“UPEA successfully secured so many wins during Utah’s 2022 Legislative Session – I’d like to tell you the story of just one of those…”
UPEA successfully secured so many wins during Utah’s 2022 Legislative Session – I’d like to tell you the story of just one of those wins.
During the 2020 election season, UPEA became aware of a campaign to do away with the Career Service System in the State of Utah. This has been an ongoing issue in state government for over a decade. During this time the legislature, DHRM, and other state departments have acted, and in many cases, not acted on suggestions to improve employee pay, training, and performance – these instances were later identified in the 2021 Follow-up Audit to the State’s Career Service System.
In 2010 the legislature passed HB 140, Human Resource Management Amendments, which in part, directed the State of Utah to provide management training for supervisors in the executive branch. This bill also provided direction for employee pay increases to award successful job performance. In general, these directives from the legislature were not followed.
In the 12 years since HB 140 passed, UPEA has advocated for this policy and provided suggestions on how to best implement the provisions of HB 140. Those who work for the state know that implementation has, in large part, not been done. There have been some exceptions where UPEA has been able to help legislators pass bills to help some public employees – In those cases, UPEA has been able to help construct applicable legislation and funding.
During the 2021 Legislative Session, Representative Christofferson offered his solution in HB 280, State Employment Amendments. This bill proposed re-establishing a pay plan for employees. It also required all newly assigned supervisors and managers to be career service exempt employees. Long story short, this bill did not pass.
UPEA started working with Representative Christofferson and other stakeholders to improve the bill over the interim. Representative Christofferson introduced HB 104, State Employment Amendments, at the start of the 2022 Legislative Session. Through the initial weeks of the session, UPEA continued to lobby for grievance protection, pay for performance incentives, and management training to be included in the bill, despite consistent pushback from the Division of Human Resource Management.
UPEA members contacted their legislators, asking them to support the UPEA inspired protections in the bill. UPEA staff, legislative consultants, and members all contributed to the Association’s lobbying efforts. After several substitute bills were proposed, 3rd Substitute House Bill 104 passed the legislature with numerous employee-friendly improvements, including language to implement a pay for performance plan and guardrails for Schedule AX employees. Click here for a full recap of HB 104.
There is still so much work to be done, the goal has not yet been reached. UPEA staff, consultants, officers, Board of Directors, and Advisory Council are constantly working on a plan to achieve those goals.
– UPEA President, Dennis Kay