Civil Service Commission

Civil-Service-logoAbout the Commission

The function of the Saratoga Springs Municipal Civil Service Commission is to provide an orderly and uniform system for the administration of civil service in the City of Saratoga Springs, on the basis of merit and fitness as provided in the Civil Service Law of the State of New York. These rules have the force and effect of law and apply to all positions in the classified service of the City of Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Springs Central School District, the Saratoga Springs Public Library, the City Center and the Housing Authority. 

The Civil Service Law and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, implement the mandate of the State Constitution, Article V, Section 6, which provides that "appointments and promotions in the civil service of the State and all of the civil divisions thereof, including cities and villages, shall be made according to the merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive,..."

The Civil Service Commission is responsible for adopting and modifying local civil service rules, classifying positions and adopting job descriptions, administering the civil service examination process, overseeing and authorizing all employment transactions, and maintaining the official employment records for all employees under its jurisdiction. 

CIVIL SERVICE CLASSIFICATION -  Pursuant to New York State Civil Service Law:

Jurisdictional Classification -  Civil service is divided into unclassified and classified service:

Unclassified Service

Unclassified service includes elective offices; legislative offices and employees; department heads; appointees of the Governor, officers, members and employees of boards of elections; and, the largest group, which includes teachers and supervisory personnel in the public schools, the State University and certain community colleges.

Classified Service

All positions not in the unclassified service are in the classified service. All positions in the classified service, when created, are automatically in the competitive class until the New York State Civil Service Commission takes action to place them in the exempt, non-competitive or labor classes. The division of positions into these classes is called jurisdictional classification, and is based principally on the extent to which examination is practicable. The Civil Service Law divides the Classified Service into four categories or "classes" as follows:

Competitive Class
All positions are deemed to be in the Competitive Class unless designated as otherwise by the local Civil Service Commission and approved by the New York State Civil Service Commission. The competitive class includes all positions for which it is practical to assess the merit and fitness of employees by competitive examination. The examination method may take the form of a written, oral or proficiency test, or a rating of training and experience, based upon the duties and qualifications as determined by the Personnel Department and as set forth in class specifications adopted for each position. An appointment to a vacancy in this class must be made from among the top three candidates on an appropriate eligible list willing to accept the position.

Exempt Class
The exempt class includes certain positions for which competitive or non-competitive examinations are deemed impractical. Positions in this class are usually at the policy making level and are authorized by law to act generally for and in place of their principals. Positions in this class serve at the pleasure of an appointing authority.

Non-Competitive Class
The non-competitive class consists of those positions for which it is practicable to examine applicants as to their qualifications, but not practicable to conduct examinations on a competitive basis. Merit and fitness are determined by examining the applicant's qualifications to ensure they meet the standards set forth in the class specifications adopted for each position. Many part-time positions that would be competitive if full-time, are designated as non-competitive due to their part-time nature, as approved by the New York State Civil Service Commission. Incumbents of positions in the non-competitive class obtain tenure rights under Civil Service Law Section 75 after five-years of service or less service years as provided by the Employee’s collective bargaining agreement.

Labor Class
The labor class positions involve unskilled labor; however, qualifying tests may be required for appointment to labor class positions. No minimum qualifications required. 


There are several types of appointments to the classified service:

  • Permanent Appointments – A permanent appointment can be made to all four classes subject to successful completion of the probationary period. Permanent appointments in the competitive class are made from eligible lists established as a result of competitive examinations. A permanent appointment can only be terminated, interrupted or discontinued in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations governing the classified service.
  • Provisional Appointments – In the event that a vacancy occurs in the competitive class for which no eligible list exists, the position may be filled by a qualified applicant on a provisional basis until such time as an appropriate eligible list can be established. As soon as practical after a provisional appointment is made, the Civil Service Coordinator will hold a competitive examination for the position. The provisional employee will be required to compete against all other qualified applicants. A permanent appointment will then be made from the resulting eligible list.
  • Temporary Appointments – Temporary appointments may be made when there is a need for emergency work, a position is scheduled to terminate within a short period of time, to fill in for a permanent employee who is on a leave of absence or the position is pending “jurisdictional classification approval” by the New York State Civil Service Commission.
  • Seasonal Appointments – Seasonal appointments are made to positions designated with a starting and ending date. They cannot exceed three months in duration. Such positions are generally classified in the non-competitive class. Appointments may be made from among applicants who meet the standards of fitness prescribed by the Personnel Department.
  • Probationary Terms – An Employee appointed permanently in the competitive, non-competitive, exempt or labor class must serve a probationary period. This probationary period may be upon hire, transfer or promotion. For details on the duration of the probationary term for a specific type of appointment, contact the Civil Service Coordinator.

Employees with questions regarding the administration of the Civil Service Law should contact the Civil Service Office. 

Civil Service Exams and Job Openings  - Click Here


Civil Service Documents

Employment Application - 2020 (PDF)

General Conditions and Instructions -2017 (PDF)
Multiple Examination Request Form -2017 (PDF)
Application Fee Waiver Form (PDF)
Exam Test Guides (PDF)
Applying for Veteran Credits - 2018 (PDF)
Recreation Programs Application and Instructions