CHAPTER 436

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 518

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 59, TITLE 29, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MERIT EMPLOYEE RELATIONS BOARD AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE MERIT SYSTEM.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Section 5906, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting said Section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§5906. Composition of the Merit Employee Relations Board.

(a) The Merit Employee Relations Board shall consist of 5 Board Members, including two management representatives, two labor representatives and a chairperson. The Governor shall appoint, with Senate approval, the Members for a term of 3 years, or until their successors are appointed; provided, however, that members may be removed at the pleasure of the Governor.

(b) When appointed, members shall be residents of this State for at least 3 years immediately preceding their appointments. One member shall reside in the City of Wilmington, one shall reside in the remainder of New Castle County, and one each shall reside in each of the other two counties of the State. The fifth member may reside anywhere in the State. The qualifications for members shall
continue during their term of office.

(a) The State Personnel Director, or the Director's designee, shall be the liaison between the Board and the State Personnel Office and shall attend all meetings of the Board. The Director shall not participate in the deliberation
of any cases before the Board, nor sit with members of the Board, during the hearing or deliberations. The Director or the Director's designee shall be
limited to representing and/or testifying on behalf of the State Personnel Office and other State agencies before the Board.

(b) The Merit Employee Relations Board shall have clerical and legal support staff separate from the staff of the State Personnel Office, and such staff shall be located separate from the State Personnel Office."

Section 2. Amend Section 5907, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 5907. Powers, Duties and Functions of the Board.

In addition to the duties set forth elsewhere in this Chapter, and consistent with the right of public employees to organize under Chapter 13 of Title 19, the Board shall:

(1) Request that the State Personnel Director investigate problems or complaints arising from the implementation of the Merit System and the effect of Merit policies and procedures on employees in the classified service;

(2) Appoint one or more members from its own membership to act as representatives of the Board at any meeting where such representation is deemed desirable;

(3) Require the Director to submit all proposed Merit Rule revisions to the Statewide Labor-Management Committee for review and comment prior to submission to the Board for public hearing and adoption;

(4) Make an annual report to the Governor, and special reports and recommendations upon the Governor's request."

Section 3. Amend Section 5908, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 5908. Organization and Meetings of the Board.

(a) The Board shall meet as often as necessary to assure the timely disposition of cases. The Chair shall cause reasonable notice to be given to each Board member and the State Personnel Director of the time and place of each meeting. Three members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting.

(b) Each Board member shall be paid $100 for each day devoted to Board business, not to exceed $4,000 annually. Members shall be entitled to reimbursement for travel in accordance with State guidelines."

Section 4. Amend Section 5910, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 5910. Director of Personnel.

(a) A Director of Personnel shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director shall be a person qualified by knowledge, training and experience to perform the duties of the office. The Director shall receive such compensation as may be authorized by the Governor within the appropriation of the General Assembly.

(b) The Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and may be removed by the Governor at any time.

(c) The Director, as liaison between the Board and the State Personnel Office, shall cooperate with the staff of the Board with its administrative and technical activities.

(d) The Director of State Personnel shall be responsible for the clerical administration of all State pension funds. The Director shall have the authority to recommend to the Governor such changes as may be desirable in the pension system for employees in the classified service."

Section 5. Amend Subparagraph (1), Section 5911, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting the words its secretary and keep minutes of its proceedings" and substituting in lieu thereof the following: "liaison between the Merit Employee Relations Board and the State Personnel Office".

Section 6. Amend Section 5914, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 5914. Rules; Hearing; Adoption.

The Director shall prepare and submit to the Board proposed rules covering the classified service. The rules shall be reviewed by the Board at a public hearing held following public notice. The rules, as proposed by the Director, shall become final upon the completion of the public hearing, unless rejected by a majority of the members appointed to the Board."

Section 7. Amend Section 5931, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"The rules shall provide for the establishment of a plan for resolving employee grievances and complaints. The final two steps of any such plan shall provide for hearings before the Director or the Director's designee and before the Board, respectively, unless a particular grievance is specifically excluded or limited by the Merit Rules. The Director and the Board, at their respective steps in the grievance procedure, shall have the authority to grant back pay, restore any position, benefits or rights denied, place employees in a position they were wrongfully denied, or otherwise make employees whole, under a misapplication of any provision of this chapter or the Merit Rules. The rules shall require that the Board take final action on a grievance within 90 calendar days of submission to the Board. Upon approval of all parties, the 90 days may be extended an additional 30 calendar days."

Section 8. Amend Subsection (a), Section 5949, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by adding after the last sentence the following:

The rules shall require that the Board take final action on an appeal within 90 calendar days of submission to the Board. Upon approval of all parties, the 90 days may be extended an additional 30 calendar days."

Section 9. Amend Sections 5901 through 5954, Chapter 59, Title 29, Delaware Code, by striking the words "State Personnel Commission" and substituting the words "Merit Employee Relations Board," and by striking the word "Commission" and substituting the word "Board".

Approved July 14, 1994.