Tag Archives: Governing

TEAM Act Gets Governing Note

The Volunteer State is creating a personnel environment more akin to the private sector, according to a Governing magazine review of the civil service overhaul recently approved by the Legislature.
On April 24, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act into law, ushering in a new era of civil service reform marked by the executive branch’s increased control over the hiring and firing of its state workers.
Like other states that have implemented civil service reform — including Florida, Georgia and Indiana — Tennessee will create a personnel environment more akin to the private sector. Once fully implemented, the TEAM Act will create two service divisions: “executive service,” made up mainly of senior-level positions, and “preferred service,” mostly comprised of middle management and front-line employees.
Those in executive service will remain at-will, meaning they can be fired at any time for any reason; while those in preferred service (formerly known as career service) will maintain a streamlined appeals process for wrongful termination.
In addition, the new law will: abolish the current hiring system in place of a new one; maintain the hiring preference given to veterans if two candidates are equal in experience and skill level; overhaul the state’s employee performance evaluation system; make job performance the primary consideration during layoffs; reduce the layoff notice timeframe to 30 days; and end “bumping,” the practice of laid-off employees snagging jobs away from less-experienced employees in similar positions.
(Note: Most of the rest of the article is a Q&A with Alexia Poe, the governor’s communications director, and Robert O’Connell, president of TSEA.)