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Responding to changes in California's legislative term limits, the Assembly has approved a handful of new job classifications to create higher-paying promotional opportunities in an era when staff turnover is expected to be less frequent.

Calling it a staff retention plan, Assembly administrator Jon Waldie said the Rules Committee has authorized two new positions and basically two step increases for existing classifications, with expanded duties.

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.

Currently, the role of scheduler in an Assembly member's office often is filled by a secretary or legislative assistant. Thursday's action creates the new position of scheduler/legislative assistant, with the possibility of promotion to scheduler/senior assistant.

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.

Salary scales for the newly approved classifications are expected to be set in coming days, he 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.


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