TSEA has a number of bills before the legislature this year, and two very important bills regarding the reductions in force (RIF) process will be heard this week in committee.
HB 1748: The House State Government Subcommittee will discuss TSEA’s bill, which would require that any layoffs in excess of 10 state employees not included in the state budget proposals be approved before the General Assembly, on Wednesday, February 5th at 3:00 PM. This bill is in response to last year’s closing of Career Centers in the Department of Labor. The legislature heard about these layoffs in the last two days of session, after the state budget and reductions in force therein had already been approved by both houses.
Both TSEA and your legislators agree that the legislature should have been fully informed of the department’s intentions during the budget process.
Action Required: We are asking that you contact your representatives on the House State Government Subcommittee to explain to them why this bill is so important before Wednesday at 3:00 PM CST.
The message you should deliver is short and simple:
“I am asking you to support this bill, HB1748, as a state employee and constituent of yours. You are my only voice and I believe that the legislature should know the intentions of an agency and how it affects state services in their district. State employees propose this bill to encourage agencies to make their staffing decisions during legislative session, instead of after our voice has gone home.”
It is important that you only make contact if you are a constituent of one of these representatives. At this stage of the process, it is ineffective to have mass phone calls from across the state come to the members of these subcommittees. Should that become necessary, please be assured that we will let you know.
Bill Sanderson, Chair (District 77: Obion, Lake, and Dyer Counties)
Phone: (615) 741-0718
Sheila Butt (District 64: Maury County)
Phone: (615) 741-3005
Joshua Evans (District 66: Robertson County)
Phone: (615) 741-2860
Ryan Haynes (District 14: Knox County)
Phone: (615) 741-2264
Johnny Shaw (District 80: Hardeman and Madison Counties)
Phone (615) 741-4538
Kent Williams (District 4: Unicoi and Carter Counties)
Phone (615) 741-7450
SB2022: The other bill being heard this week is concerning the contracting out of state services and its fiscal impact on the state. Because many contracts are being used to replace state employees and there is no real process to evaluate if these contracts are actually saving money for the state, or if they are a creating a service that is more efficient, TSEA would like the layoff policy recently established in the TEAM Act to ensure these efforts to privatize state functions are actually in the best interests of the State.
This bill will likely take a few weeks to discuss before the committee makes a decision, so we will let you know when it is time to contact the members of this committee.
The Senate State & Local Committee meets Tuesday, February 4th at 10:30 AM.