(a) The Legislature finds that state-operated acute care, long-term care, psychiatric care, clinical, and medical facilities have extreme difficulty in recruiting and retaining physicians, physician specialists, nurses, nursing directors, health service workers, health service assistants, and other employees who assist in the direct provision of medical care to patients in those facilities.
(b) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall develop a special merit-based system, including an application and appointment procedure for physicians, physician specialists, nurses, nursing directors, health service workers, health service assistants, and other employees who assist in the direct provision of medical care to patients at state-operated acute care, long-term care, psychiatric care, clinical, and medical facilities. The procedure shall include classification specifications, and may include compensation adjustments, retention incentives, and hiring approval by the secretary. The secretary shall have the full authority to evaluate applicants for employment or promotion or make classification determinations for positions within the special merit-based system. The special merit-based system shall be approved by the State Personnel Board. The pay rates and employment requirements shall be put into effect no sooner than January 1, 2020, and no later than July 1, 2020.
(c) Funding for the pay rates and employment requirements shall be provided from the appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Resources. The provisions of this section are rehabilitative in nature and it is the specific intent of the Legislature that no private cause of action, either express or implied, shall arise pursuant to the provisions or implementation of this section.
(d) The provisions of §6C-2-1 et seq. of this code shall be applicable to the employees of the special merit-based system: Provided, That the Division of Personnel shall not be a mandatory party to any public employee grievance filed by any employee in the special merit-based system.
(e) The department may conduct periodic wage and compensation analysis of identified market rates for the above positions as determined necessary by the secretary.
(f) The secretary may promulgate emergency rules and shall propose legislative rules pursuant to the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code as may be necessary to implement and comply with the provisions of this section.