SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

Governor Jan Brewer: Nearly 40 percent of eligible state employees voluntarily choose uncovered status

Employees see opportunity for advancement, support Governor’s personnel plan
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PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer recently announced that 38 percent of state employees who were eligible have volunteered to transition to an uncovered, “at-will” status under the state of Arizona’s new personnel plan. According to the Arizona Department of Administration, of the 13,761 state employees eligible to voluntarily uncover, 5,276 (38%) opted to do so.

 “These figures show that state employees want to be accountable for their performance and rewarded for their achievement, just the same as their peers in the private sector,” said Governor Brewer. “This can only mean good things for state government as we strive to make our operations more effective for recipients of state services and more efficient for Arizona taxpayers.”

During the 2012 legislative session, Governor Brewer made it a priority to revamp the state’s personnel system. The existing system had become outdated and tied-up in bureaucratic red tape that hindered supervisors from quickly hiring the best applicants, adequately rewarding their best workers and disciplining problem employees. The personnel rules were increasingly considered an obstacle to recruiting and maintaining a quality workforce – a critical concern, as about one-third of state employees will be retirement-eligible within five years.

The Governor’s plan, which became known as HB 2571, addresses those concerns by giving state supervisors and managers new flexibility with which to manage their workforce. The Arizona Legislature strongly supported the reforms, and Governor Brewer signed HB 2571 into law in May.

With implementation of the new personnel plan, 6,616 state employees – largely supervisors and upper-level employees, along with attorneys and IT personnel – automatically moved to uncovered, “at-will” status. Another 5,276 state employees voluntarily opted for uncovered status. With the change, roughly 70 percent of the state workforce now will operate under uncovered status. Additionally, all future state hires will be uncovered. Each of the state’s uncovered employees, including those who voluntarily moved to that status, will receive a 5 percent pay bonus for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“The fact that nearly 5,300 state employees made this transition voluntarily is the biggest possible endorsement of our new personnel system,” said Governor Brewer. “I look forward to seeing these changes pay-off in terms of state employees who are motivated to excel and rewarded for their performance.”

Click here for more information on state personnel.