Members Present: Hon. Gail Hagerty; Susan Hoffer; Petra Mandigo Hulm; Hon. Lisa Fair
McEvers; Ross Munns; Rod Olson; and Dale V. Sandstrom;
Members Absent: Ted Smith, Chair
Others Present: Sally Holewa, ex offico Amy Klein, staff Kim Nelsen, guest Renee Barnaby, minutes
In Chair Smith’s absence, Judge Hagerty called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.
Minutes It was moved by Rod Olson, seconded by Justice Sandstrom, to approve the June 3, 2013,
minutes. The motion carried.
Review Revised Timeline for Electronic Court Recorder Training and Certification Plan Judge Hagerty stated and Kim Nelsen confirmed the most recent changes were made based on
discussion at the last Board meeting. Judge Hagerty noted one of the changes is the manual is to
be approved by the Digital Recording Workgroup and filed with the State Court Administrator’s
Office. The anticipated completion date is September 2013. Kim Nelsen added that Ronda
Colby, who is a member of the workgroup, has agreed to review the manual.
Amy Klein said the action before the Board is to review the proposed language adding the
certification to the position requirements of the Electronic Court Recorder classification. Judge
McEvers noted the proposed language requires the employees be certified as electronic court
reporters and inquired if a title change in the classification is necessary to reflect the certification
title. Judge Hagerty suggested it may add confusion in our system with the difference in the
classifications. Ms. Klein agreed that in PeopleSoft they are coded as electronic court reporters
and it is confusing.
It was moved by Justice Sandstrom, seconded by Judge McEvers, to approve the Electronic
Court Recorder classification description. The proposed changes would be forwarded to the
supreme court upon completion of the manual. The motion carried.
Judge Hagerty thanked the workgroup for their work on the manual.
[Kim Nelsen left the meeting]
With regard to future meetings, it was requested that staff include the policy first and then insert
the supporting materials.
Professional Development Policy Petra Hulm explained revisions were made based on discussion at the last meeting including
separating the original policy (Professional Development) into two separate policies. The new
proposed policy is Education Reimbursement. One of the main issues in the new proposed
policy is whether the Court System would pay an hourly wage for attendance at education. Based
on Ms. Hulm’s review, she does not believe the Court System would pay an hourly wage to
someone attending training from an independent educational institution. However, she may see a
potential problem with a supervisor allowing the training during regular working hours and
removed the language under B.7.
Judge McEvers suggested and Ms. Hulm agreed that the word “except” be deleted from B.7.
Ms. Hulm said regular part-time employees have been added into the policy and they would be
prorated accordingly. Another change addresses repayment if an employee quits the degree plan
With regard to section B.3., Judge Hagerty suggested, and Ms. Hulm agreed, the word “Costs” in
the second sentence be changed to “Expenses.”
With regard to section B.8., Judge Hagerty suggested the word “can” in the first line be changed
Rod Olson said some classes are only offered during the day so perhaps an employee could flex
Sally Holewa stated she likes the use of the word “off-duty” because it does not necessarily say
you have to do it after your regularly scheduled hours. It just makes it clear you are off duty
when you attend. She also suggested ending the sentence at the words “off-duty hours.” Justice
Sandstrom noted an employee is not on duty when the employee is on leave.
Under section B.2., Ms. Holewa questioned the use of the words “court system” in the first
sentence, and suggested the word “employee” be used instead. Ms. Hulm said the intent when
drafted was that it has to benefit the court system in the employee’s present position or for a
future position. Justice Sandstrom suggested striking the word “their” and inserting the words
It was the consensus of the Board to approve the proposed changes.
It was moved by Rod Olson, seconded by Ross Munns, to send the proposed changes as
amended out to employees for comment. The motion carried.
Corrective Action Sally Holewa said in reviewing the Corrective Action policy, there are several sections that could
be changed to clarify the policy. The first change is to B.1.c.(1). With regard to the dismissal
section, all dismissals must be in writing and approved by the appointing authority and the HR
director before the action is taken. The intent behind that is the HR director actually reviews the
written document and gives the approval before it goes to the employee.
