NENA Files Comments in Support of Telecommunicator Reclassification
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Posted by: Chris Nussman
On September 20, NENA submitted comments to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee in support of the proposed reclassification of public safety telecommunicators in dispatchers. Currently, these public safety professionals are classified under SOC Major Group 43-0000, "Office and Administrative Support Occupations." SOCPC Docket I-0199, however, consolidates several requests to reclassify these professions under SOC Major Group 33-0000, "Protective Service Occupations."
NENA regognizes that the SOCPC's initial review of the reclassification requests in the consolidated docket resulted in a recommendation against reclassification, stating that "the work performed is that of a dispatcher, not a first responder," and that the Committee's recommendation was based on limited, largely assertive information. However, NENA respectfully disagrees with the Committee's recommendation, and urges the Committee to reconsider its justifications in light of the substantive data presented in the comments.
Consistent with Classification Principle 2, NENA's comments focus primarily on the nature of the work performed by public safety telecommunicators and dispatchers, along with the training required to perform it. Because the Committee specifically cited the work "of a dispatcher," our comments are generally addressed to the differences between non-public-safety or "commercial" dispatchers and public safety telecommunicators or dispatchers. However, each of the work or training differences outlined in the comments is equally applicable as between a public safety telecommunicator or dispatcher and any other occupation classified in Major Group 43-0000.
Click here to read NENA's full comments.