Creating higher-paying promotional opportunities, the Assembly has adopted a handful of new job classifications in response to changes in California's legislative term limits.
Calling it a staff retention plan, Assembly administrator Jon Waldie said the Rules Committee authorized two new positions and basically two step increases, with expanded duties, for existing office posts.
Voter passage of an initiative allowing lawmakers to serve 12 years in one legislative house, rather than six, means that aides can find themselves at the same job within a lawmaker's office for many years, with no vacancy to be promoted into, Waldie said.
"Your ability to rapidly move up in this organization is going to be stifled," Waldie said.
The Rules Committee approved the new classifications unanimously, Waldie said.
Salary scales for the new positions are expected to be set in coming days. It was not known Friday how many employees will be promoted into the new posts or how much their pay will rise.
Currently, the role of scheduler in an Assembly member's office often is filled by a secretary or legislative assistant. Thursday's vote created the new position of scheduler/legislative assistant, with the possibility of promotion to scheduler/senior assistant. Only one person in each office will handle scheduling, regardless of title.
The Rules Committee also created the new position of legislative director 1, with the possibility of promotion to legislative director 2. Though the Assembly had no such title last year, the duties of a legislative director often were handled by a legislative assistant or senior legislative assistant.
In what amounts to step increases for existing job classifications, Thursday's unanimous vote would allow a senior field representative to be promoted to principal field representative.
A principal consultant, in Assembly policy committees, could be elevated to deputy chief consultant.
Employees' job duties and the duration of time spent in previous classifications will be considered in approving promotions and setting pay, Waldie said.
The Senate has not taken similar action, but it has created the title of policy analyst as a lateral move for committee consultants who transfer to a senator's personal staff, said Greg Schmidt, Senate secretary.
The Senate's change was made partly to accommodate planned cuts in the number of select committees this year, Schmidt said.