I. Opening Business
A. The conference call convened at 9:15 a.m. All members present. Guests, Ted Gladden, Susan Sisk, and Greg Wallace
II. Old Business
A. Classification and Compensation Plan.
Chair Simonson drew the members attention to the December 18, 2002 memo from Carla Kolling to the members of the Board. Chair Simonson explained that because of the state's economic situation and Governor Hoeven's request to limit increases in budget the Supreme Court did not include monies in the budget for the 2003-2005 biennium to implement the proposed pay and compensation plan. He explained that Carla's December 18 memo provides a funding alternative to the plan originally proposed which would allow the plan to be implemented with a minimal start-up cost.
1. Set the pay grades at 90% of what Mr. Bjorklund originally proposed.
2. Add a step at the bottom of the pay grade
3. Employees who are below entry would be brought into the system at their current salary. However, these employees would be given first priority in moving through the salary range.
4. The higher pay grades will result in additional persons qualifying for steps because the top of the pay grade moves. Persons currently at the top of the range would not receive a step increase until all employees are at least to the minimum of the pay ranges. This will help keep the proposed plan budget neutral with the current plan.
5. Because of the unknown costs of moving the court officer IIs to court officer IIIs, a moratorium would be put into effect for one year.
Carla explained that the above alternative proposal is a work product that was developed with the assistance of Susan Sisk and Greg Wallace as a response to a directive from the State Court Administrator, Ted Gladden.
Chair Simonson requested each member to respond to the proposal.
Judge Geiger responded that as long as there is no dark side to implementing the alternative proposal he believes something is better than nothing.
Rita Hanneson responded by saying she did not want to delay the implementation of the plan.
Penny Miller stated that she is not prepared to go with it. She believes the compensation component had become too watered down. She said that the employees haven't had an opportunity to comment on the classification component and as a result the plan isn't ready to go forward. She said that in fairness to employees we need to consider those individuals that have outstanding reclassification requests pending.
Justice Maring informed the members that she supported the plan when it went before the Court and pushed for its passage but then it became clear that we could not fund it due to the states's economy. She is concerned about the moral of the employees if we move forward with the plan but don't have any monies to implement it. Furthermore, she commented that there is some concern amongst members of the Court about the work product.
Dion Ulrich commented that he does not support it. He believes there are too many loose ends.
Ted Gladden explained the purpose for his directive to Carla to have a funding alternative to the original plan. He said it was a way to get the plan back before the Court for consideration.
Greg Wallace stated that the down fall to the proposal is that it might cause some salary compression.
Susan Sisk explained that implementing the alternative plan can be done. Her concern is that there may be some short term moral problems since some employee's next step increase may be substantially less than what they expect.
Carla explained that she is in support of moving forward with the plan. She commented that the plan is not fool proof and there are some problems with it. The problems she referred to are those with proper positioning of classifications and the market analysis. Carla explained that the three year review of classifications should shake out the classification issues and a systematic market analysis should ensure that our compensation plan is in order. Carla stressed the need to send the classifications and pay grades to the employees for comment. Once the comments are received, analyzed and the classification plan is in order we can conduct another market analysis if we so desire.
A motion was made by Judge Geiger, seconded by Rita Hannesson, that the modified plan outlined in Carla's December 18 memo be sent to the Court for consideration.
Dion commented that there are too many details that need to be ironed out before we send the alternative plan to the Court.
Justice Maring made a motion, seconded by Penny Miller, to amend Judge Geiger's motion and recommend to the Supreme Court that the proposed plan, excluding the compensation component, be sent out to the employees for comment. The motion further states that after the comment period the members may provide additional comments to the Supreme Court concerning the compensation component with sets the pay grades at 90% of the original proposal and adds a step at the bottom of the pay grade and its fiscal impact.
By oral vote, Judge Rustad, Judge Geiger and Rita Hanesson were not in favor of Justice Maring'smotion to amend Judge Geiger's motion, and Chair Simonson, Justice Maring, Penny Miller and Dion Ulrich were in favor. Motion passed.
By oral vote, Justice Maring's motion unanimously passed.
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
Director of Human Resources and Development