PEF-DEC LABOR MANAGEMENT Minutes

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breakdown of FY 05-06 contractor expenditures

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STATEWIDE PEF/NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL

CONSERVATION LABOR/MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MINUTES

November 29, 2007

Attendance:

PEF:

David Persson, LM Chair

Karl Berger, Albany LM Co-Chair

Chris Spies, Region 1

George Stadnik, Region 2

Joseph Battista, Region 3

Andy Marcuccio, Region 4

Terry Tyoe, Region 6

Frank Flack, Region 6

Jim Kersten, Region 9

Kevin Hintz, Region 9

Wayne Bayer, Albany

Holly Clark, Albany

Mark Hyland, Albany

Mike Kanuk, SUNY-East

William Wurster, Albany

Sam Stallone, Albany

Dylan Keenan, Albany

Denise Stephens, Albany

Lawrence DíArco, Albany

Rob McDonough, Albany

Ed Bradley, PEF

Josephine Rice, PEF

Management:

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

Nina White, DEC Employee Relations [Guest]

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.

1. Privatization

PEF/encon supports the goals of the Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) including toxic

waste reduction and the protection of both human health and the environment. The

Pollution Prevention Unit, which did similar work, was staffed by 17 civil servants in

1994 for $1.5 M, which is $2 M today. How many proposals did DEC receive? Does

OSC have an approval?

What are the proposed costs and cost breakdown for the proposals?

PEF provided Management with a breakdown of FY 05-06 contractor expenditures (excludes

IT). (Attach to minutes.)

Managementís response: The Department is required to include information related to Contract

Employees in its annual budget request. In State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2007-08, the Department estimated that

169 contract employees were providing services to the Department at an estimated average salary of

$199,834; the estimate for SFY 2008-09 is 159 employees at an estimated average salary of $198,843.

The number of employees was estimated using the annual contract expenditures in the current year

and dividing by the average annual salary for a typical consultant services contract. The annual salary

includes fringe benefits, indirect costs (i.e. rent and utilities) and non-personal services costs (i.e. supplies,

equipment, travel); actual salary costs would most likely range between $79,000 and $88,000. As itís

highest priority, the Department continues to fill all approved items. Contractors are hired on an asneeded

basis.

Since June 19, 2007, 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?

Does OSCís summary of responses to the requirements of Chapter 10 of the Laws of 2006

(Consultant Disclosure Legislation) show that personal services contracts with consultants

cost more per hour than the cost to use public employees (including benefits)?

Managementís response: As itís highest priority, the Department continues to fill all approved

items. Contractors are hired on an as-needed basis.

Executive Budget

How are the structural imbalances in the Conservation Fund ($21m), Environmental

Regulatory Account ($4.5m), Clean Air Fund ($6m), and Natural Resources Account ($2.3m)

being addressed?

Managementís response: These issues are being discussed during Budget negotiations.

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: Executive supported additional staff for a variety of offices. Four

items were approved in the Executive Budget. Three were for Invasive Species and one for the Canal

Mitigation Task Force.

Bulk Storage

Did Congress and the USEPA decide what funding might be available to the states to carry

out the various requirements of the Federal Energy Act legislation to increase inspections of

chemical and petroleum bulk storage facilities Federal law? Is the State willing to assume

some or all of EPAís responsibilities through delegation? What is the DEC's analysis of the

staffing impact and will increased staff be requested to do this work?

Managementís response: Since a Federal budget was not passed, Congress and the USEPA have

not made any decisions about what long term funding might be available to the states to carry out the

requirements of the Underground Storage Tank Compliance Act portion of the Energy Act. The

Department is using available resources to complete inspections at federally regulated bulk storage

facilities while also completing inspections at State-regulated facilities. The USEPA recently provided a

two year grant to the Department to complete inspections at federally regulated facilities. The Department

is continuing to review the resources needed to accept delegation from USEPA.

Contracting Out Computer Services

Can DEC fill positions from other higher grade titles and provide alternative promotional

opportunities?

Managementís response: Management to follow up. Update: The Personnel Office contacted

OFT and requested information on what they are doing. When this information is received, we will

evaluate whether it s something DEC could consider.

Did OSC approval of the five (5) year contract extension of DECALS?

PEF requests an update on the DECALS and Verizon User Acceptance Testing (UAT) of the

Sportsman Education Application?

Management's response: OSC approved the DECALS five (5) year contract extension and the

contract was signed in September 2007.

