EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT SUBDIVISIONS
Governor's Office of Employee Relations
Current Functions. The Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER) assists State agencies in dealing with labor issues and administers health and safety programs developed through collective bargaining agreements. GOER carries out the State's labor relations responsibilities as an employer in accordance with the Public Employees' Fair Employment Act (the Taylor Law) and other related statutes by negotiating collective bargaining agreements with recognized representatives of State public employees; assisting State agencies to interpret and administer negotiated agreements; helping to define the State's role as a public employer in matters before the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and through the continuing contract arbitration process; supporting the appellate function of the Grievance Appeals Board in the review of noncontract-related grievances; and directly overseeing training programs and certain benefit areas for management/confidential (M/C) employees.
Organizational History. The Office of Employee Relations was created by the Laws of 1969 (Chapter 491). The office is headed by a director appointed by the governor. Its basic functions have remained unchanged since 1969, but it has assumed additional responsibilities such as providing partial funding (along with public employee unions) of employee training and development, health benefits, safety and health, and day-care programs.
GOER usually represents management on joint labor-management committees, which since the 1979 collective bargaining agreements with the unions representing State employees, have played an increasing role in the State's labor relations.
GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
General Agency-level records
11558 State employees strike hearing and determination files, 1972-1973. 17 cu. ft.
Division of Contract Negotiations and Administration
16226 Correspondence, policy statements, and background materials relating to strikes, 1970-1981. 6 cu. ft.
Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled
Current Functions. This commission protects the health and welfare of the mentally ill, the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled, and alcohol and substance abusers by providing independent oversight and review of the operations of State and State-licensed programs serving these populations. It carries out this responsibility by reviewing the organization and operations of Department of Mental Hygiene facilities and programs to ensure a uniformly high standard of care for the mentally disabled; reviewing cost effectiveness of the management, supervision, and delivery of mental hygiene programs and procedures; investigating complaints of patients, residents, and employees of mental hygiene facilities, including allegations of patient abuse or mistreatment; training, orienting, and assisting members of boards of visitors of mental hygiene facilities as needed to help them effectively oversee the facilities; reviewing and, where appropriate, investigating deaths of patients in mental hygiene facilities operated or licensed by the State; and administering the State's federally funded Protection and Advocacy Program for the Developmentally Disabled, Client Assistance Program, and Protection and Advocacy Program for Mentally Ill Individuals.
Organizational History. The State Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled was created by a law of 1977 (Chapter 655) to carry out oversight and review of mental hygiene programs and facilities as specified by the law. The governor also assigned the commission to administer the State's Protection and Advocacy Program for the Developmentally Disabled. As a condition of receiving federal funding under the 1975 Federal Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, states were required to have a system to protect and advocate the rights of the developmentally disabled. In 1984 the governor assigned the commission to administer the State's Client Assistance Program in accordance with a requirement in the Federal Rehabilitation Amendments that states have a system to assist disabled individuals receiving or requesting rehabilitation services. In 1986 the governor assigned the commission to administer the State's federally funded Protection and Advocacy Program for the Mentally Ill.
Chapter 354 of the Laws of 1985 established, on a trial basis, two Surrogate Decision-Making Committees (SDMC) to address the disturbing problem of long delays between the diagnosis and treatment of patients residing in state operated psychiatric and developmental centers. The SDMC serves as an alternative to the judicial process of obtaining informed consent for major medical treatments for patients not competent to make such a decision. The commission was assigned the responsibility for overseeing the SDMC pilot program which, since its inception, has proven successful and expanded to twenty counties.
The commission is comprised of three gubernatorial appointees overseeing the operation of two advisory bodies and seven bureaus.
General Agency-level Records
19354 Chairpersons subject files, 1975-1998. 5 cu. ft.
19355 Chairpersons daybooks, 1975-1998. 5 cu. ft.
19356 Chairpersons articles and speeches, 1979-1994. 1 cu. ft.
19357 "Special Project" files, 1975-1978. 16 cu. ft.
19576 Surrogate Decision Making Committee files, 1986-1987. 9 cu. ft. R