Personnel Policy Board
June 30, 2000
Pioneer Room, State Capitol
Penny Miller, Chair
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring
Judge Mikal Simonson
Judge Bruce Bohlman
Judge Lawrence Jahnke
Chair Miller called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. and immediately drew the members' attention to the minutes of the April 4, 2000 conference call. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Salary Administration Plan
Chair Miller requested Jana Thielges to present a recommendation for the Salary Administration Plan. Jana explained that their appears sufficient funds in the Supreme and District Court budget to fund up to a 3% staff salary increase for the second year of the biennium. She recommended that the plan (1) include increasing salary ranges for all paygrades by 3%; (2) grant a $35 per month increase to employees whose salary does not exceed the salary range maximum; and (3) grant the difference between $35 and 3% of their salary to employees whose salary does not exceed the identified step system salary, based on meritorious performance as determined by the hiring authority. Jana further explained that all employees with the exception of 5 in the system would receive 3%. Those 5 are over their identified step salary. She informed the members that on July 1, 2001 the number of employees over their identified step will significantly increase.
The Board discussed whether the increase should pertain to probationary employees. Carla Kolling explained that if we do not provide the increase to probationary employees, we will have a situation where new employees coming into the system on July 1 will be making more than those employees currently on probation, assuming they are in the same paygrade.
A motion was made by Judge Mikal Simonson and seconded by Rita Hannesson that the salary proposal be approved in its current form and that the same be submitted to the Supreme Court for consideration. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Dion Ulrich and seconded by Rita Hannesson that raises should be proportionate to the percentage of the employees FTE status. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Judge Simonson and seconded by Dion Ulrich that probationary employees receive the full benefit of the salary proposal. The motion passed unanimously.
Reclassification Request - Chris Iverson, Secretary II, Valley City
Chair Miller explained to the members that on April 3, 2000, Keithe Nelson had forwarded Judge John Paulson's letter to the Court Technology Committee for action. She informed the members that in visiting with Judge Allan Schmalenberger, Chair of the Court Technology Committee, that Kurt Schmidt, Director of Technology, had been directed to prepare a response from the Court Technology Committee stating that the Committee does not believe another position should be created at this time and that the duties outlined in Judge Paulson's February 29, 2000 letter are being performed by the help desk.
Members of the Board discussed surveying the site experts in an attempt to identify what duties are currently being performed by the site experts and requested Carla Kolling to contact Kurt Schmidt to determine the status of the letter from the Court Technology Committee.
A motion was made by Justice Mary Muehlen Maring and seconded by Judge Simonson that Kurt Schmidt provide that letter from the Court Technology Committee together with a summary of how the site experts were identified, their assigned duties and the duties they are currently performing by the next meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Network Analyst I, II and III Job Descriptions
Carla Kolling explained that the three positions are intended to be career ladder positions, however the experience requirement in the II and III are the same. She said the proposed amendment increases the years of experience of the III to three years of experience in a court setting and places the experience at the same level as that of a Programmer Analyst III as it was originally intended. Carla explained that the other changes are merely cleanup as requested by Kurt Schmidt, Director of Technology.
A motion was made by Dion Ulrich and seconded by Rita Hannesson to accept the amendments as proposed and recommends that the drafts be forwarded to the Supreme Court for consideration. The motion passed unanimously.
Judge Lee Christofferson's June 6, 2000 Letter
Concerning District Court Administrator I
Chair Miller drew the members' attention to the packet of information received from Keithe Nelson which included a copy of the minutes of the June 14, 2000 meeting of the Council of Presiding Judges and a copy of the letter from Judge Lee Christofferson to Keithe Nelson dated June 6, 2000. She explained that Judge Christofferson's letter requests that Administrative Assistants who have completed the five ICM courses and possess a bachelor's degree be elevated to a District Court Administrator I position. However, the minutes reflect that due to the increased workload of the Administrative Assistants, their job classification should be reviewed by a private consultant to determine whether a paygrade adjustment is warranted. The Board requested clarification of the issues. Carla Kolling will contact Judge Christofferson and Mr. Nelson to identify what issues, if any, the Board needs to address at this time.
