Personnel Commissioner Profiles
One member of the personnel commission shall be appointed by the governing board of the district and one member, nominated by the classified employees of the district, shall be appointed by the governing board of the district. Those two members shall, in turn, appoint the third member.
Joseph L. Paller Jr.
Commissioner Joseph L. Paller Jr. was appointed to the Commission on August 30, 2001. He is an attorney with Gilbert & Sackman in Los Angeles. The Daily Journal (California's leading legal newspaper) has ranked Mr. Paller as one of the top 75 employment attorneys in California. In 2012, he was inducted as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in recognition of his professional achievements. Mr. Paller is an Adjunct Professor at the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California. For more than 20 years, Mr. Paller has taught classes for the Labor Center at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Since 1995, Mr. Paller has served as an employment dispute arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.
Mr. Paller is both a Chapter Co-Editor and a Contributing Author for the current edition of the leading legal treatise on pension and welfare plans, Employee Benefits Law, published jointly by the American Bar Association and Bloomberg BNA. Mr. Paller is a former Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee in Washington, D.C.
The son of immigrant parents, Devin Osiri is a first generation Thai-American that understands the meaning of hard work and sacrifice. A born and raised native to the San Fernando Valley, he saw his parents struggle to join the working middle class. Those lessons taught him the value of worker protections and the importance of advocating for others.
With the support of his parents, Devin graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in political science. He has worked on countless progressive campaigns throughout the years, locally and statewide. In 2008, he managed the campaign headquarters of the San Fernando Valley Democratic Party (DPSFV), which saw President Barack Obama's historic election. Devin returned to DPSFV in 2010, and helped manage their efforts in supporting Governor Jerry Brown's return.
Devin joined the political staff of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 721. There, he helped represent the vast majority of LA City and County workers and cut his teeth on more local, small town campaigns. After SEIU 721, he served as the Political Director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, building political power and serving over 300 affiliated Unions in Los Angeles.
Devin Osiri currently serves under Chair Mark Gonzalez as the Executive Director for the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, which represents over 2 million registered Democrats in the County. Devin strives to keep Los Angeles and the State of California on the front line of progressive values.
Commissioner Mark Vargas was appointed to the Commission on April 20, 2011. He also serves on the California Coastal Commission. Commissioner Vargas is President of Mission Infrastructure, a project management and development-consulting firm based in Los Angeles and San Bernardino. He has over 13 years of experience working in the government and political arena, and five years of private sector experience in the public-works construction industry. He has served as a Special Assistant to Governor Gray Davis, where he conducted policy analysis for the Chief of Staff and Governor, and managed a functioning support staff operation for the Chief of Staff. He has also served as Southern California Director for the Office of Secretary of State of California, and his duties included the management oversight of community outreach efforts for Southern California, as well as policy advisement and assistance with implementation of Federal Help America Vote Act. He is a LEED® Accredited Professional, registered with the United States Green Building Council. He has overseen projects on behalf of the Port of Los Angeles, the San Bernardino Airport, and the East Valley Water District
History of the Personnel Commission
In the early 1930's, political corruption was rampant throughout the City of Los Angeles. Cronyism and patronage were prevalent at all levels of local government. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the situation resulted in the replacement of over 700 District employees by "friends" and supporters of local politicians. As a result, there was a reaction by concerned citizens who petitioned the State legislature for the establishment of an independent civil service commission for the District. The Personnel Commission came into existence on June 15, 1936, as the first legally sanctioned Personnel Commission in the country to administer a personnel program under a merit system for non-certificated employees of a school system. Its primary purposes were to ensure that employees are selected for employment and promotion solely on the basis of merit and removed for just cause. It also provided for an impartial body to adjudicate employee appeals of discipline, medical disqualification and examinations. Both employees and administrative representatives sponsored the merit system law when it was under consideration by the State Legislature and the Board of Education in a spirit of reform, formally adopted it.
The Personnel Commission is the merit system agency of the Los Angeles Unified School District, operating in cooperation with, but not under the jurisdiction of, the Board of Education. The Commission consists of three members whose terms of office are three years. One member of the personnel commission shall be appointed by the governing board of the district and one member, nominated by the classified employees of the district, shall be appointed by the governing board of the district. Those two members shall, in turn, appoint the third member.