Human Resources & Safety Committee Meeting Minutes March 2, 2017

For your consideration, please review the minutes from the Human Resources & Safety Committee Meeting on March 2, 2017:

Human_Resources_&_Safety_Committee_Minutes_with_Attachments_3-2-2017

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Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Commission Meeting Room

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM

 HUMAN RESOURCES & SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES

PRESENT:                           

Cornell Harvey, Chairman

Cliff Adams, Commissioner

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

David Ford, Commissioner

Jimmy Junkin, Executive Director

 ALSO PRESENT:               

John Donaghy, Chief Financial Officer                                        

Cindy Barnhart, TSI

Baylie Lane, TSI

ABSENT:                             

Jeffrey Singletary TSI

Chairman Harvey called the meeting to order at 10:06 AM.

 PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

There being no citizens that wished to address the Committee, Chairman Harvey closed the Public Comment Period.

 APPROVAL:

  1. Proposed Director of Operations Position – J. Junkin

Mr. Junkin proposed the creation of the position of Director of Operations.  This position would provide two advantages for JWSC.  First it helps reduce the amount of positions (ten) which report directly to the Executive Director down to seven.  Second it would help to consolidate a good portion of operations and place those into a better focal point by bringing inventory and staff together for better oversight at the Academy Creek facility.  This position would direct the assets and management of operational needs.  Mr. Junkin pointed out this is a critical long term opportunity to reduce costs, improve performance and effectiveness in the field to provide a better level of service to the customers. The job description was provided for review as well as the current and proposed organization chart.  This new position would be a very involved and high level strategic role with the Superintendents reporting directly to the new Director of Operations.  The expected cost savings would be in using asset management more effectively and using the various resources to get the most out of operations, as well as increasing productivity by allowing this position to oversee and direct the operations.  There would be more flexibility to respond to situations and give necessary directions. This person would be dedicated to study tasks and operations and resources to discover how to use all these components more efficiently.  This would be a long term cost savings.  While the Deputy Director position oversees everything, the Director of Operations would be located at Academy Creek and have daily hands on direction of operations and have control over all operational divisions.  In example, direction of calls after hours, when some personnel may not be available, the Director of Operations would see to it that positions are cross trained.  Commissioner Harvey agreed that cross training is a good idea in theory and that the lines of authority have to make all of this work.  Commissioner Harvey suggested that it would be beneficial to take more time to review, especially due to restructuring lines of authority.  Commissioner Ford indicated that he would like to see the plan in more detail, planned and better justified.  The committee requested to consider this proposal and to discuss in more detail at the next committee meeting, rather than to take a vote. It was recommended that this subject be taken to a point of discussion and not a matter for approval to be taken to the full commission.

  1. Proposed Amendments to the Evaluation & Compensation Policies & Procedures – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy discussed the proposed amendments to the evaluation form and compensation policies and procedures.  The current evaluation forms appear to have redundancies. He referred to the previous manner of compensation at evaluations and that it had grown significantly, and had become unpredictable for budgeting purposes.  The proposed evaluation will require the employee to be more active in the evaluation process.  It was also noted that the previous evaluation forms have items or areas that are applicable to some employee positions and not to others.  The proposed evaluation is more designed and detailed to the pertinent job description of the employee’s position. The reduced redundancy will also reduce the length of the evaluation report. Previously evaluations would be completed, be sent up the chain of command for review, come back down, then be reviewed with the employee, and go back up for approval of increase.  The proposed revision will reduce hands on.  The supervisor will complete the evaluation, review it with the employee and send up for approval.  Commissioner Harvey asked for an explanation of the increases and steps of compensation.  It was explained that there will be 2 parts to the total amount of possible annual compensation.  The 2 parts would include Cost of Living Allowance and the % for increase based on scoring of the evaluation.  For example, if the total annual allowance for raises is 5% and the COLA is 2% for that year, then the highest amount of increase based on the evaluation would be 3%.  The COLA is automatic, but the employee has to show improvement from year to year and add value more and more each year in order to be rewarded with the additional increase in compensation.  If an employee scores a 1, 2, or 3 on their evaluation, they will not receive any additional compensation.  If their score is a 4 or 5, then they will receive some additional compensation, but not to exceed the 5% total increase which includes the COLA. Additionally, the evaluator will have to provide justification for an evaluation scoring under 3 points, and will also have to provide justification for a score exceeding 3 points. It was also proposed that the probationary period be increased from 6 months to 1 year.  Commissioner Harvey indicated he felt that 1 year is too long of a period to have someone on probation to where they can be released from their job.  Commissioner Ford questioned the evaluation scores of 1 and 2 and asked if an employee scoring low would automatically be placed on a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP).  He also noted that an employee must be informed as to exactly what they are doing wrong if scored low.  John responded that the evaluation form would indicate where the employee is not meeting the criteria.  The discussion then moved to the evaluation form needing to incorporate a PIP and that if an employee scored a 1 then they should absolutely be placed on a PIP.  It was suggested that the condition of a PIP being recommended should be added to Section 4.  Discussion also included a mid-year counsel date on item 9 of the proposed evaluation form.  Commissioner Elliott recommended that if a counseling portion should be added to the document, the committee may want to discuss that further.  The proposed evaluation form does provide the employee with the opportunity to add comments of their achievements.  With regards to increases in pay, the Condrey Study of pay schedules as compared to similar organizations and positions was performed 2-3 years ago was referenced.  This proposal allows for each employee to receive a COLA increase each year based on the annual CPI index, and for the pay scale for that position to be increased by that amount.  Suggestion was made based on the fact that the pay scales have not been increased in the years since the Condrey Study was performed, and this will help in preparations for the budgeting process each year. It was noted that the COLA should not be mandatory in the case that the CPI was negative for the year (of which the pay scales would not be reduced due to that negative calculation); if the CPI is positive for the year then COLA increases would be applied; but the COLA cannot be higher than 5% each year. In the case that an employee reaches the top salary within their pay grade, they would still receive the increase due to an exceeding evaluation, but in a lump sum portion and it would not be compounded into the annual pay, however the COLA would still be added to the pay grade for that position.  The committee requested to hold this proposal for further discussion and not to move forward with a vote for or against an approval to move this to full commission.

