and objectives of the safety
Managementís response: This matter is still under investigation by the General Counselís office,
and Management feels it is inappropriate to discuss this subject in this forum. The Health & Safety
office is about to distribute the electronic Occupational Exposure Survey.
11. 625 Broadway
a. PEF/encon requests "WALK"/"DON'T WALK" lights with countdown numbers at the
southeastern and southwestern corners of the intersection of Water Street and Colonie Street
(across Water Street). Employees parking in the Corning Preserve Boat Launch also request
signals at the northeastern and southeastern corner of the same intersection (across the 787N
Managementís response: The Department will attempt to address this concern during this fiscal
b. PEF/encon requests a "pedestrian crossing" sign be placed in the middle of Orange Street
(the same as those successfully piloted on Pearl Street).
PEF/encon requests an update of the developments from the Executive staffís request that
OGS and the Department address this issue and others related to the garage entrance at 625
Managementís response: The Department will attempt to address this issue during this fiscal year.
c. PEF/encon requests discussions with security and OGS regarding the new proximity ID cards
for entrance to garage during work hours M-F and the blanket restriction on weekend
Management stated that a briefing would be held prior to initiating the system. This briefing
was never held.
Management response: A conversion date for Prox Card entrance to the DEC Central Office
garage has not yet been determined. Prior to the conversion date, management has agreed to brief
PEF on this matter.
d. What are the arrangements to provide ID cards for those employees who are exercising their
rights to not use their DMV identification number as their employee ID number and their
DMV information to create an ID card?
e. When will DEC brief PEF on the new 625 Broadway access policy?
Management stated that a briefing would be held on this item. The briefing was never held.
12. Office Moves
a. Was the New Paltz Phase 2 (Renovation of Existing Building) begun May 2008 with final
completion scheduled for November 2008?
Managementís response: As stated at the last meeting, Phase 1 is complete with new furniture
being installed beginning 2/25/08. Staff moves were scheduled for the weekends of 4/05/08 and
4/19/08. Phase 2 began on 5/01/08 and will continue for six (6) months with furniture delivery and
staff moves to follow.
b. 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 Region 3 Regional Director has agreed to conduct quarterly
labor/management meetings to discuss this and other matters of interest to the employees of Region 3.
c. When will Galesi Management Corporation install Region 4 exterior lighting on north side of
building to provide ample illumination on all parking areas, pathways, and sidewalks for
safety of employees and visitors?
Managementís response: As stated at the last meeting, the exterior lighting proposal presented to
the Town Board was rejected. OGS is working with the landlord to revise the proposal to be presented to
the Town Board. Other options are being actively investigated and pursued with the landlord and OGS.
Joseph A. Lattanzio David Persson
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Updated on November 29, 2016