United Public Employees.
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Meet and Confer Update

 

008 – Acting Supervisor DHA

May 13, 2021

            UPE and DHA met and conferred on April 29, 2021, regarding the Department’s plan to codify and standardize the procedure for selecting Acting Supervisors.  The Department’s plan would base selection off of County seniority. Each Bureau would maintain their own lists with most open-lobby bureaus having different lists for each unit/function and the service centers would be using larger lists based solely on function. The Department outlined criteria by which workers forego their opportunity to serve as Acting Supervisor. The criteria includes disallowing workers with pre-planned vacation from serving as Acting Supervisor.  However, those workers would be given the chance to reschedule their vacation.  The Department also wants to prevent workers from serving as Acting Supervisor if they are under current HR investigation, on controlled leave, or have received a Notice of Proposed Discipline (NOPD) within the last 60 days.  Workers who were unreachable by phone or email or who were not able to serve due to other work commitments such as training would remain at the top of the list until they were available to serve.  After serving they would return to their normal seniority place in the list.   

UPE supports the Departments’ effort to have a written and standardized Acting Supervisor procedure.  However, UPE does have a number of concerns with their new plan.  UPE proposed that the Department provide workers with a written notice whenever they are not allowed to serve their turn as Acting Supervisor.  The Department rejected this proposal citing the need to maintain the confidentiality of investigations against members.  In other words, the Department is worried about having to inform you of their secret investigation on you. 

UPE does not support the Department’s use of HR Investigations, controlled leave, and NOPDs as a basis to deny Acting Supervisor.  According to HR, an investigation is a ‘neutral fact-finding process’ and many times they result in no adverse action against the employees that are the subject of the investigation.  Denying workers an acting supervisor position is pre-judging them before all the evidence has even been collected.  Additionally, investigations can sometimes take months to conclude.  This means workers could lose out on Acting Supervisor opportunities over an extended period of time.

Controlled leave is supposed to be a ‘helping tool’ to allow workers to recover their leave balances.  Again, the Department is taking something that is supposed to be neutral and turning it into something that can be used against a worker to deny them the chance for additional pay and experience. 

Finally, NOPDs are just proposals of discipline they are not a discipline themselves.  Preventing someone from working as Acting Supervisor because of an NOPDA is injecting an additional punishment into a process that already carries punishment of its own.  UPE strongly opposes the inclusion of these limitations.

The two sides are continuing to negotiate over the Department’s plan.  UPE will continue to provide updates. 

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