Personnel Commission and the Merit System
What is a Personnel Commission?
Since its adoption in 1989, the Personnel Commission has been the mainstay of the merit system in Torrance Unified School District. In accordance with Education Code § 45220-45320, the Personnel Commission is responsible for:
- establishing and interpreting classified rules and regulations governing District personnel practices
- administering objective and job-related recruitment, examination and selection processes to ensure the hiring and promotion of employees based upon ability and performance
- creating and maintaining a classification position plan
- recommending and ensuring fair compensation - like pay for like service - for classified employees
- investigating and conducting employee disciplinary hearings and appeals
Ultimately, the Personnel Commission is charged with ensuring fair and objective treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to political affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religious creed and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights as citizens.
How was a Personnel Commission first created?
Personnel Commissions and Civil Service Commissions were formed in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s at the federal and state levels as a response to “spoils systems” where government employees were hired as a result of election paybacks for political support. The “spoils systems” allowed for arbitrary hiring and firing of employees and failed to promote the efficiency and economy of public service. In 1936, the first laws of the merit system were established for school districts nationwide, starting with Los Angeles Unified School District.
Currently, the merit system operates in approximately 100 California school district and employ almost 70 percent of the total classified school employees in the state.
What are the Merit Principles?
The Merit System encompasses these basic principles and concepts:
- Hiring and promoting employees on the basis of ability, with open competition in initial appointment.
- Providing fair compensation.
- Retaining employees on the basis of performance. Correcting inadequate performance, and separating those whose inadequate performance cannot be corrected.
- Training employees as needed for high quality performance.
- Assuring fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to political affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex or religious creed and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights as citizens.
- Protecting employees against political coercion and prohibiting use of official position to affect an election or nomination for office.