Presentation on theme: "HEADSTART! FOR ADMINISTRATORS Office of State Examiner Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service."— Presentation transcript:
HEADSTART! FOR ADMINISTRATORS Office of State Examiner Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service
What is today’s prospective employee looking for in a job? What is in it for me? Will the job be fun and exciting for a few years? Can I use this job as a stepping stone to a “real” job? Will the work environment be geared to my comfort level?
What are we looking for in employees? People who are intelligent, hard workers. People we can keep until they retire. People who respect our authority. People who don’t “rock the boat.” People who are dependable. People who get along with others and recognize that we are geniuses.
How do you recruit and retain today’s workers? Learn how to “sell” or market the department. Compare your department to the local job market and make necessary adjustments. Provide for employee development. Make changes that will not compromise the integrity of your mission.
What “attitude”adjustments will today’s workers need to make? Fire and police departments cannot operate without a command structure and respect for authority. Thinking about what the job offers you is fine, as long as you work at taking care of your job. Working for the fire or police department is not a right -- but a commitment, a responsibility, and a privilege.
What is the administrator’s key to supervision? Establish performance expectations. Convey those expectations to your employees.
How do you establish performance expectations? Look at all of the jobs to be performed in your department – assign duties to positions. Decide how you want your department to run from a “procedures” standpoint. Decide how you want your employees to treat each other and the public.
How do you convey your expectations to your employees? Written policies and directives. Supervisory guidance through performance review planning. Department or division meetings. Expectations should not be conveyed through disciplinary actions. Let your employees know up front what you expect from them.
Once performance expectations have been developed, they form the basis for a job- related performance appraisal system. Decide what criteria are important to accomplishing your mission. Job areas to be evaluated should include job performance of assigned tasks, as well as areas such as the ability to get along with others, cooperation and dependability. These areas are called “dimensions.” Continue developing dimensions until the scope of the job has been covered.
To develop rating scales: Take each rating area or dimension, and develop examples of good, average, or poor performance in each area. These behavior examples are called benchmarks. It is better to have at least 3 possible ratings in each dimension. Some experts advocate four ratings to avoid a tendency for raters to always go for the middle or average rating.
To develop an overall rating: Assign a point value for each possible rating. Add the total of all points, then divide by the number of dimensions.
Performance Appraisal for an Ice Cream Vendor: How well did the employee maintain the ice cream prior to sale? Poor: It was often melted and soft. (1) Average: It was usually frozen, but occasionally soft at the end of the day.(2) Good: It was always fresh, and at the correct consistency.(3)
Ice Cream Vendor Performance Appraisal (continued) What kind of customer service did the vendor provide? Poor: He was often surly and confrontational with customers.(1) Average: He was polite and attentive.(2) Good: He went out of his way to assist customers and be friendly.(3)
Evaluation of Ice Cream Vendor T-Boy Hebert: Dimension 1 (maintenance of ice cream) Average rating or 2 points. Dimension 2 (customer service) Good rating or 3 points. Overall rating = 2 + 3 = 5, Divide by 2 (number of dimensions), for an overall rating of 2.5 (which rounds up to 3 for an overall good rating).
Six tests to apply to each rule or policy to determine if it is necessary: Is the rule necessary to operate the department in an efficient and cost effective manner? Is the rule necessary to avoid violating someone’s rights? Is the rule necessary to provide for the safety of employees or the public?
Six rule “tests” (continued) Is the rule necessary to ensure a comfortable and professional work climate? Is the rule necessary to maintain the integrity and reputation of the department? Is the rule necessary to stay out of legal trouble?
Rules are made to be followed, so Write only those rules necessary to cover things important to the department’s success. Don’t leave a rule on the books if the consensus is that no one follows it. When rules change, have each employee sign and date a sheet indicating that he has received them.
Key to Success Make your expectations known to your employees in clear, concise and easy to understand rules and policies.
HELP!!!!! We have given the employees the game plan for what we expect, now what happens when they don’t follow the plan?
Key to Success Coach first, discipline later and only if necessary.
What is coaching? Coaching is helping your workers learn and do their jobs to the best of their abilities. It may involve on-the-job training in basic job skills, or it may involve more subtle motivation by which you encourage your employees and help them refine their skills and increase their job efficiency.
What makes a good supervisor or coach? The good coach creates a positive work environment by giving support and encouragement to others and by reinforcing their desire to do well. A good coach recognizes the differences in individuals, knows their strengths and weaknesses, and is able to bring out the best in them.
