The Reallocation process is a provision of the Master Agreement between SEIU Local 521 and the County. It grants eligible employees the right to have their positions studied for possible reallocation to a higher level classification. An employee may only request reallocation to an existing County classification, not request the creation of a new one. Only SEIU Local 521 employees covered by the Master Agreement (APT, Blue Collar, Clerical and Public Health Nursing) and Administrative Confidential Employees (ACE) Clerical are eligible to participate. The Environmental Health, Social Services and Supervisory bargaining units do not have rights to the Reallocation Window. The procedure is detailed in Article 20 - Classification, Section 20.2 – Allocation Review.
Factors that do not normally warrant classification changes are: exceptional qualifications of an incumbent beyond the needs of the position, a high level of performance in the position, increase in workload or high turn-over rate of staff. Classification factors that may warrant a reallocation include the following:
- Training & experience required to perform the work has changed;
- Decision making required of the position has increased;
- Level of contacts both inside and outside the agency have changed;
- Physical conditions have changed;
- Management responsibility of the position has changed (for example, full supervisory duties are now assigned, when lead work was previously performed).
Also, the Reallocation process is not the appropriate time for salary review. If a position is properly classified, there is no salary adjustment. Salary adjustments to a classification (realignments) are appropriate during contract negotiations.
On the first day of the Reallocation Window, electronic Reallocation Request Packets are made available via the County’s internet, intranet and on SEIU Local 521’s web site. Hard copy Reallocation Request Packets are available in the Departmental Service Centers. The Packets include forms for the employee to complete. There are also confidential sections to be completed by the employee’s supervisor and department head.
The employee’s management has the option of removing any higher level duties within twenty (20) working days from the receipt of the Reallocation Request. The employee is paid work-out-of-class (WOOC) for a period of twenty (20) working days prior to the date of receipt of the request. Human Resources (HR) works with the department to determine if higher level duties are actually being performed by the employee and to ensure they are removed properly.
Each Reallocation Request is assigned to a Human Resources Analyst. The employee’s packet is reviewed for the proper classification allocation. The Analyst will typically contact the incumbent to conduct an in-person interview regarding job duties and responsibilities. Often, the Analyst will request an interview with department management as well. The Analyst will then analyze all the data gathered to determine if the employee is properly classified.
After the interview, informal meetings called Pre-arbitration (pre-arb) hearings are held. At the pre-arbs the employee makes a presentation to the assigned Analyst as to why he/she believes a reallocation is warranted. The Analyst may ask further questions of the employee in the pre-arb. No new information may be presented by the County or the employee after the pre-arb meeting.
After the Pre-arb, HR sends a decision letter (grant or deny the reallocation) to each employee. If the request is denied, the County provides the reason for denial. If the incumbent and the Union choose to pursue a denied request, the employee may request an Allocation Review Board (ARB) hearing.
The ARB consists of three individuals with knowledge of the County classification structure or general classification principles. The County and Local 521 each have a representative and they both agree on a third person to sit on the Board, an arbitrator.
The County and Local 521 each present information supporting their respective positions. (For further details, see Article 20 – Classification, Section 20.2 – Allocation Review in the Master Agreement between SEIU Local 521 and the County.)
The ARB either determines that there is justification for the requested classification, and recommends granting the reallocation or upholds the County’s denial. It does not have the authority to provide any other decision such as an alternative classification to the one requested.
The ARB’s reallocation decisions require Board of Supervisors approval. It is expected that the County and the Union abide by the recommendations. However, either party may submit its position directly to the Board of Supervisors along with the ARB decision.
The Reallocations submitted to the Board for approval are effective the next pay period immediately following the ARB hearings. However, these reallocations are often processed retroactively due to deadlines for submittal of Legislative Files to the Board. Employees who are reallocated to a new classification must serve a subsequent probationary period.