DECALS Update: The System Assessment was signed off by DEC which marks the finalization of

the initial system implementation. The contract extension has provisions for upgrading hardware and

software to make the system more cost effective and user friendly. Those activities have been initiated

and will continue for the next 12 - 18 months. The operational responsibility for the daily maintenance of

the servers, back-end hardware and software will remain with the vendor as stated in the contract

amendment. The Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources will continue to provide operational

management of the system through the administrative applications developed for the program.

UAT of Sportsman Education Update: The Sportsman Education system has been accepted from

Verizon and is currently being rolled out in a production status.

PEF requests a meeting with staff regarding contractor charges prior to the next meeting.

2. Work Schedule Flexibility

On 12/6/06, PEF/encon sent our original email to Jack McKeon forwarding our comments on

the draft guidelines and requesting a meeting to discuss. The response from Jack on 12/7/06

said that he would schedule a meeting of the joint committee. But, he never did that.

On 4/20/07, PEF/encon sent an email to Mike Lenane, again forwarding our comments on the

draft guidelines and requesting a meeting.

On 8/16/07, PEF/encon sent an email to Commissioner Grannis that included the 4/20/07

message and stated that we never received a response. Again, we didn't receive a response.

E-mails about CPP are sent to DEC Online Employee Suggestion Box, also asking to be

contacted, but no response so far.

As long as the average workweek can be construed to be 37.5 hours for both overtime eligible

and overtime ineligible employees, full time status and the concomitant accrual rates would be

maintained.

The VRWS Guidelines in the CBA state:

7. Coordination with Alternative Work Schedules: It is possible to coordinate VRWS

agreements with Alternative Work Schedule arrangements when desired by the employee and

consistent with operating needs.

Please provide analysis and consideration of objections to the proposed changes and

alternatives proposed.

One of the benefits of CPP is energy conservation, and other State agencies are already

using this program. (Hyland to provide more text.)

Managementís response: Program is under review by the Department of Civil Service. It then has

to be approved by GOER. After those approvals, plan will be issued.

3. Diversity

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

subcommittee representatives.

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

veterans?

Has DEC Legal completed review of this plan?

PEF requests copy of the most recent annual report.

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?

Managementís response: Information has been prepared to upgrade the Natural Resource

Supervisor position. It is currently being reviewed by Personnel.

b. Did Civil service approve DECís request that the examination for Biologist 1 be a "Rating

of Training & Experience"?

Managementís response: Civil Service did approve the format of T&E for the Biologist 1 but

we need to work with them to finalize the rating scale. Test possible in the spring.

5. Environmental Management Systems

Tabled

6. Civil Service

a. How many DEC positions are currently filled? If DOB projects 3,748 positions by 3/31/08,

what Programs and Regions are the additional staff to be allocated?

Managementís response: The Departmentís target for SFY 07/08 is 3,748. The Department

currently has 3,739 items filled. When 20 items for the upcoming Police Academy are factored in (thus

totaling 3,759 filled items) - the Department is actually 11 over target. Thru Pay Period # 24, there have

been 217 separations from the Department - through retirement or for some other reason. The Department

has hired 320 staff and has promoted 249 staff and reclassified 23 staff. In addition, 244

long-term seasonals became permanent.

b. Did DEC fill all waivers?

Management's response: The Department makes every attempt to fill every item as it becomes

available.

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

Environmental Engineering Technician and Environmental Analyst?

Management's response: No, they are still pending at Civil Service.

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 (33 to be exact) out of 90 positions.

Management's response: We would need to provide supporting documentation, and this would

need to be provided by the program. This will tie into the upcoming Parity Committee meeting.

e. Region One currently has no Foresters in the Bureau of Forestry, and there is no Manager

in the Bureau of Wildlife. What is being done to fill these positions?

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: The Region has attempted to fill the Manager (Biologist 2) position for

the Bureau of Wildlife without success. A waiver was recently received for a Forester 2, and the position

will be posted next week.

Management did attempt to make a provisional appointment for the Biologist 2 position for

Wildlife Manager but was overruled by Civil Service. With regard to the Forestry positions, the

appointment of Biologists for these titles would not be appropriate. Examinations for the Forester 1 and

Forester 2 titles are scheduled for December 1, 2007. We cannot make provisional appointments when

there is a eligible list.

f. When will Walt Linck and/or his item (23734) be returned to DEC from APA?

Managementís response: Walt Linck is a DEC exempt employee, assigned to APA.

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 welcome written suggestions from PEF.

