Personnel policy authority unchanged

Policies for the extent of Keizer City Council authority over administrative personnel decisions remained in place at Monday night’s Personnel Policy Committee meeting.

The committee decided that council approval is required for equal employment opportunity (EEO) issues, compensation of city officers and employees, and benefit levels for non-represented (non-union) employees.

Benefit levels for non-represented personnel need council approval regarding holiday, vacation, sick leave, health and retirement. However, those are only small parts of the policy section.

The city charter specifies that “the council must authorize the compensation of city officers and employees as part of its approval of the annual city budget.” This applies only to the cost-of-living adjustment and the compensation plan. This now is fixed by the policy manual  between 1% and 3%, which makes equity difficult between union and non-union employees. New classifications to the plan are approved by the council.

Council approval is not required for employment classifications, and the charter does not allow councilors to be temporary on-call support. It is not required for general policies and working conditions. Travel policy would have to be accepted as approved or adopted under council rules and procedures.

Also not requiring council approval are recruitment and selection, career development, electronic equipment, progressive discipline, employee resignations and terminations, leaves of absence, alcohol and drug policies, and retirement.

Committee business turned to City Attorney Shannon Johnson, who will retire Feb. 28, the last day of his temporary contract. The council will hire his successor; the Department of Human Resources is not involved.

Mayor Cathy Clark said the council should hire a recruiting company for the next city attorney, and the others agreed. Johnson commented that considerable experience in Oregon is desirable for the position.

“We are unique,” Human Resources Director Machell DePina said, “in that we update job descriptions every single year.”