Penny Miller, Chair
Judge Mikal Simonson
Justice Mary Maring
Members Present via Conference Call:
Judge Bruce Bohlman
Judge Lawrence Jahnke
Guest: Robert Bjorklund
Chair Miller called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. and introduced Robert Bjorklund of Bjorklund Compensation Consulting. Chair Miller explained that Mr. Bjorklund was there to brief the members on the benefits of outsourcing reclassification requests and conducting market surveys, and the advantages to developing a systematic approach to reviewing job descriptions.
Mr. Bjorklund explained that outsourcing causes the reviewer to concentrate and focus on the job criteria and not on the person, thereby increasing objectivity and the perception of fairness.
He discussed the benefits of developing a systematic approach to reviewing all job descriptions. He stated that although it is a very time consuming process it prolongs the life of the classification system by ensuring that jobs mirror the organizational structure. Furthermore it reinforces the perception of fairness by treating each job description equally.
Mr. Bjorklund also emphasized the need to incorporate market studies into the process. He said that market studies assure the organization's ability to achieve human resource goals and objectives by attracting qualified applicants and maintaining current employees.
Chair Miller invited Mr. Bjorklund to provide members with a sample of an organizational compensation plan. Mr. Bjorklund agreed to send the materials prior to the October 7 meeting.
Minutes of Past Meetings
Chair Miller drew the member's attention to the Minutes of the June 10, 1999 and July 26, 1999 meetings. The Minutes were approved by consensus.
Revised Policies 119, 113, 120
Chair Miller directed the members attention to Policy 119, Harassment; Policy 113, Work Hours; and Policy 120, Veteran's Preference. Carla Kolling explained that amendments made to Policies 113 and 120 were stylistic and grammatical in nature and contained no substantive changes. She further explained that Amendments to Policy 119 were suggested by Sarah Andrews Herman after receiving a request from her to review the Sexual Harassment Policy approved by the Supreme Court on January 27, 1993. Motion was made by Judge Simonson, seconded by Rita Hanneson to approve the policies as amended. The motion unanimously carried.
Policy 103, Employee Compensation
Chair Miller drew the members attention to Policy 103 and requested Carla to explain the proposed amendment. Carla explained that the current policy does not provide for a mechanism for salary adjustments of employees to voluntarily choose to accept a position in a lower paygrade than the one currently held. Carla explained that in the event an employee accepts a position in a lower paygrade than what they are currently holding and if the responsibilities of the position are unrelated to the position currently held, the employee will be given credit for full years of service up to mid-point, providing there is no break in service time, subject to the satisfactory performance with the judicial system and subject to the approval of the presiding judge, a designee of the presiding judge or the appropriate appointing authority in the supreme court. Members inquired why the employees would not carry their full years of service into the new paygrade. Carla explained that it would not be fair to employees currently holding positions in that paygrade with years of experience to have another employee with no experience in the paygrade to come in at a salary higher than theirs or years of service. After a brief discussion, it was decided that action on the amendments would be postponed.
Revised Policy 108R, Grievance
Chair Miller directed the members attention to Policy 108R, Grievance. Members requested that we eliminate the wording, unified judicial system from the policies and change it to North Dakota judiciary. Other suggestions included minor grammar changes. Motion was made by Judge Simonson, seconded by Justice Maring to approve the policy with the minor revisions. The motion unanimously carried.
Revised Policy 118, Filling Vacancies
Chair Miller directed the members attention to Policy 118, Filling Vacancies. Members questioned why certain classified positions were exempt from veterans' preference. Carla explained that not being the original drafter of the policy, she was uncertain but would have an explanation for the members at the next meeting.
Revised Policy 115R, Employee Discipline
Chair Miller drew the members attention to Policy 115R, Employee Discipline. The members inquired whether the policy should be expanded to include all nonclassified employees and not just the state court administrator and the assistant state court administrator for trial courts. The policy was held over until a determination can be made as to whether or not to include law clerks.
Proposed Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity
Chair Miller drew the members attention to the draft policy, Equal Employment Opportunity. A motion was made by Justice Maring, seconded by Judge Simonson to approve the policy as drafted. The motion unanimously carried.
Proposed Policy, Athletic & Recreational Programs
Carla introduced the policy for the members consideration. She explained that the intent of this policy was to encourage employees to participate in some form of exercise during the workday. She said that studies have proven that employees who participate in some form of exercise are healthier and more productive. Studies have also shown that employees who exercise regularly take fewer health days than those who do not. Carla explained that the policy is pretty straight forward. Employees would be allowed 30 minutes per day of work time (not to exceed 21/2 hours per week) to participate in a wellness program. They would be responsible for keeping a monthly accounting of the activity they participate in. The accounting would be provided to their supervisor monthly. She explained that before an employee could participate they would have to receive approval from their supervisor, and their participation could not interfere nor cause undue hardship to the operation of the office.
Board members were generally in favor of encouraging the health and well-being of employees, but concern was expressed on the potential for inconsistent application and abuse of the proposed policy. Additionally, it was suggested the management of the proposed policy was cumbersome. Board members requested information on similar programs in the state. It was the consensus of the board to withhold action on this proposal.
Programmer Analyst Job Description
Carla presented the revised job description for the Programmer Analyst position. She explained that Kurt Schmidt, Director of Technology, revised the description in order that it more properly reflects the responsibilities of the position.
Judge Simonson suggested a few grammatical changes. The position description will be revisited at the next meeting.
The next meeting will be held in Bismarck at the Doublewood Inn on October 7, 1999, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and concluding at 1:30 p.m.