Penny Miller, Chair
Justice Mary Maring
Judge Bruce Bohlman
Judge Mikal Simonson
Judge Lawrence Jahnke
Chair Miller called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and immediately drew the Board's attention to the minutes of the October 7, 1999 meeting. Minutes were approved by consensus.
Leave Policy #102
Chair Miller directed the members' attention to the revised draft of Leave Policy 102. Chair Miller questioned whether, in Section B(3)(b), language needed to be added which would cover death. A motion was made by Judge Simonson, seconded by Judge Bohlman that the word "death" be included with retirement and termination. The motion unanimously carried. Chair Miller clarified that the word "termination" would include resignations.
Jana Thielges inquired whether the language concerning the annual and sick leave for clerks be in the form of a directive rather than in a policy. Chair Miller commented that if it remains in the policy, there is a historical acount of the action taken.
It was suggested that a sunset clause be added to the 176-hour bank of sick leave given to the clerks. Dion Ulrich suggested the sunset clause be limited to two years. He said that after two years the clerks will have accumulated an amount equivalent to the bank of sick leave on reserve. A motion was made by Judge Bohlman, seconded by Judge Simonson that a three year sunset clause be attached to the 176-hour bank of sick leave. The motion unanimously carried.
Members of the Board suggested deleting the new language under F(2)(a) which then would allow clerks to receive sick leave in advance of accrual upon the approval of the presiding judge. Members also recommended changing the word "family member" to "person" in paragraph F(2)(c)(1)(ii) in order to expand the number of persons that might be under the care of the employee.
Members questioned whether Section 7, Conference Leave, was enforced as relates to limiting the number of days per year to two for an employee who has filled the position as chair of a committees. Dion said that to the best of his knowledge it hadn't been. Members commented that it may be difficult to put a specific time limitation on a person due to the level of commitment certain committees require.
A motion was made by Judge Bohlman, seconded by Dion Ulrich to remove Section 7, Conference Leave, from the leave policy. The motion unanimously carried.
A motion was made by Justice Maring, seconded by Judge Simonson to remove the word "elect" from the first sentence of Section B(3)(b). The motion unanimously carried.
Members of the Board had questions concerning the use of sick leave for a serious health condition. For the sake of time in addressing the clerks' section of the policy, Chair Miller suggested moving the policy forward to the Supreme Court for consideration with a memo that highlights the Board's concern with other portions of the policy and the necessity for the Board to spend more time reviewing the portion unrelated to the clerks. The Board unanimously agreed.
Clerk of Court Job Descriptions
Chair Miller drew members' attention to the consolidated job description for the clerk of district court series. Judge Bohlman explained that it was his suggestion to have one job description for all clerks. He explained that the duties are the same only the size of the courts are different. Therefore, the paygrade identification for the various levels could be located on the job description itself. Concern arose relating to the rating of the positions if the job descriptions are the same. Carla Kolling explained that the rating is primarily based off the review of the job analysis questionnaires and the interviews and not the job descriptions. Chair Miller suggested including the language concerning the various levels of classifications in the general summary area.
Carla Kolling informed the members that Paulette Reule submitted a recommendation to change the word "juvenile" to "restricted" in number 2 under the section entitled "Principal Duties and Responsibilities" of the clerk of district court job description. The same would apply in the deputy clerk job descriptions. Judge Simonson questioned whether administrative traffic needed to be included because it is civil. The clerks, by consensus, requested administrative traffic remain included in the description. By unanimous consensus the word "restricted" will replace the word "juvenile" in the general summary of the clerk of district court and deputy clerk of district court job descriptions.
In the section entitled, "Job Qualifications" of the job description for the clerk of district court, the members recommended changing the wording for the experience to "five years of progressively more responsible and expansive experience in a court or closely related legal setting". Additionally, under the section entitled, "Knowledge, Skills and Abilities", the members recommended adding the following sentence,"Skills to communicate tactfully and effectively on a variety of issues."
A motion was made by Rita Hannesson, seconded by Judge Bohlman to approve the clerk of district court job description as amended. The motion unanimously carried.