What are the coach’s greatest challenges? The employee who feels he or she is more qualified than the supervisor and resents authority. The employee who is a marginal worker who does just enough to get by. The employee who possesses excellent technical skills, but is not able to get along with co-workers or supervisors.
It sounds simple, but Sometimes, all that is necessary is to tell the employee, “Don’t do it.”
Why should we try this first? It saves an unbelievable amount of your time. Both supervisors and employees do not experience the inevitable escalation of stress that occurs with traditional disciplinary actions.
How to I implement the “coaching” plan in my department? Sell your supervisors on the plan, then hold them accountable. Explain that it is the supervisor’s job to find ways to cope with human demands and to inspire commitment among employees. Explain that it is the supervisor’s job to direct the work of individuals, while maintaining a vision of departmental goals.
The Supervisory File Key to the success of managing the personnel within your department is insisting that all supervisors be required to keep a simple diary of interactions, accomplishments and problems associated with each employee under his/her supervision.
Joe Arceneaux 6/28/047:25 a.m. --Spoke with Joe about being late. Said he overslept. 6/29/047:45 a.m. – Spoke with Joe about being late again. He blamed car problems. 6/29/0410:20 a.m. – Told Joe he did a good job on the investigation. 6/30/04Joe was 30 min. late. Gave him a written record of counseling.
Why is the supervisory file so important? The notes become invaluable in having a balanced picture of employee performance when attempting to do performance evaluations. The notes serve as tools for evaluating training needs. When all else fails, the notes serve as supporting documentation for formal disciplinary actions.
Help! The warm, fuzzy stuff didn’t work! No matter how good we are as coaches, some employees refuse to be coached. They push the limits of acceptable behavior and continue to violate the rules.
What should we accomplish with discipline? Change the problem work behaviors.
Structured discipline has its place, but don’t be held hostage by it. If you develop an elaborate hierarchy of penalties for specific violations, you compromise your ability to manage effectively. Some violations are so severe that a dramatic penalty is necessary even for the first violation. In some cases, a second chance is called for.
When discipline is necessary: Act promptly. Get all the facts. Decide what action should be taken.
In addition to the items mentioned on pages 9 and 10, ask yourself What do I have to do to get the employee’s attention and make sure this does not happen again?
Alternatives to Discipline Verbal Reprimand Written Record of Counseling A work condition or environment of value to the employee.
The Verbal Reprimand The documentation for a verbal reprimand should be in the supervisor’s notes. It should include the date, the time, and the essence of what was said. If a form is used, it should still be placed in the supervisor’s note file, not the employee’s personnel file.
Written Record of Counseling This takes the form of a memo to the employee. The problem behavior is clearly discussed, along with future performance expectations. The employee may be asked to sign the document. Give the employee a copy, then place in the supervisory file, not the employee’s personnel file.
Formal Disciplinary Actions Written Reprimand Suspension Reduction in Pay Demotion Termination
Written Reprimand This is a letter addressed to the employee which describes what happened, why this behavior is unacceptable, and expected future behavior. The written reprimand is placed in the employee’s official personnel file, and may be appealed to the civil service board.
Comparison of Written Record of Counseling to Written Reprimand Get across to the employee what behavior is expected. May be used as documentation for why future disciplinary action is needed. May not be appealed. Get across to the employee what behavior is expected. May be used as documentation for why future disciplinary action is needed. May be appealed.
Documentation Tip for Written Reprimands The written reprimand must be transmitted over the approval signature of the appointing authority. If there was prior counseling on the issue in question, documentation should be attached to show a progressive, good-faith effort to work with the employee prior to discipline. Do a PAF and forward to the civil service board.
Suspension Suspension includes a loss of seniority and pay, although the two may not be equal. A suspension should be for consecutive days. A suspension should always be in calendar days, not hours.
Documentation Tip for Suspensions The severity of the suspension should be commensurate with the infraction. Attach documentation on prior counseling for the infraction. Document the departmental rules violated, as well as provisions of state law which justify the action. Gives copies to both the employee & CSB.
Reduction in Pay A reduction in pay may be effected for a period of time to the rate prevailing for the lower class, or a less severe amount. This action might be appropriate if the actions of the employee caused a monetary loss to the department, or when suspension in hours is desired. The PAF should include effective date, ending date, and rate of pay during the period of the action.
Demotion A demotion is a reduction in rank, with a resulting loss of pay. A demotion may be for one rank, or extend as far as the entrance class. If you wish to specify, as part of the discipline, that employee will be ineligible to take a promotional test for a period of time, it must be done at the time of the original discipline.
