Members Present: Hon. M. Richard Geiger, Chair; Hon. Ronald Hilden; Hon. Carol Ronning Kapsner; Rodney Olson; Hon. John T. Paulson (via telephone); Kurt Schmidt; Gladys Schmitt; and Jeanne Walstad.
Others Present: Mike Sandal, Staff Renee Barnaby, Scribe
Chair Geiger called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. The first item on the agenda was the approval of the Minutes of the March 24, 2006 meeting.
It was moved by Justice Kapsner, seconded by Jeanne Walstad, to amend the sixth paragraph on page 2, second sentence, by changing the word “exempt” to “extensive”. Motion carried.
It was moved by Jeanne Walstad to delete the second sentence in paragraph 4, page 2, which states, “Our managers have done a good job in identifying justifiable cause for selecting another applicant.” Motion died for a lack of a second.
It was moved by Jeanne Walstad, seconded by Justice Kapsner, to amend the second sentence in paragraph 4, page 2, to read as follows: “Our managers have done a good job in identifying
justifiable cause for selecting a non-veteran over a veteran.” Motion carried.
After other minor grammatical changes, the minutes were approved as modified.
Policy 102, Leave
Chair Geiger then drew the members' attention to comments received on Policy 102, Leave. The Board received comments from Judy Susie and the trial court administrative personnel (TCAP) group.
It was moved by Justice Kapsner, seconded by Jeanne Walstad, to modify section 7c to read
in the singular sense, as suggested by Judy Susie. If the TCAP suggestion is accepted, the change will read in the singular sense as well. Motion carried.
It was moved by Rod Olson, seconded by Kurt Schmidt, to add the language suggested by the
TCAP group to paragraph 7c, as follows: “An employee must attend the session closest to his or her place of employment, unless otherwise approved by the employee’s hiring authority.”
With the amendments, paragraph 7c shall read as follows: “An employee may attend one Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) pre-retirement session, at court expense, if the employee has reached the rule of 85 or is within 3 years of retirement. An employee must attend the session closest to his or her place of employment, unless otherwise approved by the employee’s hiring
authority. Any additional sessions, or any private session, is at the employee’s own expense and time. An employee is encouraged to take advantage of the ND PERS pre-retirement web cast when available.”
The policy will be forwarded to the Supreme Court for consideration.
Policy 103, Employee Compensation
Chair Geiger referred the members to the next item on the agenda, comments received on Policy 103, Employee Compensation.
With regard to section C4, the Board received comments from Judge John Paulson, Donia Gandrud, and Judy Susie.
It was moved by Justice Kapsner, seconded by Rod Olson, to hyphenate the words “nationally recognized” as suggested by Judy Susie. Motion carried.
With regard to section C5, the Board received comments from Renae Reynolds and Michelle
Ms. Bredemeier’s comment suggested there should be language in the policy stating if an employee is at the end of the pay scale and the employee acquires a professional certification, then the
employee should be paid the equivalent of a one-step pay increase. Mike Sandal commented that such language would not be necessary. He explained if you are at the top of the pay grade and are promoted to another classification that is one pay grade higher, there is enough distance between the two pay grades to accommodate the five percent increase without having to go outside of the range.
No action was taken by the Board regarding section C5.
With regard to section C9, the Board received comments from the TCAP group and Penny Miller.
It was moved by Jeanne Walstad, seconded by Justice Kapsner, to revise section C9 to read, “An appointing authority may recommend that the salary of an employee be increased up to two steps for serving in an interim appointment.” Motion carried.
It was moved by Judge Hilden, seconded by Justice Kapsner, to amend the third sentence to read, “An employee will not retain the higher compensation level after the interim period
ends.” Motion carried.
It was moved by Justice Kapsner, seconded by Jeanne Walstad, to amend the last sentence to read, “Except as provided for in Administrative Rule 1, the state court administrator shall make the final decision on the recommendation.” After some brief discussion, the motion
It was moved by Jeanne Walstad, seconded by Gladys Schmitt, to modify the first sentence of section C9 to read, “An appointing authority may recommend to the state court administrator that the salary of an employee be increased up to two steps for serving in an interim appointment.”
In response to a question from Judge Geiger asking if the suggested language interfered with Admin. Rule 1, Justice Kapsner said a recommendation would not necessarily impact Admin. Rule 1 because it would not have any final authority over the people listed in the rule.
Mike Sandal suggested perhaps it would add more confusion to the policy by adding the language.
Justice Kapsner commented that with regard to temporary adjustments, the logical place to go would be to the state court administrator because of the added duties as well as the temporary salary
Motion carried. The policy will be sent to the Supreme Court for consideration.
Mr. Sandal will respond to the people who sent in comments.
Policy 120, Veterans Preference
Chair Geiger drew attention to the next agenda item, proposed amendments to Policy 120, Veterans Preference. The amendments add a new section defining a veteran’s spouse and also includes a few “house cleaning” amendments.
It was moved by Judge Paulson, seconded by JeanneWalstad, to adopt the proposed
modifications to Policy 120.
Rod Olson said after speaking to a majority of the TCAP group, they were not in favor of adding the
Chair Geiger said the proposed amendments are consistent with those of the Executive Branch.
The motion carried, with one opposition, and will be sent out for comment.
Proposed 2006 Pay Ranges
Mike Sandal referred the Board to the proposed pay ranges effective July 2006. The pay ranges reflect the 4% across-the-board pay raise the legislature is providing all state employees effective July 1, paid August 1. He said as discussed at the last meeting, the Board decided to keep substeps
B and A because of some fiscal limitations. The substeps will also move 4%.
It was moved by Jeanne Walstad, seconded by Gladys Schmitt, to adopt the proposed pay ranges and forward them to the supreme court for consideration.
In response to a question from Justice Kapsner asking if Sally Holewa and Susan Sisk reviewed the
figures, Mr. Sandal responded they were provided the figures earlier for budget preparation.
Jeanne Walstad said in reviewing the policies, she found Policy 107, Classification and Paygrade
Review Procedure, to be confusing and conflicting. Mike Sandal suggested sending the policy to the TCAP group for review and recommendation to the Board. He will place it on the TCAP agenda to get the discussion started. Chair Geiger said it should also be included on the Board’s agenda as well.
Mr. Sandal said in the future, he plans on having the TCAP group review the policies to identify
administrative issues and recommend any changes to the Board. This will help move the Board from a reactive stance to a proactive stance.
The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 25, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.