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City makes employee 'bumping' harder

Altered titles meant to make it more difficult for employees to move around.

November 01, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

The City Council unanimously approved changing many job classifications at City Hall on Tuesday in order to avoid a “bumping” process that allows employees in one department who are set to be laid off from taking over the job of a less senior employee in another department.

The move was made because problems can arise when a person in the new position doesn’t have the right skills for that job, officials said.

Although the city can’t change the process without taking a Charter amendment to a public vote, the council can make the job titles more specific, minimizing employees’ abilities to move around.

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In 2012, the council eliminated more than 150 positions by axing positions, laying off employees, and offering early retirements to help close a $15.4-million budget gap. Some remaining employees then bumped from department to department to stay employed, as allowed by city rules.

Now with more specific titles, an administrative analyst in the Glendale Police Department with crime analysis experience, for instance, can’t transfer into an administrative analyst job in the Public Works Department that coordinates recycling programs, said Human Resources Director Matt Doyle.

Some of the new classifications include a filming permit specialist in the City Clerk’s office and a code compliance inspector in the Community Development Department.

While most changes only affect titles, some will have a salary impact. According to a city report, the changes will cost the city about $147,000 annually and $98,000 through this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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