Proposed Changes to State Information Technology Workforce

TSEA April 10, 2013 Comments Off on Proposed Changes to State Information Technology Workforce
Proposed Changes to State Information Technology Workforce

TSEA has been made aware of changes scheduled to occur within the Information Technology (IT) organizations within state government. We are still in the process of gaining more information regarding the proposal, but have learned the following:

In January of this year, the State of Tennessee entered into a contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), to conduct an assessment of the information technology (IT) organizations in twenty (20) State of Tennessee departments or agencies. This process, called a Next Generation Information Technology Assessment (NextGen IT), will “determine current and future IT support needs and will recommend practical ways to improve the quality of the IT services provided.”

According to the Request for Proposals (RFP), SAIC “will interview the IT Management personnel and support staff” of each of the twenty departments and “will use other information-gathering techniques, such as documentation reviews and questionnaires, as needed, to form a complete picture of the IT requirements and capabilities” of each department.

As part of this process, SAIC will recommend to each department the creation of new IT positions. If the department accepts and decides to implement this recommendation, these new positions would replace positions already in existence and filled. Persons presently occupying the position to be replaced and other impacted persons within that agency will have the first opportunity to interview for the new job. If that employee meets the minimum qualifications of the new position and possesses the required knowledge, skill, abilities, and competence (KSAC), he/she may be hired. If that employee meets the minimum qualifications for the new job, but does not possess the required KSACs, he/she may be hired through a “mismatch” and given the opportunity to attend the state’s new IT Academy, which will open for business on July 1, 2013.

Second priority for interviews for the new job will go to impacted staff from other agencies. Third priority will go to any qualified state employee. Only after these priorities are exhausted will the position be posted for candidates outside state service. When the new position is filled, the old position will be eliminated. If the employee in the old position is not hired in the new position, he or she will either be reassigned to a vacant position or will leave state employment as a part of a reduction in force (RIF).

For employees who are hired into new positions, salary adjustments will be made in accordance with DOHR promotion and demotion policy. The timing of any of these changes adopted by an agency will be up to that agency to determine.

This situation causes a lot of stress for IT workers, who are calling TSEA for assistance because they are concerned about their future. Employees are frustrated that they may have to re-apply for their jobs and are worrying about whether or not they will meet the new requirements.

We believe the “IT Academy” should be used to bring all current workers up to speed with any revised job qualifications to ensure no employee is displaced during this process and to reduce the stress on good employees.

TSEA will provide more updates as further information is made available.