Commissioner of Education lacks jurisdiction to consider an appeal from a person dismissed from a position in the Classified Service
Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision No. 16,620
An Education Analyst [EA] filed an appeal with the Commissioner of Education challenging the New York City Department of Education’s terminating her employment and sought an order by the Commissioner directing the Department to reinstate her to her "former job status and title with full benefits."
The Department claimed that EA “was a probationary employee appointed to a civil service position [i.e., a position in the classified service] who failed to meet its expectations, that she was terminated from her position during her probationary period, and that its actions were legal, proper and reasonable.”*
The Commissioner said that the appeal must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction explaining 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 in the applicable civil service commission, personnel officer or other form of civil service administration.
In 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. Further, said the Commissioner, Civil Service Law §102(3) vests jurisdiction to address alleged violations of the Civil Service Law in State Supreme Courts.
In contrast, the Commissioner noted that under of the Civil Service Law §35(g), the Commissioner of Education has jurisdiction over positions certified as positions involving teaching and the supervisory staff of school districts and BOCES, i.e., positions in the Unclassified Service.
The position of Education Analyst, however, is not among the positions that have been certified by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to §35 (g) of the Civil Service Law as a position involving teaching or being a member of the supervisory staff of a school district or a BOCES. To be considered a pedagogical position for which certification by the Commissioner is required the position must involve teaching or “the function of administration of teaching, i.e., supervision and direction of supervisors, principals and all other members of the teaching and supervisory staffs.”
Finding that there was no evidence in the record that EA’s job duties involved teaching or the supervision of pedagogical staff, the Commissioner said that “It is well settled that the termination of a classified [service] employee is not the proper subject of an appeal brought pursuant to §310 of the Education Law" and dismissed EA’s appeal.
*The Civil Service of the State of New York consists of positions jurisdictionally classified as being in the Unclassified Service and positions jurisdictionally classified as being in the Classified Service. In addition, there are a number of positions in the Military Service of the State.