PEF expressed their dissatisfaction with the Department concept of reclassifying positions

rather than filling positions from eligible lists. (PEF to provide their own statement.)

Managementís response: As noted above, over 230 staff have received promotions in SFY 07/08 and

21 items were reclassified. Obviously both promotions and reclassifications are priorities for the Department.

h. Acting Positions

What is the status of these acting positions:

Bureau Director, Remedial Bureau B

Section Chief D, Remedial Bureau B

Division Planning & Analysis Section Chief, Bureau of Program Management (vacant)

Bureau Director, Hazardous Waste & Radiation Management (vacant)

Managementís response: DER and S&HM do have the ability to make appointments. The

Department does not support the continuation of acting positions.

I. Interns

Tabled

7. Laboratory Consolidation

PEF/encon provided 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?

Management's response: As mentioned previously, no determination has been made with regard to

location. The report prepared by CUH2A considered only DEC divisions, not other Agencies. Any new

location would be appropriately sized.

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?

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.

8. Scheduling of L/M Meetings

PEF/encon proposes the following dates for 2008:

March 13, June 12 (Lake Placid), August 21 and December 4, 2008.

PEF/encon invites the Commissioner to attend the next meeting.

Managementís response: Management is in agreement on the dates.

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.

c. Kodak and the Department entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that

requires Kodak to fund environmental monitor positions under Kodak's Part 373 permit

when it is issued. These positions are currently funded under the MOU itself. Kodak's draft

Part 373 permit was public noticed in 2004, yet the permit has not been issued. Kodak and

the Department recently agreed to at least temporarily suspend processing of the Permit.

What are management's plans for funding these positions?

PEF requests Management to confirm that 2 monitor positions have been moved into the

program.

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?

c. Has OGS identified the funding allocation for AEDs in yearly increments through fiscal year

2009-10?

Managementís response: The Department was allocated a lump sum amount, the balance of which

rolls over with each fiscal year. Phase 1 has been completed. 221 units have been purchased and

installed. Currently looking at Phase 2 purchasing for secondary facilities and facilities needing

additional units. Working with EHS on a training program which will begin in January 2008Ė80 Central

Office responders. New legislation requiring legible signage at all main entrances specifying the locations

of all AEDs. Working with OR&L and Operations to implement this.

Management has worked with OR&L and established a dedicated respirator cleaning area on the

first floor. Expansion/upgrading will depend upon documented amount of usage.

MRSA fact sheet provided to Management by PEF. It will be included in the next e-News

article (H&S Corner).

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 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 Departmentís Continuity of Operations Plan under the direction of

the Office of Administration has been established to deal with this issue. No updates to provide.

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

Attorney General. On September 18, 2006 the Office of the Attorney General reminded

DEC that "category specific training" is not training on the specific toxic substances to

which employees are routinely exposed. DEC has agreed to provide appropriate training

material, once the list of toxic substances that employees are routinely exposed to is

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

exposed to provide appropriate training material?

Managementís response: This matter is still under investigation and Management feels it is

inappropriate to discuss this subject in this forum.

Management briefly mentioned the Pesticides/Parkinsonís Disease issue. A meeting has been

scheduled for 12/07/07 to discuss. The Division, Policy Office and PEF will participate.

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

off-ramp/Colonie Street).

Managementís response:

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

Broadway.

Managementís response:

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

building access.

Management stated that a briefing would be held prior to initiating the system. This briefing

was never held.

Managementís response:

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?

Managementís response:

e. When will DEC brief PEF on the new 625 Broadway hours of access policy?

Management stated that a briefing would be held on this item. The briefing was never held.

Managementís response:

12. Office Moves

a. Is construction for the additional 20,000 square feet at the New Paltz office Phase 1 (New

Addition) still scheduled for completion in November 2007 with Phase 2 (Renovation of

Existing Building) to begin December 2007 and final completion scheduled for April

2008?

Managementís response: As mentioned at previous meetings and, as an update, construction

began in January 2007 with Phase 1 (New Addition) and is scheduled for completion in February 2008.

Phase 2 (Renovation of Existing Building) is scheduled to begin in February 2008, and a final completion

date is scheduled for August 2008.

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 to provide

ample illumination on all parking areas, pathways, and sidewalks to prevent further

injuries to employees and to visitors to the building?

Managementís response: 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.

 

DEC                                                                                                  PEF/ENCON

Joseph A. Lattanzio                                                                         David J. Persson

DATE       3/13/08                                                                                 3/19/08

 

 

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Updated on November 29, 2016