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Human Resources Committee Meeting Minutes – Thursday, March 5, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Human Resources Committee Meeting held on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Human Resources Minutes 3-5-20 with Attachments

To read the minutes, please open or download the pdf from the link above, or you may see more below.

Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Commission Meeting Room

Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 10:30 AM 



Donald Elliott, Committee Chairman

Cornell Harvey, Commissioner                                            

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Ben Turnipseed, Commission Chairman

Bob Duncan, Commissioner

Catina Tindall, First Coast Benefits Solutions, Inc.

Daphne Gable, Teamwork Services Inc.

Kelly Vest, Teamwork Services Inc.

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator


Media Present – None                        

Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 10:34 AM.


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


  1. Onsite Wellness Checks – A. Burroughs/C. Tindall

Mr. Burroughs stated that he would like for Catina Tindall of First Coast Benefits Solutions, Inc. to present this first item since she is the one who been working with Southeast Georgia Health System and obtained quotes regarding onsite wellness checks for BGJWSC.  Mrs. Tindall commented that she had researched multiple sources to perform onsite wellness, and after reviewing the data found that SGHS had the best price, plus they are here locally in Brunswick, and were very reliable in providing data.  Mrs. Tindall provided the Committee with hardcopies of the letter from SGHS and their quote or requested bid.  The onsite wellness checks would be performed in one of the conference rooms to allow complete privacy.  The wellness check will include a biometric analysis which would include the high-weight BMI, blood pressure, A1C, full lipid panel, a PSA for men over 50, and an optional flu shot.  The cost for this wellness check will be $45 per employee, and for the men over 50 who want a PSA that is an additional $30.  All of the reports will go back to the employees, and none of the reports will be given to the Commission to maintain 100% confidentiality.  This is a voluntary program and the Commission will receive a report back of how many have participated, but not who participated.  Mrs. Tindall commented that this is a great first start to the program and it can be built on with more services offered.  There may be an incentive offered to encourage employees to take advantage of this wellness program.  Also it is offered during the workday and the employee does not have to take time off to go to the doctor for their physical.  

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Human Resources Committee recommend approval of the attached wellness agreement with Southeast Georgia Health Systems for a not-to-exceed amount of $7,290.00.  Motion carried 3-0-0. 


  1. Open Enrollment Update – C. Tindall

Catina Tindall recalled that this year’s health benefits enrollment process went rather smoothly with some minor change having been made to the plans offered, such as the emergency room which has now goes toward the deductible.  The deductibles were also reduced by the Commission’s change to reimburse a portion.  The employees were given more of an educational explanation of the different plans, deductibles, and HSA, as well as a side by side comparison of the plans which gave a clear visual of the differences when making their selection in plans.  This year’s enrollment was completed using online service, and for those who did not have access to a computer or needed assistance, Teamwork Services gave them one on one assistance with the enrollment and also answering any questions they may have still had.  These changes made the enrollment process go much smoother and in a more positive direction than in the past.

  1. Self-Funded Health Insurance Proposal Update – C. Tindall

Catina Tindall indicated that she has been researching and studying self-funded health insurance.  She has been looking at models of what it would look like if the company went with self-funded insurance and had a year with the worst case scenario; what would happen with a year with best-case scenario?   She did advise that if a company goes with a self-funded insurance plan that it is very hard to get out of and is very expensive to try to go back to a fully funded plan.  The Committee agreed that a workshop would be best to have a fully detailed discussion on this subject.  Commissioner Duncan suggested also looking at a hybrid where certain items are covered by the company self-funding those events and the insurance company covering other events.  Mrs. Tindall provided that this is termed level-funding and can prove to be a good plan, however JWSC tended to change insurance frequently by going with the low cost bids and changing from carrier to carrier.  This type of funding will also be reviewed and discussed at the workshop.  

  1. Tobacco/BMI Premium Changes Structuring – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs briefly discussed tobacco use and BMI as related to employees’ health and insurance premiums with the Commissioners.  The group agreed that providing a discount for those who do not use tobacco products and do maintain a good BMI is the preferred method to incentivize the employees.  In response to Mr. Burroughs’ question of when the Committee thought this program should begin

Commissioner Duncan suggested that the first year should be a test year for the employees to see where they are and what the hurdle is to receive the incentive to get healthier; and then roll it out the next term.  It was noted that the healthy employee who remains healthy would continue to receive the discounted premium each term.  Mrs. Tindall also mentioned that there are health coaches available for assistance and discussion on improving manners of diet, exercising and becoming healthier.   The Committee will discuss this subject again and consider when would be a good time to begin this program.

