The Personnel System Reform Act (PSRA) provides for collective bargaining of wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment with classified employees of state agencies and higher education institutions. Employees covered by the PSRA include all state civil service employees, unless an exemption applies. One such exemption is for confidential employees. Confidential employees include employees who assist assistant attorneys general (AAGs) who advise and represent managers or confidential employees in personnel or labor relations matters, or who advise or represent the state in tort actions. In 2019 the Legislature granted AAGs the right to collective bargaining under the PSRA.
The definition of "confidential employee" under the PSRA is amended to remove assistants to AAGs who advise and represent the state in tort actions. Therefore, those employees are not precluded from collective bargaining under the PSRA.
(In support) The legislation that passed two years ago allowed the AAGs to bargain, so the attorneys of the Torts Division can collectively bargain but the paralegals who assist them cannot bargain. This is due to the definition in the statute. Professional staff in this division want to be included in the process and want to join the bargaining unit of other professional staff of the Attorney General's Office.
(In support) The professional employees at the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) have been working through bargaining and discovered that this group of staff is prohibited from participating in the bargaining unit. The exception that keeps them out is obscure, and it should be corrected. A paralegal in the Torts Division at the AGO, was surprised to discover being classified as a confidential employee and unable to join the bargaining unit.