 Proposed Amendments to the Probationary Period & Paid Time Off Benefits – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy presented the proposed amendments to the probationary period & paid time off benefits. At the current time, employees begin accruing sick time and vacation time at a rate of 1 day of each per month from day 1 of their employment, however they are not permitted to use any of this paid time off until they have been in employment for 6 months and completed the probationary period. If the probationary period is extended to 1 year that would extend the length of this rule to 1 year of the employee not being able to take time off with pay.  The proposal is that when an employee begins employment, they are eligible to utilize 30 hours of vacation time and 30 hours of sick time, which equates to about 8 pay periods. The employee would be allowed to take these hours in advance of earning those. Any time greater than these 30 hours would have to be taken as time without pay. Concern was expressed that an employee might take advantage of that time off being available, use it, and then leave the organization. Conversation continued to the concern of moving the probationary period to 1 year from the current 6 month period. The committee requested to hold this proposal regarding the probationary period as well as the paid time off benefits for further discussion and not to move forward with a vote for or against an approval to move to the full commission.

Commissioner Elliott motioned and Chairman Harvey seconded to move Discussion Item 2 to be presented 1st, and move Item 1 to be presented 2nd. Vote 4-0-0.

DISCUSSION:

  1. Job Corp Presentation – Jonathan Watkins

Jonathan Watkins expressed thanks to the Commission for the relationship that has been held thus far with the Job Corps Program.  He continued to present historical information and facts regarding the program, areas the program is offered in, benefits and career paths offered to the students of the program, and other advantages to the community and businesses in the area.  He explained the typical student types and the educational benefits provided to them for advancement in the business world, career pathways and leadership.  Mr. Watkins noted the facilities, housing, program design and academic training that are provided to help the students achieve.  With respect to students working in local businesses and organizations, students are provided with transportation to and from the worksite, as well as lunch.  The working students are evaluated weekly by the supervisor that they work for, and the program only asks that the students are treated with the same expectations as a regular employee of the organization they are placed at.  Job Corps students are considered to be federal employees with worker’s compensation provided in the case of injury.  It was noted that JWSC has assisted with the program and has offered job training in a few areas of the organization such as with Mark Ryals at the WWTP, with Pam Crosby in Procurement, in the Engineering Department, as well as in the Accounting Department.  Mr. Watkins indicated that job Corps would like to submit an annual Workplace Standard Agreement with the JWSC for student placement in job training.  As an MOU, this item would need to go before the full Commission for approval, and the committee agreed that it should be added to a future Commission Meeting for presentation.

  1. RFP Update – Outsourced Human Resources Services – P. Crosby

Pam Crosby gave an update on the current RFP for Outsourced Human Resources Services.  She began by explaining that this RFP was placed from a perspective of checking the current available market for Human Resources services, and for purposes of updating the contract for services.  Pam did make note that JWSC has been very happy with the level of services that Teamworks has been providing, and that Teamworks has been providing the Human Resources services since the conception of the JWSC.  The update on the RFP was due to having extended the timeframe for the Proposal due date in order to address the amounts and types of questions and amendments that have been necessary.  The staff needs to look closely at the services and evaluation of those proposed.  Pam also noted that based on the current services JWSC is currently receiving from TSI, JWSC may not receive proposals that offer consistent services to compare.  She added the evaluation and procurement will not be a simple process for these services, as the proposals received will likely be all very different from each other.  There may be other options to consider in the future, such as are in house services more cost effective? The best solution may be to hold this RFP for future discussion and decision, and to continue our services as they currently are.

  1. Work Related Injury Statistics – C. Barnhart

Cindy Barnhart presented the work related injury statistics for Jeffrey Singletary in his absence.  She explained that Jeffrey is the main knowledgeable person with the experience in dealing with the workman’s compensation issues, policies, and procedures.  The current statistics were briefly reviewed and noted.

  1. Recruiting Summary – B. Lane

Baylie Lane presented the recruiting summary to the Committee.  She noted the details of positions that are open for hiring process, how they are posted and advertised, and explained the processes TSI takes in attempting to assist in filling open positions for JWSC.  Various positions were discussed that have been filled recently and the number of applicants for each.  Baylie also explained how she accumulates and tracks the various data.  She also had provided an example of the newspaper advertisement for JWSC open positions for the Committee to review.

  1. Employee Turnover Statistics – B. Lane

Baylie Lane also presented a report of employee turnover statistics by department.  She explained the details, meanings and set-up of the report program to the committee.  Another item that was included in the report was the reason for the employee leaving the organization.  Bailey offered for the committee to make any suggestions as to how they would like to see the report improved, and also asked if they preferred to see this report on a monthly basis. It was suggested that this report be given quarterly, and that Bailey rework the report as she saw necessary to provide the committee with the data that they were able to use and make decisions with.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Junkin commented that he would like to see the JWSC move forward in a couple of areas that need to be reorganized in the structure of the group to meet some of the key needs that are currently missing.  There are some organizational needs that will help to meet the ongoing pressures to serve and provide more services and get more assets to people.

 Meeting was adjourned at 12:02 pm.