  1. Potential Pension Plan Changes Timing – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs recalled for the Committee that the pension plan has recently been discussed.  He stated that it is a defined benefit plan with GMA, and the current calculation for JWSC’s cost each year is 6% of wages plus overtime plus a percentage of the unfunded liability each year.  At this time the pension expenses are about 7.5% of the covered payroll.  Mr. Burroughs added that recently there has been a lot of discussion about having the employees contribute to that.  In previous conversations the general consensus of the Commissioners was that the employee contributions apply to new employees only.  Mr. Burroughs provided the 2019 GMA Pension Cost Study which had been presented to the Commissioners in November, and he briefly reviewed the scenarios and charts from the study.   GMA had advised that they will need 6 to 10 weeks to implement any changes to the plan and would need to be informed of any requested changes no later than April 22nd.  Mr. Burroughs stated that his recommendation was to bring forth an approval item to this Committee in April that would change the pension election for employees hired after July 1st of 2020 to require a 3% contribution and change the vesting period from the current 3-5 year to a 10 year vesting period for those employees.  Additionally there would be no administrative costs from GMA to make this change.

Commissioner Neal stated that this is being discussed at the County also and they had some outside input trying to influence some of the decisions by providing some helpful information.  Commissioner Neal then asked what the cost is if JWSC closes the current defined benefit plan; and whatever the employees have in the defined benefit plan now they are still entitled to receive upon retirement; and then start completely over with the defined contribution plan with all of the employees starting on a new retirement program.  Mr. Donaghy provided an explanation of how the funds currently in the pension account would be distributed and that due to how those funds are dispersed, some employees who are already vested in the current plan may not receive any part of those pension funds at all.  Commissioner Neal stated that he would like to receive the information on the costs to JWSC of making that change.  Mr. Burroughs stated they could provide that information from GMA, and he added that the issue would be funding for the existing plan’s unfunded portion at termination and would need to find out how GMA would amortize that if JWSC were no longer an active participant in that plan.  There will be a shortfall upon termination right now which would about $2.5M to $3M which would still have to be paid to pay out the vested interest in the existing plan.  The benefits would still be paid out at the time of retirement, but JWSC has to have all of the money in that account to pay it out at that time.  Commissioner Neal asked if any of the other Commissioners had received any information or feedback. Commissioner Duncan commented that he had seen this done just as Commissioner Neal just spoke about, and suggested that this could be an option.  He added that this should be worked out in the upcoming work session.  Commissioner Neal agreed and commented that this should be moved forward but it would be good for them to have this information as it will cost JWSC less money, yet the unintended consequences it could have also need to be looked at.

Mr. Burroughs provided that roughly figured, if they started making all the employees start contributing today, JWSC would be saving about $250K to $300K per year out of the $650K to $700K paid in now. Commissioner Harvey then asked how long it would take JWSC to make up for the current unfunded portion.  Mr. Burroughs replied that there are different portions of it funded right now; JWSC could always contribute more than what GMA would be requesting each year to pay it off quicker.  He added that they amortize the large portions like a mortgage and it could be 30 years before it is paid off, but that is dependent on if you want to contribute more than required or not.  Commissioner Neal commented that we do have to look at quality of life for our employees and none of us want to hurt the value that they are to us, but we have got to look at it, and we have to look at it by comparison as to what is that going to cost. He added that he has up until this point been one to combine the two and those employees who are on it continue on it, and we have talked about that.  I don’t want to put words in Commissioner Stephens’ mouth, but he and I have talked about this a little bit as well, and I was asking questions of him as it concerns the County’s side of it and was just trying to get educated so we make the best informed decision.

A work session will be scheduled to discuss a self-funded health insurance plan and also pension plan changes.

With no further business to discuss, Committee Chairman Elliott adjourned the meeting at

11:12 a.m.

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Brunswick - Glynn Joint Water & Sewer Commission - 1703 Gloucester Street Brunswick, GA 31520 - 912-261-7100