Three changes are recommended to the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, as follows:
1. Retirement Notice: Employees often consult with Human Resources well in advance of their retirement dates as part of their retirement planning. Human Resources treats these conversations as confidential and does not disclose knowledge of employee retirements to department directors or supervisors. Because retirements often result in significant separation payouts and loss of critical institutional history, advance notice to supervisors can help in transition planning. Therefore, the following change is recommended:
To add language to Article VII, Separation and Disciplinary Action, of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual of the City of Independence, Section E (Retirement) for clarification on how much notice (four weeks) an employee should give their department director before retiring. Revisions are as follows: An employee wishing to retire from the Classified Service, should file with the department director, at least four (4) weeks in advance of the effective date, a written notice of retirement stating the effective date of the retirement.
This language is suggestive ("should") and not mandatory ("shall") to give employees guidance about appropriate notice but to maintain flexibility for those employees who are not able to give extended notice.
2. Promotional Raises: The current policy mandates a minimum 7% raise for all promotions. Following a recent compensation study, staff plans to present a revised pay plan for non-represented employees on June 18, 2018. The proposed new ranges will address prior issues with supervisor compression and co-worker inequity based on the mandatory 7% raise. A change is recommended to the Manual to give supervisors flexibility to recommend a promotional raise within the approved range based on all the relevant factors such as experience, range of duties, pay equity within the department/division, supervisor compression, etc.
Revise Article VI, Compensation and Benefits, of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual of the City of Independence, by amending Section B (Administration of Pay Plan), Paragraph 3b (Promotion) so that non-represented employees receiving a promotion shall be increased at least to the entry rate of the new pay range. Revisions are as follows:
b. Promotion – When an employee is promoted from a position in one compensation range to a position having a higher compensation range, the compensation rate of the promoted employee shall be increased to
the greater of at least the entry rate of the new pay range or a minimum of seven percent (7%), but not in excess of the maximum of the new pay range.
3. Retiree Health Insurance for New Employees after July 1, 2018
On September 18, 2017, by adoption of Resolution No. 6258, the City Council directed the City Manager to identify any opportunities to maximize and further enhance municipal revenues as well as to seek operating efficiencies in all major funds as part of the development of the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget. At the strategic planning session in November, the City Council set as a top priority for 2018 to "address the growing costs of employee benefits." In response to these two directives, the City Manager worked with staff and the City's benefits consultant, Lockton, to develop a range of options for reducing employee benefit costs.
Six options were presented to the Leadership Team, Stay Well Committee and Labor Coalition. The Stay Well Committee declined to take a position on the options, and the Labor Coalition stated that it could not support any reductions in employee benefits. However, the dialogue with these employee groups helped influence the City Manager's final recommendations. Rather than recommending total elimination of retiree health insurance for new hires, the city manager recommends full retiree participation in the cost, as follows:
To add language to Article VI, Compensation and Benefits, of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual of the City of Independence, amending Section C (Employee Benefits), Paragraph 4b (Retiree Health Insurance) to change the retiree health insurance premiums to 100% for employees hired after July 1, 2018.
Employee hired after July 1, 2018, who within six (6) months of their last day of work start receiving a benefit through LAGERS, and have twenty (20) years of service with the City, may voluntarily elect to participate in the City’s health insurance plan(s). This is a voluntary plan with these retirees paying 100 percent of the monthly premium.