Ulster County Personnel Department
Civil Service Examination Announcement
#50201A SENIOR CLERICAL SERIES
NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEE $20.00
PLEASE READ ENTIRE ANNOUNCEMENT CAREFULLY
NOTE: Ulster County will be offering this series only ONCE this year, to be held on April 22, 2017. We will continue to accept applications after the March 22, 2017 last file date; those applicants will be scheduled in 2018. Announcements will be issued in January of 2018 indicating the examination date(s) for that year.
EXAMINATION DATE: April 22, 2017
APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE ULSTER COUNTY PERSONNEL OFFICE OR POSTMARKED BY MARCH 22, 2017 FOR THE APRIL 22, 2017 TEST DATE.
SENIOR CLERICAL SERIES #50201A INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING TITLES:
**SENIOR DATABASE CLERK/TYPIST
*SENIOR TRANSCRIBING TYPIST
AND any other titles determined to be appropriate by the Ulster County Personnel Officer.
The Senior Clerical Series is divided into three categories. These categories are described separately on three announcements as follows:
#50201A Open-Competitive Examination
#50201B Interdepartmental Promotion Examination
#50201C Departmental Promotion Examination for Ulster County School Districts including Ulster BOCES
A separate eligible list will be established for each of the three categories listed above. Please refer to the other examination announcements in this series for information on the other categories.
* In addition to the written test a computerized typing performance test at a rate of 35 words per minute is required (40 words per minute for Transcribing Typist).
**In addition to the written test a computerized typing performance test at the rate of 35 words per minute AND a data entry (pass/fail) performance test is required.
THE ABOVE PERFORMANCE TESTS WILL BE GIVEN ONLY TO PASSING CANDIDATES APPROXIMATELY THREE (3) WEEKS FOLLOWING THE WRITTEN TEST; CANDIDATES WILL BE NOTIFIED BY MAIL.
SALARY: Starting salaries for positions in this series range from $15.50 per hour to $17.44 per hour for Ulster County Departments. Starting salaries in Ulster County Towns, Villages, School Districts and Special Districts will vary by location.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES: Incumbents in these positions may supervise and/or perform all clerical activities in a department such as composing all typing correspondence, vouchers, reports or other materials. Where applicable, incumbent will take and transcribe dictation (from notes or a transcribing machine). Also, may act as secretary to agency or department head.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR ALL TITLES IN THIS SERIES: Candidates must meet the following requirement(s) on or before the date of the examination:
A. Successful completion of the eighth grade in school, or its equivalent; and one (1) year of full-time paid clerical experience, or its part-time equivalent; OR
B. Two (2) years of full-time paid clerical experience, or its part-time equivalent.
FOR SENIOR STENOGRAPHER: Special Note: The above qualifications must include or be supplemented by a course in stenography, shorthand or speed writing AND at least six (6) months of work experience that included the taking and transcribing of dictation.
1. Successful completion of college coursework at a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or University may be substituted for up to one year of the work experience required above as follows: One year of work experience equals thirty credit hours.
2. Successful completion of a clerical training program may be substituted for up to one year of the work Experience required above as follows: One year of work experience equals one year of clerical training.
3. In no case will a candidate qualify for appointment to positions in this class without having at least one year of full-time paid clerical experience, or its part-time equivalent.
NOTE: WHERE COLLEGE COURSEWORK IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR WORK EXPERIENCE, YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO SUBMIT COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS WITH YOUR APPLICATION. IF COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS ARE ALREADY ON FILE WITH OUR OFFICE, INDICATE THIS ON YOUR APPLICATION. TRANSCRIPTS NEED NOT BE OFFICIAL COPIES; HOWEVER, THEY MUST CONTAIN ALL INFORMATION NECESSARY TO QUALIFY YOU FOR THIS POSITION.
APPLICATION REVIEW TOLERANCE POLICY
For the purposes of this policy, "tolerance" shall mean the leeway given regarding work experience when reviewing an application. Applicants lacking a small amount of work experience when applying for promotional or open-competitive examinations may qualify under the following conditions:
1) Candidates will be given a maximum tolerance of one (1) month.
2) Tolerance will be given only when the minimum qualification requires one or more years of work experience.
3) Tolerance Policy does not apply to education or licensure/certification requirements. (See particular examination announcement for "Anticipated Eligibility" information).
4) Tolerance Policy does not apply where required work experience is set forth by law or rules.
5) Tolerance Policy does not apply to enable applicants to meet residence requirements.
For more information regarding Tolerance Policy, please contact our office at (845) 340-3550.
SUBJECT OF EXAMINATION: Written test will cover knowledge, skills and/or abilities in such areas as:
Spelling: These questions are designed to test the candidates' ability to spell words that office employees might encounter in their daily work
English Grammar and Usage; Punctuation: The English grammar and usage questions are designed to test the candidates' ability to apply the basic rules of English grammar, usage and sentence structure. The punctuation questions will be designed to test the candidates' knowledge of appropriate punctuation marks and their correct placement in sentences.
