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Letter to the Editor - Diversity at the Top: The Chief, Friday July 16, 2010

Racial and Gender Diversity in the Management Service –

To the Editor:

The recent news reports of the racial and gender percentages for the managers in City government do not consider the underlying causes which must be addressed before the situation improves. The lack of diversity from top to bottom of the management ranks starts at the entry level. The most important impediment to career civil servants, the majority of whom are female and racial minorities, to accepting entry level managerial positions is the loss of pay and benefits. Many entry level managers earn less than their subordinates.

The Pay Plan Schedule for Managerial Employees shows the starting salary for an entry level manager is only $49,492 Employees being promoted to the entry level receive at most an 8% raise. Many receive only a $1,000 differential.

Managers do not receive overtime compensation while non-managers can work overtime for time or money.

Managers do not receive longevity increases. Most non-mangers receive contractually guaranteed salary increases based on years of service in a title.

Retiring managers are immediately dropped from payroll. Non-managers stay on payroll until their accumulated leave time is exhausted.

Retiring managers receive only one day of sick pay for every three days earned over 60 days. Non-managers receive one day of sick pay for every two days earned.
Provisional managers (many who are pure provisional) are hired at mid level and upper level positions. There are a disproportionate number of white males who are hired at higher salaries than their civil servant counterpart.
Lower level managers are not offered staff development, mentoring, grooming for positions at the mid and upper level managerial positions despite outstanding performance and loyalty to City government.
Managers should be offered free tuition at the City University to increase the pool of employees eligible for mid- and upper level managerial positions.
Each agency has its own salary adjustment procedure. This process can be subjective and does not have any set standards/criteria for approval.

The Office of Collective Bargaining has over the past five years downgraded Administrative Job Opportunity Specialists Levels I and II, Administrative Managers Levels I and II and Administrative Staff Analysts Level I from managerial to non-managerial. This reduces the number of women and minorities in the managerial service by several hundred. It also limits their mobility to rise in the management ranks where the higher salaries are available. This is antithetical to the civil service system, which rewards competent employees who pass promotional exams.

The reality on the ground is many women and minority civil servants must sacrifice to take a promotion as an entry level managerial position because of the loss of net income. This is especially true for heads of households and sole supports of a household. Unless and until these discrepancies are addressed, the percentage of women and minority managers at the entry level will remain below the percentages in the total work force.
This failure to attract talented new career civil service managers will continue to exacerbate the problem of too few women and minority upper and mid managers.

Economic equity aka parity benefits everyone. People perform at their best when they know the playing field is equal. The city should look at equalization of all managerial titles again based on performance, responsibility, and a blend of experience and education.

Stuart Eber, President
New York City Managerial Employees Association

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