Senate Approves Civil Service Modernization Measure

The Senate today approved Senate Bill 1154, a measure introduced by Senator Randy Vulakovich that would streamline and modernize Pennsylvania’s Civil Service Act.

“This legislation will place the Commonwealth more in line with hiring practices of the private sector and civil service agencies in other states while maintaining the merit-based and non-political nature of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission’s hiring process,” Senator Vulakovich said.  “With 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s workforce classified as civil service employees, Senate Bill 1154 will ensure that vacancies are filled with qualified people in a timely manner.”

The bill would allow applicants to be notified of an open job or test by methods other than the US Mail, such as by email. It would also expand the “Rule of Three” by giving the Commission the option to provide agencies with a list of more than three applicants.

“This would create a stronger pool of qualified and capable candidates to fill positions,” said Senator Vulakovich. “Senate Bill 1154 does not affect the absolute Veterans Preference already in law.  Instead, by expanding the “Rule of Three” we will see more veterans interviewed and hired by the Commonwealth.”

Senate Bill 1154 would allow for “vacancy-based hiring,” which will permit the Civil Service Commission to post actual job vacancies, rather than a general list of job classifications.

“Currently a prospective employee applies for job classifications — not an actual open position — and is placed on a list,” said Senator Vulakovich. “Agencies must review applicant lists to determine availability and interest when a job becomes available.  This provides for an unnecessary delay that wastes an applicant’s time and the agency’s time, which can be eliminated by posting specific jobs and allowing prospective employees to apply for them.”

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Contact:         Charlie O’Neill                       (717) 787-6538           or             coneill@pasen.gov