Chairman Emry Chesterfield called the meeting to order at 1 p.m. Thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
Members present: Loria Bryant, Emry Chesterfield, Donna Davis, Claude Johnson, Brad Montgomery, Belinda Pearl, and Clint Walker. Absent without notice: Charles Blake. Absent with notice: Regena English.
Belinda Pearl moved to accept the minutes from the January 13, 2016 Classified PPC meeting
Brad Montgomery seconded. Motion carried.
Denise Palmer, Chief Financial Officer for PCSSD, came back to present the information requested at our January 13th PPC Meeting.
Emery Chesterfield Thanked Ms. Palmer for coming back with the information.
Denise Palmer stated three items were requested. Classified list she emailed a list of the classified employees to Mr. Chesterfield on January 28th.
Emry Chesterfield told her he hadn’t received it, but he would double check to make sure
Denise Palmer stated the second item that was requested was the cost associated with the PD was $311,179.44 in 2012. She stated it was phased out. We could fluctuate as most things do.
Donna Davis asked if that was $311,000 a year or just that year.
As she understood it, it was phased out over a 2-3 year period of time. There is no actual cost
Denise Palmer stated we saved $ 311, 000 and that it was phased out. It’s a cost that doesn’t roll from year to year. The district identified it as a $311,000 cost and we’re not doing it anymore. The third thing was how much a of a bonus could PCSSD afford. PCSSD cannot afford a bonus this year. And that was all the items that were requested.
Emry Chestfield asked everyone if they had any more questions and no one did. He told Ms. Palmer he hadn’t received the email and requested it again. He thanked her again for coming.
Donna Davis asked if that was $311, 000 a year or just that year.
Denis Palmer stated as she understood it, it was phased out over a 2-3 year period of time. There is no actual cost. The savings now is zero. It doesn’t roll from year to year. She said she would email the list again.
Claude Johnson discussed a problem with the work hours in Maintenance. They were concerned about the district going from maintenance department working four ten hour days and being off on Friday-Sunday to working five eight hour days (M-F) per week. For at least the past 30 years or longer, the Maintenance Department has worked these four ten hour days and many of the employees had gotten other jobs to supplement their income. The employees had gotten used to those hours and not only that, but the employees had gotten other jobs and other responsibilities. It would be taking money out of their pockets, if they went to the five eight hour days. You would be taking away some of their livelihood. It would really hurt a lot of people and it is really becoming troublesome for a lot of people in maintenance.
Belinda Pearl asked what the reason was for them changing back
Claude Johnson stated from what he understood it had to do with Derrick Scott and the Superintendent.
Emry Chesterfield asked if anybody else had anything to say about this 10 hours to 8 hour
Belinda Pearl asked if it already had changed
Claude Johnson said he believed it was going to change July 1
Brad Montgomery said yes July 1st
Claude Johnson said if it takes effect some guys stand to lose $8,000 - $12, 000 from other jobs
Emry Chesterfield asked Mr. Montgomery if he would like to speak to this
Brad Montgomery said yes, What Mr. Johnson said is correct and we’ve actually looked at it for about 3 years now. What happens often times is folks are off on Friday and there are folks that are off on Monday and they all work 4 10 hour days. Our department opens from 6:30 am until 5:00 in the afternoon. So we are going to be going to a 5 day work week like everybody else in the district. I talked to NLRSD, Gene Hawk, the maintenance director. His folks all come in at the same time and they all leave at the same time.
The LRSD Maintenance director, Wayne Adams, 7:30 -4:30 and they all work the same shift. It’s happened several times on Fridays and Mondays when we’ve needed a tradesman and we don’t have the depth and that’s hindered our operations on many occasions. We have 6 electricians and 3 scheduled on Friday and three scheduled on Monday, if everything is perfect. Then you have dr appts and vacations. A lot of our guys are senior and we get 1 3/4 days per month of leave and that’s a lot of leave each year and if we don’t take it we lose it. It’s a good thing we tend to retain employees very long. It’s not out of line with other departments and districts like NLR, Cabot, and Bryant and all over. We are a rare exception that we have a four day ten hour work week.
Belinda Pearl asked if Jacksonville is not in picture, will we still have that problem on Friday and Monday.
Brad Montgomery said it would be a bigger problem. They have told us that they are only going to hire about 6 people. We don’t know if they are going to be our people, hopefully they will, but they don’t have to. We are going to have to downsize 16-18 positions in my Department to meet the requirement that’s going to be levied on the entire district. So if we lose 16-17 positions we have fewer people that can afford to be gone on Friday and Monday.
Claude Johnson stated with that, we can still operate on the 10 hour 4 days a week. It’s always been done that way and it’s never been a n issue.
Brad Montgomery said in some degree he’s correct. But sitting where he’s sitting, he gets to see the whole picture, hear complaints, hear where we’re not doing well and we’re not delivering to our customer. When we downsize, that’s going to make it tougher. We are actually getting work orders complete. We’ve got structure and good equipment now. Our men are doing what we were organized to do and if we go back to what we were doing, our schools not getting what they need, work orders not being completed.
