Here's the situation. In New York State, government employees at every level are required to take periodic civil service exams to advance. That includes everyone - DPW guys, clerks, and planners. I think some management positions are exempt but that's it. In my case, I had to take two tests: one for the position of Assistant Planner and one for the position of Planner, which is one step higher. I'm eligible to take the latter test due to the amount of time I've been working here and time spent in a previous planning-related job. The tests are only offered every 2-3 years or so, so this was my one opportunity to take them.
Prior to the test date, I asked around the office to see what the story was on these tests. Everyone I spoke to emphasized that the tests have nothing to do with one's job - the tests are basically a crap shoot, you go in there and wing it the best you can but there is little prep work that you can do beforehand. Upon taking the test, I found this to be the case in the extreme. Most of the questions were actually civil engineering and traffic engineering questions - things like "calculate the correct placement for this roadside drainage culvert based on the centerline of the road". This has zero to do with what I do here on a day to day basis. DPW deals with that stuff.
I got my tests results back a few months latear and I passed both tests fine, which was great. After informing my boss of this, she asked me how I ranked among test takers - unbeknown to me, it turns out that passing the test is not sufficient, that I needed to be in the top 3 of test takers to be in the clear. I was #5. This, apparently, is bad, and could cause me to lose my job as some byzantine law requires that the occupant of my position be among the top 3 test takers. Technically, the municipality would have to go out and interview the top 3 test takers for my position, let me go, and hire them in my place.
Needless to say, that would suck for me. I work hard and am good at my job and my boss knows this. She is going to bat for me with the powers-that-be in the municipality to have my position reassigned as Planner, rather than Assistant Planner, since I passed the test for Planner and was among the top 3 finishers. She can't guarantee the outcome because there is yet another byzantine state civil service law that requires that a pay raise be given along with a new job title, and with the current fiscal climate, that would be tough to get (even though it's only about $5,000). They cannot simply give me the new job title without a raise.
That's where I'm at. I find it all to be batsh!t crazy but that's how things work in government here. It's out of my hands for now. It's a most unfortunate situation for me but I'm circumspect about it given the carnage taking place at so many other planning offices as of late. I sent out a resume yesterday and will do a few more by weeks end just be to be safe. What do people think about this? I'm union, so should I be high-tailing it over to my union rep to get his input on this?