Justice Sandstrom stated the way this is phrased, it gives the HR director the authority to decide
that somebody is not going to be dismissed. Petra Hulm suggested changing the language to
“reviewed by” the HR director. Ms. Holewa agreed and stated HR has always had input but has
not made the final decision. It was the consensus of the Board to approve the change.
It was the consensus of the Board to renumber the sections under B.1.c.
Ms. Holewa said with regard to section B.1.c.(3), the word “hearing” is changed to “meeting”
and language was added to clarify that the employee must be given time to prepare for the
meeting, while at the same time setting an outside limit for when the hearing must be held.
Justice Sandstrom suggested the meeting be held no later than the end of the next business day
after the employee receives the notice. He proposed modifying the last sentence in B.1.c.(3)(b)
to read as follows: “The employee must be given adequate time to prepare for the meeting,
however the meeting must be held no later than the end of the next business day after receipt of
the notice of contemplated dismissal.”
With regard to the proposed changes to section B.1.c.(3)(c), Ms. Holewa said the word “hearing”
is changed to “meeting” and language was added to clarify that a decision following the meeting
will not necessarily result in dismissal. Regarding the changes to B.1.c.(3)(d), this section was
added to provide for an exception to the dismissal procedure if the incident involves violence or
the threat of violence.
Ross Munns said under the fourth line of subsection (c), the why the sentence is phrased, it
sounds as if the notice of decision is a form. Judge McEvers suggested removing the word “the”
before “notice of decision” and inserting it before the word “decision” to read as follows: “to
dismiss the employee, notice of the decision must”.
It was moved by Petra Hulm, seconded by Justice Sandstrom, to approve the changes and
send the policy out for comment. The motion carried.
Conflict Resolution Sally Holewa said after reviewing the Conflict Resolution policy, there are several procedures
that could be changed to strengthen the policy. With regard to section F.2., language was added
stating the meeting must be held within 30 days of receipt of the request for review. She said she
is suggesting a time limit for two reasons: one, the position has to be held open without taking
any action on it until the hearing is completed; and second, the person waiting for the response is
not able to move on until a decision has been made.
Ms. Holewa said with regard to section F.3., language was removed to exclude the chair from
voting on the appeal. Section F.4. is a new section that provides for a former Board member to
be appointed as a substitute for a current member who is unable to participate because of a
conflict of interest or unable to attend the meeting due to scheduling conflicts.
Judge Hagerty said she opposes the change to section F.3. because the chair is conducting the
proceeding, and it is important to be fair and impartial. If you are a voting a member, it calls
your role into question so she is opposed to the change. Justice Sandstrom stated he is in favor of
the change to section F.3. He said for example, the chief justice presides over matters and then
he participates in the decision.
Judge McEvers recalled part of the reason for the change is the difficulty to getting a quorum for
the vote. Rod Olson suggested the addition of section F.4. should help remedy that. Judge
Hagerty questioned the language in section F.4. limiting the appointment to a former Board
member. Judge McEvers commented that a former member would be familiar with the policies.
Mr. Olson stated his only concern is each board member represents a group of employees. For
example, if he had a conflict of interest and Mr. Munns had a scheduling conflict, the employees
lose a vote if the former member appointed to substitute was a judge. Judge Hagerty suggested it
would be best not to narrow the options and to leave the discretion with the chief justice.
It was the consensus of the Board to approve the changes to section F.2. regarding the 30-day
With regard to section F.3., Judge Hagerty polled the members and four members indicated they
were in favor of the chair voting.
With regard to section F.4., Judge Hagerty polled the members and four members indicated the
words “former member of the personnel policy board” should be removed from the section.
It was the consensus of the Board to delete the words “due to” before the words “an inability” in
the second to last line of section F.4.
It was moved by Justice Sandstrom, seconded by Petra Hulm, to send the proposed changes
as amended out to employees for comment. The motion carried with one person voting no.
