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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Commissioner of Education does not have jurisdiction to consider classified service employee’s claims of alleged out-of-title work assignments

Commissioner of Education does not have jurisdiction to consider classified service employee’s claim of alleged out-of-title work assignments
Appeal of Robert Troeller from action of the New York City Department of Education regarding out-of-title work, Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision #16,326

The New York City Department of Education [DOE] assigned school plant managers to supervise private sector contract employees. Robert Troeller, a plant manager, appealed, contending that requiring plant managers to directly supervise private sector contract employees constituted out-of-title work in violation of Civil Service Law §61(2). Troeller asked the Commissioner to direct the DOE to discontinue the practice.

The Commissioner dismissed Troeller’s appeal “for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”

The Commissioner pointed out that Civil Service Law §17 vests jurisdiction to administer the provisions of the Civil Service Law with respect to the offices and employments in the Classified Service* of a political subdivision of the State in the responsible civil service commission, personnel officer or other form of civil service administration.** In the case of the City of New York, the City is empowered to administer the Civil Service Law through whatever form of administration it chooses to prescribe in its City Charter.

Under Civil Service Law §35(g), the Commissioner of Education has jurisdiction over the qualifications for appointment and duties and responsibilities of individuals employed in titles involving teaching and the supervising staff of school districts; i.e., individuals employed in positions in the Unclassified Service.

As the plant managers involved were not serving in positions that had been certified by the Commissioner of Education as being in the Unclassified Service pursuant to §35(g) of the Civil Service Law or otherwise so jurisdictionally by law, such positions were position in the Classified Service and the Commissioner did not have jurisdiction to consider the out-of-title claims advanced by the incumbents of those positions.

The Commissioner declined to exercise jurisdiction to review the matter pursuant to §310 of the Education Law and dismissed Troeller's appeal.”

* N.B. All positions in the classified service are in the competitive class unless placed in a different jurisdictional class by the responsible civil service commission or by statute. The Classified Service consists of four jurisdiction classes: the competitive class [CSL §44], the noncompetitive class [CSL §42], the exempt class [CSL §41] and the labor class [CSL §43].

** See, in particular, Civil Service Law §22.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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