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Chesko v. Illinois Civil Service Commission

January 27, 2005

DAVID CHESKO, LISA HENDERSON, AND CINDY SNYDER, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,
v.
THE ILLINOIS CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County. No. 01MR679. Honorable Leslie J. Graves, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Cook

Plaintiffs, employees of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) whose classification is "Day Care Licensing Representative" (DCLR), filed a complaint for administrative review of a decision of the Illinois Civil Service Commission (Commission). The Commission approved class revisions advanced by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) that did not include DCLRs. The DCLRs claimed their exclusion from the revision resulted in their losing pay-scale parity and bumping and bidding rights with the classes that were revised. The DCLRs claimed the failure to include them in the revisions violated the Personnel Code (20 ILCS 415/1 through 25 (West 2002)), and the circuit court agreed, finding the amendments were arbitrary. The circuit court then certified three questions of law for appeal:

[9]     "1. Whether a decision of the Commission to approve a reclassification plan is subject to administrative review and, if so, what is the appropriate standard of review.

2. Whether an employee whose position is not included in a reclassification plan, but whose terms and conditions of employment are adversely affected by a reclassification plan, has standing to bring a claim for ad-ministrative review of the reclassification plan.

3. Whether an employee whose position is not included in a reclassification plan, but whose terms and conditions of employment are adversely affected by a reclassification plan, has a statutory right to appeal that plan to the Commission pursuant to section 10(5) of the Personnel Code (20 ILCS 415/10(5) (West 2002))."

We find as follows:

1. Approval of amendments to the classi-fication plan is a quasi-legislative function of the Commission and is not subject to ad-ministrative review.

2. Whether plaintiffs have standing is irrelevant as administrative review is not appropriate.

3. Section 10(5) of the Personnel Code does not apply in this case; therefore, plain-tiffs did not have a statutory right to appeal the plan to the commission. 20 ILCS 415/10(5) (West 2002).

We vacate the trial court's judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

The state classification plan (plan) categorizes all state jobs subject to the jurisdiction of CMS according to "similarity of duties performed, responsibilities assigned, and conditions of employment so that the same schedule of pay may be equitably applied to all positions in the same class." 20 ILCS 415/8a(1) (West 2002). Subject to the approval of the Commission, the Director of CMS is responsible for the "preparation, maintenance, and revision" of the plan. 20 ILCS 415/8a(1) (West 2002). The Commission reviews the class specifications and approves those that meet the requirements of the Personnel Code and Personnel rules (80 Ill. Adm. Code §1.45 (Conway Greene CD-ROM March 2002)). The following principles must be met for the Commission to approve the specifications:

"(a) The specifications are descriptive of the work being done or which will be done;

(b) Identifiable differentials are set forth among classes which are sufficiently significant to permit the assignment of in-dividual positions to the appropriate class;

(c) Reasonable career promotional appoint-ments are provided;

(d) The specifications provide a reason-able and valid basis for selection screening by merit examinations;

(e) All requirements of the positions are consistent with classes similar in difficulty, complexity, and nature of work." 80 Ill. Adm. Code ...


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