Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

January 27, 2014

Trautman says city’s personnel manual to receive tweaks

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Changes are in store for the city of Glasgow’s personnel manual, but they are expected to be primarily superficial.

“I went to an eight-hour training at the [Kentucky] League of Cities on personnel,” Trautman told the Personnel Policy Committee of the Glasgow City Council on Monday. “They went over a whole bunch of things that [we] really need to take a look at on your wording and that sort of thing. When I came back, I’ve been making notes on things we need to eliminate, change or update.”

The mayor told the group that the KLC presenter suggested making changes to the personnel manual by executive order to save on having to advertise every change, as is required with an ordinance. Glasgow, she said, has been making its changes by ordinance, so she proposed a hybrid approach for this update process.

She said she would make changes through executive order and then bring the completed, revised version to the committee for review and for possible recommendation for the full council to adopt it. She said later she anticipates all changes being proposed as an ordinance annually.

As an example, Trautman told the committee that KLC suggests going through and removing the words “probation” and “probationary.” She said those words are on many of the city’s forms and other documents. The reason behind removing them would be to reduce ambiguity over whether, after an initial employment period, employees are still in at-will status, meaning they can be fired for any cause that isn’t illegal.

There have been court cases centering on the interpretation of at-will status, Trautman said. To some, no longer being in probationary status could imply that an employe has achieved another standard of employment.

“So we went through and called it ‘evaluation period,’ “ she said. This would deter an employee from thinking, “I’m not on probation anymore, so that means I’m not at-will anymore.”

Trautman also said changes would be made to outdated job titles. Barbara England, the city’s human resources manager, referenced the title of “license fee manager.” This position deals with the collection of the city’s business license fee and occupational tax. Some people have even confused the office with the place they get their driver’s license, Trautman said.

“We’re not changing any job duties,” Trautman said. “It’s just that their title … is outdated.”

She plans to go through the rest of the job titles as well to see whether any others need updated.

“It’s nothing other than wording and clarification,” she said of the types of changes to the manual. “It’s not any big thing.”

Trautman emphasized later that the changes she would make through executive order would not include any major policy changes or introduction of new policies.

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