A Word About Loudermill and Administrative Leave With Pay Cleveland Board of Education vs. Loudermill was a landmark case in 1985 that changed many personnel practices pertaining to disciplinary actions. The Court determined that public employees have a property interest in their employment that may not be taken away without due process. If you place an employee on leave without pay, he has suffered a loss without due process.
Administrative Leave With Pay This tool allows administrators to get the employee out of the work setting and complete the investigation prior to depriving the employee of money. When civil service boards adopt such a rule, it has the force and effect of law. Try to keep the use to a minimum.
Good Faith, For Cause, and Due Process Any disciplinary action taken by the appointing authority should be in good faith and for cause. In documenting the reasons for disciplinary action, you should always mention that the efficiency of the department would be compromised by the employee’s actions. Due process means giving the employee an opportunity to say why the action should not be taken against him.
When Removal of an Employee is Necessary Each administrator will be faced with the decision of whether or not to keep trying to change a problem employee or whether to cut his losses. This is one of the most stressful and emotionally draining situations with which administrators will have to deal. Concern for the individual must not override our ultimate responsibility to the public.
Most Firefighters and Police Officers Realize -- That they do not want someone backing them up who doesn’t know his job, or who cannot take orders in an emergency. That their reputation is affected, as well, when a co-worker takes action which compromises the efficiency, integrity or respect of the department. Funding is often linked to public perception.
Removing the Recruit An employee in recruit status has not yet obtained any civil service protection, and may be removed by the appointing authority at will.
Removing the Probational Employee The First Three Months The law is silent about the first three months, and the contemporaneous practice has been that employees may be removed at will. Notify the employee and the civil service board.
Removing the Probational Employee Three to Six Months An employee in this period may only be removed with prior approval of the civil service board. The causes which would justify removal are: (1)Unable or unwilling to perform the duties in a satisfactory manner. (2)Habits and dependability do not merit continuance in the position.
Removing the Probational Employee Six to Twelve Months An employee may be confirmed or not at any time during the six to twelve month period. The appointing authority shall always have the right to determine the standards of service. Furnish a signed statement to the employee and the civil service board of the appointing authority’s decision and reasons therefor.
Key to Success – When a failure to confirm is appealed to the civil service board. Make sure action to reject is done prior to the expiration of one year from the date of probational appointment. The employee may only appeal on the basis that he was not given a fair opportunity to prove he could do the job. The board should not second guess the assessment of quality of work.
Removal of the Permanent, Classified Employee Fifteen reasons are provided in Civil Service Law under R.S. 33:2500 and 33:2560. (See other reasons on pages 29 and 30 of Headstart! Manual.) Any action taken must be for in good faith and for cause.
In Good Faith... Make your decision based on reliable facts after also hearing the employee’s version of events and reasons why action should not be taken against him.
For Cause... A termination should be justified by the seriousness of the incident or the chronic nature of the problem. The efficiency of the service should be compromised by the action for which disciplinary action is taken.
Pretermination Procedures – The Investigation Follow the Firefighters’ or Police Officers’ Bill of Rights. Place the employee on Administrative Leave With Pay Gather your facts and supporting documentation.
Pretermination Procedures— The Pretermination Hearing Order the employee in writing to appear at a specific time and place for a pretermination hearing. Include a detailed written list of the charges against him and any rules/procedures which were violated. Attach any corroborating evidence that might be used. Advise the employee that termination is being contemplated.
Conducting the Hearing Should be conducted by the appointing authority or his designee. Your attorney may wish to be present, and the employee may also bring counsel. Advise the employee of the charges against him and that termination is being contemplated.
Conducting the Hearing (Continued) Most importantly, advise the employee that you wish to allow him an opportunity to present his side of the argument and give reasons why you should not take action against him.
After the Hearing... Evaluate the evidence, including any evidence presented by the employee. Make your decision. Advise the employee in writing of your decision. Keep detailed records of all aspects of the process.
When termination occurs... Complete the PAF and attach complete documentation. Make sure that the appointing authority signs off on the termination. Report the action to your civil service board. Advise employee of rights, including right to appeal and COBRA provisions.
When the employee appeals, you will be successful because... You let the employee know what was expected of him. Your supervisory documentation supports the extent of the problem and how you worked with the employee. The decision to terminate was in good faith and for cause. You followed the Loudermill procedures.
Other important issues you will not find in civil service law...
Light Duty It is not appropriate to work employees out of class. The light duty assignment must be duties inherent in the class. The department is under no obligation to create a light duty position when one does not exist. When insurance officials insist, you should advise of the provisions of civil service law.