We have 3 major projects: Pulaski East is literally rebuilding a school to become Sp. Ed and transportation. JNP build their new office and North Transportation being relocated to McArthur Dr is a major renovation. We didn’t use to do all that stuff because we didn’t have the bench depth and the trade’s staff numbers that we have now. We lose 16 to 17 maybe 18 positions, we aren’t going to be able to do some things. The projects we are doing right now kind of hurt us when we don’t have the plumbers, AC Tech, carpenter or electrician because they all have to work together. We are a medium size construction company for Arkansas.
Claude Johnson stated that he didn’t know if you can hinge everything on the 10 hours just because of the work orders not being done. A Lot of that came from leadership itself. Not having adequate leadership to guide us/help us. If we had that we would have gotten the job done. When we change from 10 hours to 8, it will really hurt a lot of people there that have done a lot of great things for us in the district.
Brad Montgomery said he’s absolutely correct. What we’re faced with is a difficult decision to make. For example after the announcement was made employees came to him. A young man that works for a gentle part time and another plumber on Fridays makes $700-$800 easily. Another came to the district took a pay cut, gained benefits, not having to work late night out of town. They shared situations, I communicated them with my boss, we discussed it and tried to figure out how we can soften the blow. Fact remains that with the folks we have left; we have to make amazing things happen every single day. Not enough bench depth those two days of the week, if you don’t make this change.
Belinda Pearl asked has this change already been made
Brad and Claude both stated July 1
Brad Montgomery says the change is in the planning stages. He saw maintenance hour schedule change is on the agenda.
Claude Johnson said making changes like this will be a little extreme for guys working for the Maintenance Department. These guys come in and do exactly what you tell them to do to get the job done, and they save the district lots and lots of money. I can sit here and tell stories on what guy did what and how much they saved us. To snatch the opportunity away from them so they can make a little extra money to help their family out will hurt the very guys that are their doing exactly what you’re telling them to do. It’s really hurting them
Emry Chesterfield asked Mr. Montgomery if this is approved by the commissioner one way or the other, how many people in maintenance will lose their job or have to go to another department.
Brad Montgomery doesn’t have an n exact number of folks that did come and discuss it with me was about 6 of them, I’m sure there’s more.
Emry Chesterfield asked if those 6 will lose their jobs or go to another area.
Brad Montgomery said the cuts will be a more extensive than 6. Of course he is moving on and his position is being filled by someone already in the Maintenance Dept. His replacement is from his department 1 position, electrician, welder helper, painter that’s 4 positions not filled. If Jacksonville hires 6 you’re looking at 7-8 people losing a job.
Emery Chesterfield said so it’s guaranteed 7-8 people in maintenance will lose their jobs
Brad Montgomery said all across the district support staff will be losing their jobs
Emry Chesterfield told him just maintenance. We already know all across the district it’s going to happen. He’s not for those guys going from 10 to 8 hours. I know the district can do something else rather than put the cuts on those individuals people s back. They been working 10 hours for so long, they went and got other employment for themselves and their families. I think about their families more than I think about them. When you’re not wearing that shoe then you don’t understand. But if you’re ever wearing that shoe and somebody take a big cut out of your money then you understand how people feel. Me as an individual, I just don’t believe in taking money from nobody not even for voting along those lines. Any other committee members have anything to say?
Donna Davis stated that personally she believes they should stay with the 10 hour 4 day a week. As long as I’ve been in this district, I’ve known them to work 10 hours a day. Like he said no director, nobody in charge maybe things fell behind. But you won’t have as many places to cover and I think the 10 hour 4 days will work. I don’t think it’s right for them to have to give up other jobs. We don’t make any money as it is. I’m just putting it out there plain and clear. We have to love our jobs and what we do to stay and taking someone’s livelihood away from them is just not right. I know sometimes you have to do things that are best for your business and everything, but in the long run are you going to have to go out because these people go and do something else and try to get more people to work those eight hour days or do you want somebody that’s already here and know what they are doing and have been loyal to the district to work those 10 hour days 4 days a week.
Brad Montgomery said he appreciated what all 3 have said up to this point. It’s a delicate balance making a decision like this. We can fix one thing over here.
Donna Davis said and destroy something over there
Brad Montgomery said exactly. So I know when we were looking at this it would be problematic. Fact is there are no other employees in our district that work those hours .The IT did it for almost 2 years. We have to first look out for the needs of the district in terms of making this work. Policy says when you sign up to work for district; we are your primary employment. If things outside the district work for you and your family that’s great, we’re thrilled. If it’s a hindrance, then something will have to be done about it. So the district fully has the right to make the decision , albeit not one everybody can pallet.
Donna Davis stated you’re saying the job’s not getting done now
Brad Montgomery said oh no we are knocking it out of the park now by all accounts. It’s a delicate balance. He didn’t take the decision lightly when we have a huge moral problem and things deteriates. We don’t want that. The department is doing what it was organized and designed to do right now. There is room for improvement no doubt. But if you ask the folks out there that see things changing in our building, do they like the work our maintenance department is doing, they would say yes.
