DuBOIS — Employees were discussed at the DuBois/Sandy Township Consolidation Committee meeting last week.
The Administrative Sub-Committee submitted an organizational chart it developed to the Consolidation Committee for review.
“We had an extra six points with that…but really, the point is just to let employees know that, as much as possible, we’re trying to keep their jobs in the new municipality,” the subcommittee chair said. , Shawn Arbaugh. , noting that it featured a blank organizational chart with the positions, then the names of the employees listed below in alphabetical order.
“Again, what the administrative subcommittee unanimously recommended was to include this in the consolidation agreement and make this recommendation to the 10-member joint council,” said Arbaugh, who is also the township director.
The six elements listed in the flowchart include:
- May be amended to remove employees who are voluntarily or involuntarily separated before December 30, 2025.
- May be amended to add new positions and new employees as approved by the 10-member Joint Council.
- May be amended to remove positions if economic conditions deteriorate significantly.
- Public Works employee positions will be determined as part of the transition planning process.
- Employees for sergeant and corporal positions within the police service will also be determined as part of the transition planning process.
- Employees for the Director, Deputy Director, Chief and Deputy Chief positions will also be determined as part of this transition planning process.
Arbaugh proposed that the consolidation committee forward the organizational chart to the 10-member joint council and recommend putting it in the consolidation agreement.
Consolidation Committee member Dan Kohlhepp asked if this had already been submitted to the joint board, noting a Sept. 6 memo.
“Initially we were going to take this to the 10-member joint council, and then we recognized that we had to go through the nine-member committee first,” Arbaugh said. “That date (will) be changed there.”
Kohlhepp said it looked like about a month ago the committee discussed something similar to this. He noted that there was an objection about the organizational chart by the police department subcommittee.
“Is it really different? Is it the same?” said Kohlhepp.
“It’s similar, Dan,” Arbaugh said. “I think the big difference is that we included in that if the joint council wanted to add new positions or anything else that could be added to that transition planning process.”
Kohlhepp asked why all employee names are listed on the board.
“Again, we try to protect employees as much as possible,” Arbaugh said. “I know we can’t guarantee that they will have a job, but I think it gives them a lot more comfort to see their name on a map, that they are going to be included in this new municipality, if they do. wish. .”
Kohlhepp asked if new employees were hired in the meantime, of course they would be included in the table.
Arbaugh said Kohlhepp was right and the table could be changed by the joint board.
“I think we, at least at the township level, get questions from employees, are we still going to have a job,” said committee member Kevin Salandra, who is a township supervisor. “I think what the administrative committee tried to do was … these are the job titles we have, and these are the people we have and there are currently enough people to fill the job title. So if things stay the same, no one is going to lose their job, just to try to assuage some of the (concerns) of the employees. »
“Well, the suggestion is that when it’s recommended, but then the transition committee or whatever the board uses it in the planning, but once there’s a new entity, they can do whatever they want,” Kohlhepp said.
“Essentially, yes,” Arbaugh said.
“But it’s just a suggestion for going through the transition and it’s like a plan,” Kohlhepp said.
“I think one of the things he does is give people that security of knowing they’re part of this new municipality and maybe, (lawyer) Chris Gabriel, I don’t know if you want to weigh in on that, but one of the things that we’re going to be negotiating union contracts at some point, probably in the arena of 2025 or when it’s recommended to … so that might impact the new municipality,” said said Arbaugh.
“I think the committee is trying to thread a needle between two things,” Gabriel said. “It’s hard to do. I admit it’s hard to do because we can’t, for the reason you asked, I mean the new municipality is going to be able to do what they want with the job. And so it’s an attempt not to guarantee jobs for these people, but to reassure them that if we have our detractors, they’ll be there. I have a bit of concern as to how the employees will take it. Because as everyone knows, they can take it as a guarantee, I don’t know. It’s not intended that way, but it says what it says. So it’s an attempt to try to get some insurance, but at the same time not to make a job guarantee. Because a job guarantee is legally problematic. So that’s kind of my two cents on that.
“And I think your questions, your concerns, Chris, have been answered in the letter before us with the five options,” said committee member and DuBois Mayor Ed Walsh. “That’s what we want, but God forbid the budget is falling to nothing. We’re back to square one. So if things stay the same…”
“I agree and with that, and the fact is that since it’s a recommendation from this committee to the next committee, obviously they have the opportunity to decide if they want to do that as well,” said said Gabriel. “And then, as we have said so many times and on so many topics, even this committee is really saying, this is our plan. So as long as we’re clear on that, I think it’s fine.
“You walk in three or four years from now, can you guarantee me a job?” said committee chairman Dick Whitaker.
“Because my name was on that list and you all passed it,” Gabriel said.
“And I think one of the other reasons we did this on the administrative committee was not so much for union employees, non-union employees, those who are just as important and they’re all saying, ‘Hey well, damn it, I’m I’m going to have a job as a secretary? Am I going to get a job?’ Just to reassure them a bit, the posts will be there, hopefully. And a new administration,” Walsh said.
Ultimately, later in the process, three years from now, Gabriel said, there may be a time when someone is crunching numbers and may be thinking about making efficiencies somewhere, the new city doesn’t may not need all these positions.
“I don’t know if it’s happening or not. I don’t know if that’s the case. I don’t know if that’s not the case,” Gabriel said. “And I think it’s unfortunately difficult for all of us to know. That’s the other thing, but I think everyone understands that. But if an employee realizes that three years later, that’s the problem.
“I think to reiterate what was said, we really want to try to keep people around,” Arbaugh said. “We don’t want them looking for jobs because we need these people, I mean they’re doing a fantastic job and we just want to make sure we keep them.”
The committee approved the transmission of the organization chart to the joint council of 10 members.