ALBANY — The New York State Department of Civil Service recently released guidance on the application of a new law that requires any time spent as a provisional employee to be counted toward an employee’s probationary term upon receiving a permanent appointment to the same title.

This law, which went into effect on Sept. 7, 2023, was one of CSEA’s priority bills this year. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill into law that day during a CSEA and AFSCME news conference at which the governor, CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan and AFSCME International President Lee Saunders discussed our union’s work to boost public sector staffing.

The new law affects nearly 18,000 provisional employees who work for the state, local government agencies and school districts.

Before this law, an employee could be in provisional status for months or even years, and then finally take an exam to get a permanent appointment. Once appointed to a permanent role, the employee would then be subject to a full probationary period, regardless of how long they were provisional.

Under the new law, any time a CSEA member is in a provisional title will count towards any required probationary period as long as they are in the same title and there is no gap between their time as a provisional employee and as a permanent employee.

For example, if the member was provisional for nine months and is then appointed permanently, the probationary period is three months. If the provisional time exceeds the probationary period (i.e., one year), then they are permanent without probation.

This new law will benefit provisional and probationary employees who do not have access to the same disciplinary rights as permanent employees and can be fired at will. Now, employees will not have to wait another year without these rights.

To learn more and download a flyer detailing the guidance, visit


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