Leave Policy - Post Delivery Bank of Time for Adoption
Chair Miller drew the members' attention to Carla's Kolling June 13, 2000 letter to the Board. Carla explained that with the exception of the State of Kansas, she had not identified any other state or state agency that provides their employees with a bank of paid leave from their sick leave bank for adoption purposes. Justice Maring requested Carla to get a copy of the Kansas policy which allows their employees to take paid sick leave and/or vacation for adoption purposes. The Board requested Carla to find the definition of sick leave in the statute and bring it to the next meeting. The Board requested that this item be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
Reclassification Request and Paygrade Assignment for Fiscal Positions
Chair Miller requested Jana Thielges to discuss the differences between the Account Technician position and the proposed Account Analyst position. Jana explained that the Account Technicians process documents, conduct inventories, and handle book accounts, wherein an Account Analyst will work in the field with the 11 counties coming into the system ensuring that procedures are followed. This person will not process documents. In response to an inquiry of how this position will be funded, Jana informed the Board that the position is presumably in the Clerks' bill. She explained that the day-to-day supervision over the Account Analyst position would not be provided by herself but by the Supervisor of Accounting.
A motion was made by Justice Maring and seconded by Rita Hannesson to forward the Account Analyst position to Robert Bjorklund for his review and paygrade assignment. The motion passed unanimously.
Jana outlined the reasons behind the reclassification request for the Supervisor of Accounting position. She stated that over the years the position has evolved due to changes that have taken place within the system such as the increased use of federal funds, changes in the state management of finances and the inventorying of equipment. Jana explained that the responsibilities for Director of Finance position have been split between hers and the Supervisor of Accounting not because of her part-time status but due to the differences in responsibilities of the position.
A motion was made by Judge Simonson and seconded by Justice Maring to forward the Supervisor of Accounting position to Robert Bjorklund for his review and paygrade assignment. The motion passed unanimously.
Juvenile Court Job Descriptions and Administrative Restructuring
Chair Miller drew the members' attention to the correspondence received from Lannon Serrano, Greg Wallace and the recommendation of Carla Kolling concerning the revised job descriptions and administrative restructuring proposal for the juvenile court. Chair Miller welcomed guest Lannon Serrano, Director of Juvenile Court for the South Central Judicial District and Chair of the Juvenile Court Personnel Committee, and asked for his comments concerning the proposal. Mr. Serrano informed the members that the revised job descriptions reflect the new direction and responsibilities of the restorative justice/balanced approach model adopted by the juvenile court. He said that position description for the director of juvenile court has been rewritten to reflect a two tier position, a director for a small court and one for a large court. He stated that the difference between the head of small offices and those of a large office is the amount of personnel requiring supervision and caseload activities within a jurisdiction. Mr. Serrano said that the position description for the juvenile court officer III was modified extensively to reflect that the position would not only be an administrative line position but also a position reflecting mastery level probationary skills and responsibilities. He said that this position was designed to allow supervisors the ability to promote those individuals in an office who demonstrate significant probationary and leadership skills and that individuals in this position would assist the director in implementing new programs and policies and would handle the most difficult cases. He informed the members that each jurisdiction would decide how many court officer III's each district would have and that there would be no limit on the numbers.
Greg Wallace informed the members that the underlying philosophy of the proposed change is to recognize the importance of direct service to clients, rather than forcing good direct service court officers into accepting administrative duties which they may not be very good at. He stated that under the current system, the number of court officer IIIs is limited because the number of persons needed to carry out administrative duties is limited. Under the proposed system, the number of court officer IIIs is not limited. Movement to a court officer III may be accomplished through performance, not assumption of administrative duties.
Members inquired whether there would be some uniform criteria developed to determine who should advance into a court officer III position. Greg informed the members that under the current system those decisions relating to promotion and career ladder advancements are made at the local level and are based on individual performance. He said that it may pose some problems if one district views exemplary performance differently than the other and court officers are being moved into the III position based on longevity and not performance.
Greg mentioned that under the current system emphasis is placed on consolidating supervisory/administrative duties into one person by allowing a director of court services if the individual has district-wide responsibilities. The proposed system recognizes what exists, that being in some districts, because of geography, consolidation of those duties does not make sense. The current court officer IIIs that are head of a small court are similar to directors of court services in that they are "the person" in charge of juvenile court services and are ultimately responsible. He said that the number of employees does impact the level of responsibility, and should be recognized in the pay grade assigned.
Carla recommended that the members forward the job descriptions on to Mr. Bjorklund for paygrade assignment and that a determination be made as to the fiscal impact this would have on the system.
A motion was made by Justice Maring and seconded by Rita Hannesson to accept Carla Kolling's recommendation to submit the job descriptions to Mr. Bjorklund for paygrade assignment and that a implementation plan containing a fiscal impact statement be prepared. The motion passed unanimously.
Carla Kolling suggested that the Board consider contracting with a private consultant to review each job classification and paygrade prior to implementing a classification and market review system. She explained that the current system has been in place nearly ten years, and there are certain classifications that have not been reviewed during that period of time. The Board requested that Carla contact Mr. Bjorklund and have him submit a proposal on reviewing the entire pay and classification system. The Board will review the proposal at the next meeting.
Carla Kolling, Staff