Budget Primer

Section 5: State Employees

A major part of the state operations category of expenditures is salary and wage payments to employees. Public service in state government is divided into the classified service, unclassified service and non-classified service. The classified service comprises all positions in state service, now existing or to be created, except as specifically provided under Rhode Island General Laws for unclassified employees and for Higher Education non-classified employees. The classified service is divided into a competitive branch and a non-competitive branch.

Employees hired to fill positions in the classified service must be hired on the basis of merit and fitness and usually upon the basis of competitive examinations. The non-competitive branch includes positions that require the performance of routine tasks, or those that require licenses, certificates, or registrations. These employees are also promoted and discharged on the basis of rules and regulations established and administered by the Rhode Island merit system.

Certain positions are specifically designated for inclusion in the unclassified service. These positions are defined to include those in specific agencies, or types of agencies for specific purposes. Examples are employees of the General Assembly, elected officials, and employees of the courts. Compensation for unclassified positions is governed by the Unclassified Pay Board and other matters are governed by rules and regulations of the unclassified system.

State service also includes special types of positions. In addition to regular full time positions, there are seasonal positions in the classified service. Such positions require the employee to work an irregular schedule such that the employee is on call when needed, or for only a portion of the year, and only for a maximum of 925 hours in a 12-month period. Employees of the Department of Environment Management who staff the state's parks, beaches, and wildlands in the summer are an example of seasonal employees.


The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO)

Series 1: The State Budgeting Process

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