A sweeping bill that would separate the personnel system for 45,000 District of Columbia employes from federal civil service procedures and require virtually all future D.C. employes to live in the city was approved yesterday by a committee of the City Council.
Under its provisions, the traditional system that automatically gives many city workers the same salary increases granted to federal employes would be replaced in 1980 by collective bargaining between unions and city officials.
In recommending the measure to the full council on a voice vote, the committee on government operations said its new uniform citywide procedures would replace an "inefficient hodge-podge" of 12 different wage and job-classification systems. All are tied one way or another to federal procedures.
The bill also would:
Raise the pay of the mayor from $52,500 to $60,000 a year and the pay of future council members from $23,444 to $36,000 plus $10,000 extra for the council chairman, with annual increases in the future.
Create a uniform job-classification pay and promotion system for all employes, including those of the school system and the University of the District of Columbia, and guarantee that none would have current pay or benefits reduced under the new system.
Prohibit strikes by public employes, recurring arbitration or similiar procedures to settle disputes.
Permit the mayor to appoint and remove department heads, who now are protected in their jobs by civil service rules.
Create a new corps of high-level political appointees who would work under department heads in policy-executing and confidential posts.
Adoption of a separate city personnel system was required by Congress in the home rule charter that went into effect in 1975. The charter sets a deadline of Jan. 1, 1980.
Arlington Dixon (D-Ward 4), committee chairman and chief sponsor of the bill, said early action is needed so city administrative officials can draft the complex rules under which the system will operate. Dixon said he expects to call the measure up for preliminary action by the full council July 25.
Approval is not certain. Spokesmen for unions representing city employes were generally guarded in their comments after the committee action yesterday.
"It will raise some problems," said Steve Koczak, assistant to the national president of the American Federation of Government Employes, the largest city employe union with 8,000 members. "The shift (in the method of setting wages) is too abrupt."
David Ryan, president of the fire fighters union, said he was generally pleased. "I don't think everybody got everything they wanted," Ryan said.
George R. Harrod, D.C. personnel director, said the measure is a good one that he would support.
Before approving the bill yesterday, the committee approved two major amendments and several lesser ones proposed by Marion Barry (D-At Large), a mayoral candidate.
One is the residency rule for new D.C. employes. It is a less strict version of one Barry had advocated in the past that would have required all city workers to live in the city in order to hold their jobs. That stirred angry opposition from employes who live in the suburbs.
Under the rule adopted yesterday, almost all persons hired after the bill goes into effect must live in the city or move into the city within six months in order to keep a municipal job. The exceptions are workers assigned to city facilities in the suburbs, such as Lorton Reformatory in Virginia or Laurel Childrens Center in Maryland.
The other major amendment eliminated a proposal under which current employes would have been permitted to hold jobs until their retirement under the old procedures related to the U.S. civil service, while new employes would come under new municipal rules.
Barry's amendment eliminated the dual system. All employes, old and new would come under th new rules when the city's new system goes into full effect in 1980.
The bill would maintain D.C. participation in U.S. Civil Service Commission retirement programs that cover many of its workers. The city would continue contributing to the federal pension funds. Other city workers are covered by separate municpal pension plans.
Although the new personnel measure requires that professional school and university personnel be covered by the new citywide procedures, programs affecting educational workers would be administered separately by the Board of Education and the University Board of Trustees.