Light Duty (continued) Remember that there is no official designation of light duty. An employee at work may not be considered on sick leave. If an employee is in his working test, it continues during the period of light duty. If he is failed in his working test, it almost guarantees his confirmation on appeal to the board because his was not given a “fair opportunity to prove he could do the job.”
Employee Records The supervisory notes described earlier are notes of the supervisor and should not be placed in the employee’s personnel file. Medical records, including psychological evaluations, should be kept separate from the official personnel file. PAFs of official disciplinary actions must be maintained throughout the career of the employee. They may not be purged.
Public Records Requests Because of the penalties involved and short time frame, all departments should review the public records statutes and make a plan ahead of time for how such requests should be handled. Consult with your attorney to determine what records are protected, and which records may be released or examined. Never release social security numbers.
Military Leaves of Absence Employees called to active duty must be made whole upon their return. If they missed a test, your board should request special testing provisions. We will administer the test in our office and send a supplemental grade sheet. Employees who missed a promotion must be made whole, even if someone else is demoted.
Making Civil Service Work For You Rather than Against You
Staffing the Department Maintain eligibility lists for high activity classes such as firefighter and police officer. Give competitive tests as often as the needs of the service require – for chronic shortages, this may mean calling for the test before you get the most recent grades back. Ask your board to maintain eligibility lists for those classes where a high volume of substitute appointments are anticipated.
A Word About Promotions Probational appointments must be offered to the eligible with the greatest total departmental seniority. This is also true for substitute appointments for greater than 30 days. Provisional appointments are made when there is a permanent vacancy, but no existing eligibility list.
Promotions (continued) Substitute appointments for less than 30 days may be offered to anyone the appointing authority deems qualified.
Lay-Offs Lay-offs only occur from the lowest class in the classified service, or the lowest class in a series of classes. If higher classes are impacted, demotions occur by demoting the persons with the least time in the class currently held or any higher level class (not total departmental seniority).
Lay-Offs (continued) The names of persons demoted shall be placed on a reinstatement list. The names of persons layed off shall be placed on a reemployment list.
Do you have a special need regarding your grades? Grades are processed in the order in which the tests are administered, and are given high priority with our office. If you have a special need, call either the State Examiner or the Deputy State Examiner and tell us why you need your grades expedited. We will make every attempt to accommodate you.
A Final Word About the Office of State Examiner... Use us for a resource. If you are having a personnel-related problem, we can serve as a sounding board and put you in touch with additional resources, if needed. You can call either the State Examiner or the Deputy State Examiner 24 hours a day, and may reach us at home on nights and weekends.
What’s New at the Office of State Examiner? Redesign of our website. Interactive Personnel Action Form with drop down menus and help functions.
News from the Legislature – 2004 Regular Session
HB 77 – Sent to Governor Increases witness fees for off-duty law enforcement officers.
HB 491– Toomy Signed by Governor as Act 8 Provides for mandatory training for newly elected or appointed Municipal Police Chiefs.
HB 836 – Glover – Sent to Governor Provides with respect to benefits from the Policemen’s Pension and Relief Fund for the City of Shreveport.
HB 870 – Tucker – Sent to the Governor Provides that if persons return to employment after completion of DROP, they shall not earn interest on DROP account.
HB 916 – Cazayoux – Signed by the Governor as Act 262 Provides that any investigation of a fire employee shall be completed within 60 days. The Department may petition the MFPCS Board for a hearing to extend the time for an additional 60 days. Nothing shall prevent a written agreement by the AA and employee under investigation to extend time another 60 days. Shall not limit investigation of criminal activity.
HB 1184 – Cazayoux – Signed by Governor as Act 274 Amends Civil Service Law to match provisions of HB 916 (Act 262) to provide that investigations shall be conducted within 60 days.
HB 1119 – Montgomery – Sent to Governor Only applies to the police service – small municipalities. Provides that service in non-line classes shall not count toward future promotions in line classes. Grandfathers in persons with such service who are already in line classes.
HB 1150 – Montgomery – Sent to Governor Provides same as prior bill, but for large municipalities
HB 1160 – Alario – Signed by Governor as Act 273 Provides that the class of Assistant Police Chief in Westwego shall be in the unclassified service.
HB 1507 – Cazayoux – Sent to Governor Provides with respect to financial security for survivors of law enforcement officers.
SB 276 – Adley – Signed by Governor as Act 14 Provides for the work shift cycle for fire alarm system operators in the Bossier City Fire Department
SB 415 – Michot – Sent to Governor Allows persons from out of state to apply for civil service positions in positions over the entry level. Removes the requirement that persons be registered voters of the state.