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Council Proposes Change to City Charter regarding Civil Service hirings

Oct 07, 2015
Cleveland City Council approved a measure in August that will ask city voters in the November 3 election whether to change the City Charter with regards to hiring police officers and other civil service employees.

Currently, the City Charter allows for the Civil Service Commission to present only three of the highest scorers on a Civil Service test for consideration in filling a vacant position.

The proposed charter change would allow a city department to consider 10 – rather than three -- of the top test scorers, based on interview and test scores, when filling a position. This proposed change will mirror the state’s civil service rules in hiring.

While asking voters to make this modification in the City Charter has been discussed for some time, the recent federal consent decree quickened the pace of this change. 

“The Mayor will work with the City Council to develop an ordinance to place a Charter Amendment on the ballot that would give the appointing authority greater flexibility in the selection of candidates from the certified eligibility list for the CDP (Cleveland Police Department),” the decree states on page 70. 

The charter change will affect all civil service employees, not just the police department, and it does not affect the policy on promotions.

Also included in the measure is changing the number of times a candidate who is passed over can stay on the list for future hires. Currently, a candidate can be considered three times before being omitted from the list. The revised language increases it to four times. In both cases the decision to remove the person is discretionary; they can stay on the list for new hires.
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PUBLIC NOTICE
NOVEMBER 3, 2015 ELECTION - BALLOT ISSUE 20, CITY OF CLEVELAND
On August 19, 2015, Cleveland City Council passed Ordinance No. 842-15 authorizing the submission to the electors of the City of Cleveland of a proposal to amend the Charter of the City of Cleveland by amending existing Sections 131 and 133, relating to civil service appointments and promotions wherever practicable.  The question of amending the Cleveland’s Charter with the language printed below will be on the November 3, 2015 ballot in the City of Cleveland as Issue 20.

Section 131.  Appointments
When any position in the classified service, except the general labor class, is to be filled, the appointing authority shall notify the Commission of the fact and the Commission shall certify to the authority the names and addresses of the ten candidates standing highest on the eligible list for the class or grade to which that position belongs. The appointing authority shall appoint to that position one of the ten persons whose names are certified. When the eligible list contains less than ten names, those names shall be certified, from which the appointing authority may appoint one for that position.  A person certified from the eligible list more than four times to the same appointing authority for a position of the same or similar classification may be omitted from future certification, but certification for a temporary appointment shall not be counted as one of the certifications. 

When any position in the general labor class is to be filled, the appointing authority shall notify the Commission of that fact, and the number to be appointed whereupon the Commission shall certify to the appointing officer the names and addresses of twice the number of candidates required to fill the position or positions in the order of their standing on the appropriate eligible list. The appointing officer shall, without restriction as to order, appoint to the position or positions from among the candidates so certified. The name of a person, not selected for appointment, whose standing on the eligible list is above the names of the last person appointed from that certification, shall not be again certified, except upon request, to the same appointing officer. The name of a person not selected for appointment, after being certified to two separate appointing officers shall not again, except upon request of an appointing officer, be certified, but certification for a temporary appointment shall not be counted as one of the certifications.

All original and promotional appointments shall be for a probationary period of not to exceed six months to be fixed by the rules of the Commission, and no appointment or promotion shall be deemed finally made until the appointee has satisfactorily served his or her  probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, the appointing officer shall transmit to the Commission a record of the employee’s service certifying that the service has been satisfactory or unsatisfactory and if the service is unsatisfactory, the employee may, with the approval of the Commission, be removed or reduced without restriction; but dismissal or reduction may be made during that period, as is provided for in Section 121 of the Charter.

When no eligible list for a position exists, or when the eligible list has become exhausted and until a new list can be created, names may be certified from the eligible list most nearly appropriate to the position to be filled.

Section 133   Promotions Wherever Practicable
Wherever practicable, vacancies shall be filled by promotion.  Any advancement in rank or increase in salary beyond the limits fixed for the grade shall constitute a promotion.  Lists shall be created and promotions made therefrom of candidates in the same manner as in original appointments, except that the Commission shall certify the names and addresses of the three candidates standing highest on the eligible list for the class or grade to which the promotional position belongs and the appointing authority shall appoint one of the three persons whose names are certified; and provided, however, that less than three shall constitute an eligible list, and the appointing authority shall appoint from the eligible list.