United Public Employees.
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UPE News Item



The draft “Classification Review” released recently by management recommends, among other things, that the classifications of ES and HSS should be combined into a single classification with two levels. The classification review does not directly address the question of salaries, but it does state that the “cost impact” of upgrading some workers to a new higher-paid classification “will be somewhat mitigated” if other workers are moved to the lower proposed Level 1. This appears to contradict the DHA Director’s prior assurances that no one will suffer a loss of pay or status as a result of the classification study.

In addition, the classification review appears to make a distinction between workers who are currently in the same classification, based on how closely they are supervised and whether they perform duties which are “structured and repetitive” and “routine” as opposed to workers with “responsible and difficult” assignments. It seems likely the department has chosen these factors as the most important criteria for the class study.  UPE members can count on the union to fight against any unfairness in either the new proposed classification structure or in how our members are “allocated” to new classifications. But the way you complete your “Position Description Questionnaire” or “PDQ” could make a big difference in where you end up. So here are some suggestions for people who are working on their PDQ.


·      Click on this link to find the job specifications for ES, HSS, SES and the related classifications of Human Services Social Worker, Workforce Coordinator and Vocational Assessment Counselor. Borrow the wording from the job spec of your own classification or a similar classification for your answers in the PDQ. You don’t need to “re-invent the wheel”.

·      You may discover that some of your job duties are actually described in the job specs of another (possibly higher paid) classification. Don’t let that stop you from putting it into your PDQ. If it’s what you do, then put it in!

·      Emphasize the parts of your job that you perform without close supervision.

·      Emphasize the duties you perform which are “responsible and difficult”, requiring special knowledge and independent judgement.

·      If you perform duties or need “knowledge and abilities” in your job which are not already listed in your PDQ, then write them in. Remember that duties which are “structured and repetitive” or “routine” are NOT what will get you allocated to higher-paid classification.

·      A lot of people have expressed confusion about the meaning of “work products” in the PDQ. A suggestion: Most of the people who need to complete a PDQ could reasonably answer that their work products are “Public Assistance Benefits”, “Accurate determinations of eligibility for Public Assistance Benefits” and/or “Individual Service Plans for clients to facilitate self-sufficiency and employment”.

·      It’s a good idea to work on your PDQs as a group effort with co-workers who are in the same program and function. It saves time and effort, and “two heads are better than one”.

·      If you have already turned in your PDQ,, but would like to change your answers, submit an amended PDQ and ask for the first one to be disregarded.

·      Don’t forget that your completed PDQ must be given to your supervisor no later than 2/4/17.

·      And Remember: Your supervisor is supposed to give you time off the schedule to complete your PDQ. Ask for it!




United Public Employees
9333 Tech Center Drive, #300
Sacramento, CA  95826
Phone: 916-736-9503
Fax: 916-736-9506