Military Leave Policy Mike Hagburg was asked to review the Military Leave policy and has proposed changes to
account for the new statutory language.
It was moved by Rod Olson, seconded by Ross Munns, to send the proposed changes out to
employees for comment. The motion carried.
Employment Status Policy Effective the first of the year, HB 1059 requires agencies to pay the health insurance premium of
a temporary employee who works an average of 30 hours or more per week. The proposed
changes to section B.1. of the Employment Status Policy reflects those changes.
Judge McEvers suggested the third sentence in section B be amended to read as follows: “If a
temporary employee meets eligibility requirements, the employee may participate in the
retirement plan and health and life insurance at the employee’s expense. The Court System will
pay for the health insurance of a temporary employee who works an average of 30 hours or more
Because the changes to the policy are statutory, it is not necessary to send the policy out for
It was moved by Judge McEvers, seconded by Petra Hulm, to send the policy as amended
to the supreme court for consideration. The motion carried.
Salary Administration for Classified Employees Policy The proposed language in section B allows an individual in a temporary or contract position,
whose duties are the same as the classified position, to be given credit for the service in the
temporary or contract position when determining the starting step in the pay grade as a classified
employee. The service in the temporary or contract position may be applied toward the
introductory period, anniversary date increases and career ladder advancements.
Rod Olson said for example, if you have a temporary person who has been working as a deputy
clerk for two years and you hire them as a permanent employee, that person could be hired as a
deputy clerk II. If they had only worked in the temporary position for a year, they would need to
be hired as a deputy I for a year until they have the two years of experience required to be deputy
In response to a question from Petra Hulm asking if the temporary person has been working in
the position for two years, would they have to wait six months before moving to a II, Amy Klein
responded no, there would not be an introductory period. The person would be hired as a II.
Justice Sandstrom said the way the policy is written, it might be interpreted incorrectly. Judge
McEvers added the language in section B.3.b. seems to indicate the service could be applied
toward any position. Ms. Klein responded the intent of the policy is the service would apply to
the exact same position. Section B.3.b. was included to make it clear that the appointing
authority has that discretion to waive that introductory period and the anniversary date would be
the date they started in the temporary position.
Judge McEvers suggested striking the words “as a classified employee” from the last sentence in
section B.3.a. and combining the paragraphs to read as follows: “An individual in a temporary or
contact position whose duties were the same as the classified position, may be given credit for
the service in the temporary or contract position when determining the starting step in the pay
grade, and the service in the temporary or contract position may apply towards the introductory
period, anniversary date increases, and career ladder advancements.”
It was the consensus of the Board to remove the “s” from the word “towards.”
Ms. Klein said the second proposed amendment to the policy under sections E., F. and H.
removes the words “most closely represents a 5% increase” and it is changed to “represents at
least a 5% increase.” The purpose of the change is to prevent people from falling in between the
steps when they receive a promotion or reclassification.
In response to a question from Petra Hulm concerning the fiscal impact, Ms. Holewa indicated it
is very small.
It was moved by Judge McEvers, seconded by Justice Sandstrom, to send the proposed
changes as modified out to employees for comment. The motion carried.
Title Change in Classification Descriptions Amy Klein said she received a request from an employee that the title “secretary” be changed to
“administrative assistant.” Ms. Klein requested input from the appointing authorities, and they
were in favor of moving forward with the change. She said she then consulted with the chief
justice and he requested it be sent to the other justices for comment. The proposed changes have
not yet been sent to out to all employees for comment.
It was noted that in the executive branch, the term secretary went out many years ago and
administrative assistant is used.
Rod Olson indicated he likes the term secretary. He said it is important that the title reflect the
job the person is performing. While the new term may work in the administrative offices, he said
he unsure the term administrative works throughout the court system to accurately reflect a
person’s job duties.
Susan Hoffer commented that we no longer celebrate professional secretary’s day, it is known as
administrative professionals day. She said she is in favor of the change because philosophically
in the courts we are asking employees to take on additional duties, and the term administrative
assistant means you help administer the functions of the court.