Chair Miller directed the members' attention to the court technician, deputy court clerk and deputy clerk of district court I, II, III job descriptions. Judge Bohlman expressed concern over having three separate job descriptions for the deputy clerk of district court position and that two should be sufficient as reflected in the court technician and the deputy court clerk proposal. Chair Miller explained that the deputy clerk of district court III position was to replace the chief deputy position in the larger counties. Carla Kolling explained that it was the consensus of the working group of clerks who assisted in the development of the job descriptions that having a "lead clerk" was necessary in order to properly monitor the operations of their office. She said that the deputy clerk of district court III is not part of the deputy clerk of district court career ladder series. Judge Bohlman questioned what counties would be entitled to a deputy clerk of district court III position. Carla explained that the number of case filings in the county, the number of personnel in the office and a demonstrated need will be primary considerations when identifying those locations. Norine Knudson supported having three deputy positions due to the different size counties and the needs of those counties. Justice Maring stated that it became clear at the meeting of the clerks when the job descriptions were developed that the three positions are necessary.
By consensus the Board decided to go with the deputy clerk of district court I, II, III job descriptions.
Chair Miller drew the members' attention to the "Principal Duties and Responsibilities" section of the job description. In number 8 the word "comprising" should be changed to "compromising". In the section entitled "Experience" of the job description for the deputy clerk of district court III, it was suggested that the wording be changed to read, "Three years of progressively more responsible and expansive experience in a court or closely related legal setting", and in the deputy clerk of court II, the wording be changed to read, "Two years of experience in a court, law office or closely related legal setting". Judge Bohlman recommended adding the following language to the section entitled "Knowledge, Skills and Abilities" of the deputy clerk of district court III job description: "Ability to plan, assign and supervise all office operations, exercising independent judgment."
A motion was made by Justice Maring, seconded by Rita Hannesson to send the job descriptions, as amended, to the Supreme Court and that a copy be forwarded to Robert Bjorklund with the job analysis questionnaires. A letter is to accompany the attachments to Mr. Bjorklund explaining that the descriptions have not been approved by the Supreme Court and are subject to amendments. The motion unanimously carried.
Programmer Analyst III Job Description
Chair Miller drew the members' attention to the programmer analyst III job description and asked Carla Kolling to inform the Board of the reason for its reappearance on the agenda. Carla explained that the original amendment that came before the Board contained a drafter's error. The error reflected the removal of the requirement that years of experience be in a court setting. She explained that during the review of the document, the error was overlooked. Furthermore, after reviewing the descriptions, Keithe Nelson had suggested one additional change. He recommended increasing the years of experience required in a court setting to three. His recommendation however does not affect the person currently holding the analyst I position, Kari Goos. Ms. Goos would move into the programmer analyst III position after two years of court experience. Justice Maring recommended consolidating numbers 7 and 8 of the Principal Duties and Responsibilities.
A motion was made by Judge Bohlman, seconded by Judge Simonson to accept the amendments to the job description and that the programmer analyst III job description be included with the programmer analyst I and II when submitted to the court for consideration. The motion unanimously carried.
Policy 103, Employee Compensation
Chair Miller informed the Board of the Supreme Court's recent action to Policy 103, more particularly, to Section 7, Pay Grade Adjustment. She explained that in the event there is a determination that a reclassification of a job series warrants adjustment, the employees' salaries will be moved to the same step in the new paygrade unless an employee is over their identified step. Dion inquired as to what constitutes a job series. Chair Miller explained that it would be those job classifications that have multiple people holding those positions. For example, all the judicial secretaries. A question arose as to whether a person holding a single job series would be entitled to the same benefit as those who are part of a multiple job series, more particularly, as relates to carrying over years of service. Justice Maring stated that certainly that argument could be made, but it may not be valid because she believed the intent to be for multiple holders of a job series. Chair Miller explained that it may be a issue that the Supreme Court may have to resolve.
Juvenile Court - Job Series Review
Carla informed the Board that she will be meeting with a working committee, chaired by Lanny Serrano on December 16 to begin reviewing the job series for the juvenile court.
The next meeting of the Board will be held on February 3, 2000 at the Stutsman County Courthouse in Jamestown.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
Carla Kolling, Staff