Keyboarding Practices: These questions are designed to test the candidates knowledge of preferred practices in areas such as, but not limited to, capitalization, hyphenation, spacing, word division, tabulation and proofreading.
Office Record Keeping: These questions are designed to evaluate the candidates' ability to perform common office record-keeping tasks. The test consists of two or more "sets" of questions, each set concerning a different problem. Typical record-keeping problems might involve the organization or collation of data from several sources; scheduling; maintaining a record system using running balances; or completion of a table summarizing data using totals, subtotals, averages and percents.
Office Practices: These questions are designed to test the candidates' knowledge of generally agreed upon practices governing situations which secretaries, stenographers and typists are likely to encounter in their work, as well as their knowledge of how office work could be accomplished within reasonable limits of time, effort and cost. The topics covered may include, but not be limited to, such issues as designing work flow, setting priorities, dealing effectively with staff and visitors, filing and retrieving information, using office equipment and making procedural decisions and recommendations which contribute to a well-managed office.
STUDY GUIDE-SENIOR CLERICAL SERIES:
A Guide to Taking the Examination for this series is available on the New York State Department of Civil Service Web Site at www.cs.state.ny.us/testing/localtestguides.cfm OR at the Ulster County Office Building, Personnel Department, 244 Fair Street-5th Floor, Kingston, NY, OR Call (845) 340-3550 for information on how to obtain a copy.
CALCULATORS: "Unless specifically prohibited, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand‑held, solar or battery powered calculators. Devices with typewriter keyboards, ‘Spell‑Checkers’, ‘Personal Digital Assistants’, ‘Address Books’, ‘Language Translators’, ‘Dictionaries’ and any similar devices are prohibited."
PERFORMANCE TESTS: The following titles, and any other titles the Personnel Officer determines to be appropriate, require a qualifying performance test(s). Performance test(s) will be given only to those candidates who pass the written test. Candidates will be notified by mail at a later date. Performance tests are qualifying (pass/fail), if you pass the performance test(s), your final score for the exam will be the score that you achieve on the written test. Candidates may be invited to the performance test(s) in the order of the scores they achieve on the written test. Ulster County reserves the right to give the performance test(s) to only as many candidates as are needed to fill available vacancies.
TYPING: Senior Stenographer, Senior Typist and Senior Database Clerk/Typist require a computerized typing performance test at the rate of 35 words per minute. Senior Transcribing Typist requires a computerized typing performance test at the rate of 40 words per minute. Candidates who receive a passing score on the written test must also qualify on the typing performance test. You must pass both the written and performance test to be considered for appointment. The performance test is a test of keying speed and accuracy. It utilizes a standard keyboard and is given on computers. The computer program requires no prior knowledge of software. The test is five minutes long and is preceded by a three-minute practice session. The test utilizes a "split screen format". The text passage is at the top of the screen. Candidates enter ("key" or "type") as much of that passage as they can during the time available. In order to pass the test, candidates must enter the text at a rate of at least 35 words per minute, with at least 96% accuracy (or where required, 40 words per minute with at least 96% accuracy). For example, if a candidate enters the text at 35 words per minute, the maximum allowable number of errors is 7 (at 40 words per minute, the maximum allowable number of errors is 8). A word is defined as five characters. The rating formula divides the total number of characters entered by five to determine the number of words entered.
DATA ENTRY: Senior Database Clerk/Typist requires a data entry performance test. This test requires the use of a conventional personal computer (PC) with a standard keyboard to perform various clerical tasks using a pre-established database. This test will consist of three parts. In part one, you will be required to add, delete and update various records in the database. In part two, you will be required to retrieve records from a database and write down selected information from the records onto printed forms. In part three, you will be asked questions on the computer screen about the information you wrote down in part two. You will enter your answers directly into the PC. More specific information about the test will be mailed to all approved candidates before the test date (after the last date for collecting applications). Your rating (pass/fail) on this test will be based on the amount of material completed and on the accuracy of that material.
CANDIDATES WHO PASS THE WRITTEN TEST AND PERFORMANCE TEST(S), WHEN REQUIRED, WILL APPEAR ON THE APPROPRIATE ELIGIBLE LIST(S). THEIR NAMES WILL BE INTERFILED ACCORDING TO GRADE AND WILL REMAIN ON THE LIST(S) FOR UP TO TWO (2) YEARS.
PERFORMANCE WAIVER: Candidates who have taken and qualified on a typing or database performance test in the past may be eligible for a waiver of these qualifying examinations. If you wish to apply for this waiver, it will be necessary for you to provide us with the following information at the time of filing: the number and title of examination, the agency for whom you took the examination and the date of participation. All other candidates will be required to participate in the qualifying performance tests described above.