Judge Hagerty questioned the title judicial assistant because the title legal assistant generally has
a different meaning and educational requirement than an administrative assistant. However, she
does not feel strongly about it.
After discussion, it was moved by Rod Olson, seconded by Susan Hoffer, to send a notice
out to employees for comment that title changes are being considered. The motion carried.
Citizen Access Coordinator Classification Sally Holewa said the Citizen Access Coordinator is a position that was suggested by the Court
Services Administration Committee. The position would be a help desk for pro se litigants - a
central person who could develop forms and give basic information. The position will have no
secretarial support. Ms. Holewa asked the Board for suggestions on a more descriptive title that
would tell the public this is somebody to help them. The draft classification description is before
the Board for consideration
In response to a question asking if the title Court Facilitator was considered, Ms. Holewa said it
was but after reviewing the title with the chief justice, it was determined that Court Facilitator
sounded like it was there to help the court.
Because the position could be dealing with an array of different personalities, Judge McEvers
questioned the minimum qualifications. Judge Hagerty stated if the person filling the position
lacks courtroom experience, it may be very difficult to give meaningful advice. Rod Olson also
cautioned on writing the qualifications too strict making it difficult to fill the position.
Justice Sandstrom said rather than having the person tied up on the phone for extended periods of
time, it was suggested that the communication could be held by instant messaging. The person
would be able to carry on a number of conversations simultaneously. He also suggested having
the position develop informational videos for the public. Forms would also be developed and the
new position could answer basic questions without giving any type of legal advice.
Judge McEvers said prosecutors have prosecutory immunity and judges have judicial immunity,
and questioned what type of protection this position would have. Ms. Holewa responded the
attorney general’s office would represent them if they were sued. Petra Hulm suggested it would
be on the same context as employees in the clerk’s office. She said the person needs to be able to
ride the line very well versus not giving legal advice. Having an attorney in the position would
be beneficial as they would be more cognizant of that line.
Ms. Hulm said with regard to duty number 3, “interprets” applicable laws and rules sounds like
they are giving legal advice. Ms. Holewa explained the duty applies to the employee’s position
rather than communications with the public. For example, she expects the position to review
rules and laws and make the necessary changes to forms, guidebooks, etc.
It was the consensus of the Board to change the word “interprets” to “applies” in duty 3.
In response to a question asking if it needs to be stated in the classification description that the
person is not to give legal advice, Amy Klein responded job descriptions list the essential
functions of the position and do not usually address the opposite or functions not allowed. Ms.
Hulm added that hers or the clerk’s job descriptions do not include a statement that giving legal
advice is not allowed.
Susan Hoffer stated as a member of the Court Services Administration Committee, she recalls
the committee discussing the position would be a source for people who need to process
information, understand the rules, and complete the forms before filing them with the court. She
said in addition, there are several forms in the court system that are not in compliance with the
rules, so it would be helpful if that was part of the position protocol to audit the state pro se
Justice Sandstrom added that Tyler Technologies with their Odyssey evolution is moving along
very rapidly with a series of smart forms or what he refers to as turbo law or something similar to
turbo tax. The data could be entered electronically into Odyssey without having to be rescanned
or going through the self-represented party exceptions. The program would automatically
populate the data into the various forms. If the form was rejected, the citizen access coordinator
would be able to point out the flaws in the form without giving legal advice.
It was moved by Judge McEvers, seconded by Rod Olson, to adopt the job classification as
modified, noting the Board is not wedded to the name. It will be sent it to the supreme
court for consideration. The motion carried.
Modification of Skills Requirement Judge Hagerty explained the next agenda item before the Board for discussion is replacing the
word “keyboarding” with “ability to proficiently use related software programs” in various
classification descriptions. However, she is uncertain the word “related” is the correct word to
use. Ms. Holewa added the purpose of the proposed change is to comply with the ADA
guidelines, and instead of using the word “related” software programs, she suggested the word
“required” might be a better term.
It was the consensus of the Board that the word “keyboarding” be changed to “ability to
proficiently use required software programs” in the policies.