Emry Chesterfield said it’s ok to look at other districts, but just because they are working 5 days a week and somebody convinced somebody at the table that’s the way to go, I don’t think PCSSD employees should be penalized for that just because other districts surrounding PCSSD is going to 5 days a week. I still think it’s another way, Mr. Montgomery that it can be worked out in this district. This district is too big and it’s operating. It’s got to have money to operate, for example Mills. I see they putting up night lights. That money could be going to support staff, but yet somebody made the suggestion let’s put it on support staff back. Why not put the light poles down, so you won’t have to mess with an individual’s livelihood? Somebody looking at the small picture , I’m looking at the big picture of this thing. The employees, Mr. Montgomery, are what make this district work. Transportation for example, if those yellow buses don’t move you don’t have a need for anybody else to be at school. You don’t have school. The employees make this district work, not the people at the top. When you get ready to cut, you got to cut down here. I’m not ever for taking any money from anybody. I’m for giving somebody some money. I’m not going to ever vote for taking money from nobody. To me it’s wrong to even have this conversation let alone take a vote on it. I’m going to assume we are going to vote on it one way or the other. Vote your conscious.
Belinda Pearl stated she understood where he was coming from. When you sit down here on my level and see the amount of money the district has wasted. Chrome books for example. Not our best friend. All day long kids watching movies, utube videos and don’t listen to instruction. The money we have spent, I’m all for technology, but only if we can regulate it. Waste of money , you can’t take something and replace people. Whether it’s lights, chrome books or whatever. We can’t take away any more than what’s already been taken. There’s nothing left to give. PD $ 4,000 off the top of my pay. I don’t understand how much more they want us to give. You are going to have people leaving and we have qualified people and I just wish there was another way or take another look at that.
Emry Chesterfield stated we’ve all heard Mr. Montgomery’s report. He understands where he’s coming from. He’s never been in his position, but I understand. But when you talk about taking something even from you, I’m against it. Been like that all my life. We need to do something else. Why would you want to take something even from him/her? We need to do something else. It makes the people in the district unhappy and makes the taxpayers unhappy. We know you got to do something. Congratulations on the new job Mr. Montgomery. Ladies and gentlemen you heard Mr. Montgomery. Is there a motion on the floor?
Claude Johnson made the motion to bring opposition to the schedule change from 10 hour days 4 days a week to 8 hour days 5 days a week to the Advisory Board in March
Donna Davis 2nd
Motion carried 5 for and 2 against. Mr. Montgomery and Mr. Walker are against.
Salary Proposal from the Nurses
Emery Chesterfield asked if everybody got a copy of the proposal from the nurses.
Belinda Pearl made a motion to refer the proposal to the Certified PPC, because we don’t deal with that
Claude Johnson – 2nd
Brad Montgomery said it is established in law for the teacher’s salary structure. Teachers have a scale, Bachelors, Bachelor + hours, Masters , etc. Apparently this is just for the nurses. Certified PPC won’t help at all, they will say they are support staff and send it back to us.
Emry Chesterfield disagreed. He stated it’s a certified issue. No name, no nothing when it came to him. 1st he changed his mind about putting it on the agenda. He was highly against this. Needs to be in Certified PPC, let them look at it and decide about this. Not a classified issue here. Any other question Ms. Bryant
Roll call yes- Loria Bryant, Emry Chesterfield, Donna Davis, Claude Johnson and Belinda Pearl
No – Brad Montgomery, Clint Walker
Loria Bryant stated so they can decide if they get this or not
Belinda Pearl said we are not dismissing this, we are just referring it.
5 Yes 2 - No
Referred to Certified PPC
Emry Chesterfield stated there’s one thing you don’t see on the agenda
Brad Montgomery made a motion to suspend the rules to discuss the addition of two journeyman plumbers
Belinda Pearl 2nd’
Emry Chesterfield stated Mr. Montgomery this is the same thing in that little purple book that we have been using for years, but go ahead. I know what you about to say, but go ahead and present it to us
Brad Montgomery gave the history on apprentice plumbers program and the goal to get them to a point where they would be licensed journeyman plumbers. One of the three people has completed the program. Extremely proud to day it’s a female! Then they have hired another fully licensed plumber . These two are still on the apprentice salary schedule. He was proposing we recommend to increase the number of journeyman plumbers from 4 to 6 and to decrease the number of apprentice plumbers from 3 to 1. This way you will always have 1 apprentice out there and we would be developing the workforce for what we want to see in the future. We don’t need to hire all old guys, we need some young guys and gals, some not so young and some that are on their way out the door. It will be a slight increase in pay, but the two individuals will start at the beginning of their range with other plumbers. Year by year , they will make more money with step increases. Mr. Montgomery stated the reason he bought it to the PPC was to present it , before they went forth and presented it to the board. It would be very helpful if our group presented this since these are our tradesmen.
Claude Johnson made recommendation to remove two apprentice plumbers and add two plumbers to our allotment and to move the two apprentice plumbers up to plumbers.
Donna Davis – seconded. Motion passed.
Emry Chesterfield stated see how easy that is Mr. Montgomery. If you’ re for giving somebody some money, I’m all for it.
Scheduled the next meeting for March 2, 2016 at 1:00.
Motion to adjourn Claude Johnson
Belinda Pearl Seconded