TYPING PERFORMANCE TEST: A CANDIDATE FOR THE COMPUTERIZED TYPING PERFORMANCE TEST MAY BE RETESTED ONE (1) MONTH AFTER THE FIRST TEST AND AGAIN AT ONE MONTH INTERVALS UP TO A TOTAL MAXIMUM OF FOUR (4) TIMES IN A YEAR.
DATABASE PERFORMANCE TEST: A CANDIDATE FOR THE COMPUTERIZED DATABASE PERFORMANCE TEST MAY BE RETESTED ONE (1) MONTH AFTER THE FIRST TEST AND AGAIN AT ONE MONTH INTERVALS UP TO A TOTAL MAXIMUM OF FOUR (4) TIMES IN A YEAR.
*NON-REFUNDABLE FILING FEE*: Send your check or money order for twenty dollars ($20.00) (made payable to COUNTY OF ULSTER) with your application. Please include the examination number, title, and applicant’s name on your check or money order. DO NOT SEND CASH. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED, therefore, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the qualifications for admission and apply only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.
EXCEPTION TO FEE REQUIREMENT: An exception to the processing fee will be made for persons receiving Supplemental Social Security payments or public assistance (Safety Net Assistance or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), provided Foster Care or certified Workforce Investment Act of 1998 eligible through a state or local social service agency, and for those who are currently unemployed. Individuals wishing to claim this waiver of fee on the basis of Supplemental Social Security, Safety Net Assistance or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, must certify on their application, under number 12 Remarks, that they are receiving public assistance and must indicate the type of assistance they are receiving, the agency providing the assistance and their case numbers. Persons claiming this waiver through Foster Care or Workforce Investment Act of 1998 Certification must specify the program and name of their contact agency. Persons claiming this waiver, who are currently unemployed must certify on their application, under number 12 Remarks, that they are currently unemployed and must provide documentation that they are receiving unemployment benefits or other unemployment documentation deemed appropriate by the Ulster County Personnel Officer.Such claims are subject to later verification and, if not supported by appropriate documentation, are grounds for barring appointment.
Applications may be obtained at the Ulster County Office Building, Personnel Department, 244 Fair Street ‑ 5th Floor, P.O. Box 1800, Kingston, NY 12402‑1800 OR by mailing a request (INCLUDE A STAMPED SELF -ADDRESSED, LEGAL‑ SIZE ENVELOPE) OR from our website at: www.co.ulster.ny.us/personnel/index.html. Candidates requesting announcements for multiple examinations must be sure to include sufficient postage for return mail.
For those applications submitted in person, please submit no later than 4:30 PM. All applications must be received in our office no later than 5:00 PM on the date indicated on page one (1) of this announcement in order to be included for the upcoming test date. Applications postmarked by this date will also be accepted. All other applications will be held for the next test date.
This examination is being prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service in accordance with Section 23‑2 of the Civil Service Law. The provisions of the New York State Civil Service Rules and Regulations dealing with the rating of examinations will apply to this test.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION POLICY: In accordance with Ulster County Local Law Number 14 of 2007, a criminal background check (including fingerprinting) will be initiated by the Ulster County Personnel Department upon initial employment or re-hire to Ulster County positions, and conducted by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the New York State Office of Court Administration, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Verification Information System (IMAGE Program), or any law enforcement agency.
SPECIAL NOTE: All public agencies are required by law to provide full and equal opportunities for minorities, women and to people with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to compete without regard to race, creed or national origin. Applicants requesting special testing arrangements as a Saturday Sabbath Observer, disabled candidate, alternate test date candidate (in accordance with Alternate Test Date Policy), or an active member of the military away from the area on the scheduled test date must clearly indicate this fact on the application. All such requests must be supported by appropriate documentation and be made at time of filing.
VETERANS: Non-disabled and disabled veterans who wish to claim additional credits must request a Veterans Credits application from our office. This form must be completed and submitted along with a war service (DD214) form prior to the establishment of the resulting eligible list. Veterans credits may only be added to a passing score and may only be used for appointment once. Candidates currently in the armed forces may apply for and be conditionally granted veteran’s credits. Any candidate who applies for such credits must provide proof of military status to receive the conditional credits. You may not claim additional Veterans Credits after the eligiblelist has been established. It is the candidate’s responsibility to request the Veterans Credits application forms and submit these forms and any required supporting paperwork before the eligible list is established.
On November 5, 2013, New York State voters approved an amendment to Article 5, section 6, of the New York Constitution regarding the award and use of additional credits for certain disabled veterans on open competitive and promotion civil service examinations for positions with New York State and local governments.
For eligible lists established after January 1, 2014, disabled veterans may be entitled to additional credits on a civil service examination. Every situation is different. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact our office.
ADDITIONAL CREDITS FOR CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, children of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.
NOTE: If candidates have not received notification of this examination within four (4) days of the examination, they should contact this office immediately at (845) 340-3550.
ORIGINAL COPY: GREEN
ISSUED: January 27, 2017