The Classified PPC met in Conference Room B, on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Members present were Charles Blake, Loria Bryant, Emry Chesterfield, Donna Davis, Regena English, Claude Johnson, Brad Montgomery and Clint Walker. The meeting was called to order at 1:05 pm.
JNPSD Separation Policy Review
Attorney Allen Roberts and Attorney Whitney Moore came to the meeting to discuss the JNPSD Separation Policy with the committee.
Charles Blake had concerns about the dual seniority center and Exhibit “C” discussed at the top of page 14 in the Personnel Policy. We had never received a copy of Exhibit “C”. Exhibit “C” is the Twin Seniority Center Policy that permits PCSSD to limit movement of licensed and non-licensed employees during the 2015-2016 school year.
Exhibit “C” listed 10 existing schools, not transportation. Everything refers back to those schools. Nothing refers back to the Transportation Department according to the document Dr. Guess, Johnny Key, and Tony Wood signed. At that time they were told Transportation would be treated like Maintenance and Central Office. We told the people one thing, now it seems to be something different. Mr. Blake needs clarity.
He’s concerned because Kim White has called and asked for a list of employees from the North location that will possibly receive separation letters. These people work all over the district, not just Jacksonville.
Allen Roberts stated that he couldn’t promise answers or clarity, but would do the best he could. The detachment agreement was done within 30 minutes, after about a year of sometimes bitter negotiations. First it sat on the Commissioner’s desk for a long time, with the Federal thing hanging over our heads. Second, it was certified staff driven in large part. The working policy of Classified Exhibit “C” was for bus drivers to be a districtwide unit with the nonrenewal or RIF to be handled by longevity/seniority, with the exception of one place identifiable as Jacksonville. The rational is it’s over there – pure geography.
He invited criticism/questions or anything.
If you think it’s a lousy ideal or if you got a better one, Mr. Roberts suggested we put it out there.
Mr. Blake doesn’t understand because the Jacksonville Transportation drives to Little Rock schools, Sherwood, and other PCSSD schools on the Southside.
Mr. Montgomery added they even drive outside of our district from the Jacksonville Pound.
Mr. Roberts has no argument with that. It’s just that they go to and leave work from Jacksonville. He wanted to know if we thought it would work better some other way then by all means propose it. Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Roberts had requested a list from Kim White to see what we were talking about and he understands what we are saying. He doesn’t know that a seniority based way of any of those more specialized locations makes any more sense than the geographical location. He asked this morning (before meeting), if anybody had information on what JNPSD was going to do about hiring, but no one did.
Mr. Blake was told one thing now they are talking about nonrenewal of contracts as it refers to classified staff identified in Paragraph 2. Transportation is not identified in paragraph 2. He recommended they all fall into one seniority center, regardless of where their seniority is in the district or in the department. He said there would be about 25% overall who will receive a RIF.
Mr. Roberts agreed the working premise is about 25%
Mr. Blake wanted to know, if that was what was going to happen in the Central Office.
Kim White has no ideal. Dr. Guess asked here last week for a list of all the employees in Jacksonville. She specifically asked him about the North pound and read the paragraph to him. Dr Guess told her to include the people that actually work at the pound, not the bus drivers. He didn’t indicate that was a final decision on what was going to happen with those folks. Just wanted them to be included in the initial list of the folks that are in Jacksonville.
Mr. Roberts added in regards to paragraph 2, drawing on the benefit that he is the author and it’s hard to contradict it, there was no intention of putting the names of schools in , except for Whitney saying maybe we ought to name those schools or something like that. There was really no discussion on how to handle districtwide people.
Mr. Blake said some classified are building identifiable like custodians, secretaries, bookkeepers, etc., but some go to the school, but they are not school based employees
Kim White says bus driver issue is not an issue. Bus driver piece not an issue, just strictly the 16 people, because that part had been agreed upon by administration. That’s just what she heard.
Mr. Blake told her bus drivers were the issue.
Mr. Montgomery stated that Bus drivers bear close scrutiny. Let’s be clear, bus drivers can be the most volatile employee group in our district. There have been three job actions in 21 years. Drivers control our destiny in so many ways. If drivers don’t drive, you don’t have school and if you do, you’re just babysitting. He wanted to know what happens to the drivers that came from Sherwood, Harris, Clinton, Special needs, Magnet, College Station, Youth Home and Bridgeway. They were moved to the North Pound 3 years ago, when they combined pounds. How will this issue be resolved, since they were placed in Jacksonville? Jacksonville has been silent for too long. We need to know if they are going to hire 60 drivers/20 aides and what we’re cutting. Some of these things can be worked out through natural attrition. But Jacksonville needs to let us know what is going on.
Just like the entire Early Childhood Program is in Jacksonville (Homer Adkins), but they are keeping PCSSD employees and the building belongs to Jacksonville.
Mr. Roberts said it was an accident somebody thinking about Homer Adkins. He asked if there were any ideals, make a proposal or our group can get together and come up with a different way or our own way.
Mr. Blake recommended that bus drivers/staff not included in paragraph 2 become part of the districts RIF rather than the dual seniority center RIF.
Kim White needed clarification, in case people called her, if we decided to do it that way. She doesn’t disagree one way or the other. Hypothetical situation, if someone called from Jacksonville Cafeteria and asked why do the people at the North pound get to stay, what do I tell them?
Charles Blake told her it was not spelled out in the document, because it identifies locations in the dual seniority center and transportation is not listed.
Kim White said she just needed justification to be able to explain. She doesn’t disagree.
Brad Montgomery says what it boils down to is PCSSD can’t be left with too many employees and not with all the senior and top paid employees. Nobody wants to pay top dollar. It may work itself out, but it requires Jacksonville to come to the table. There’s no way on God’s green earth, they will be able to start school without bus drivers that have the proper certification. If PCSSD does this process and does it well, it will meet our objectives and Jacksonville’s. The least senior employees will be in Jacksonville.
Mr. Blake says there may be a few senior employees in Jacksonville, because they live there and will want to stay close to home.
Mr. Roberts said he was told this morning that transportation hired a lot of drivers last year and this year.
Regena English needed to know if the drivers were assigned by school or location.
Charles Blake told us by pound N, S, NW and W.
Mr. Roberts said all 4 pounds were located on parking lots with 2 repair facilities.
Mr. Blake stated they would be moving to a repair facility – Sherwood/MM/Crystal Hill, Oak Grove go to one joint location. Harris/Scott –South. Everybody else/Displaced to the new location.
Whitney Moore stated hypothetically if you’re cutting staff 25% from 2 repair shops, you’re really only losing half of the staff at 1 repair shop. She wanted to know if that was a reasonable guess.
Mr. Blake said yes
Mr. Montgomery said half of the mechanics in Jacksonville
Mr. Blake said a quarter of overall mechanics. Mechanics for instance, 17 of them may not be located in Jacksonville. So it’s not half of the Jacksonville mechanics.
Whitney Moore said that if they were included in policy, RIF all of them and hire ½ back in repair position We can treat them as if they were in this policy and have a 50% reduction in repair.
Charles Blake stated from a seniority standpoint that’s not fair. For example, you get rid of a 20 year employee and keep one on the Southside that has 2-3 years’ experience.
Mr. Roberts wanted to know if there was any way to get the nonrenewals and restaffing done by the first of the year (January). If we have our meeting, determine whose gonna get Rifted and what the composition of the new place is gonna be, we can do it right now. Don’t wait until May 1. Whose gonna stay and whose not gonna be here when it’s over. Doesn’t have to wait until May 1st.
Kim White said that’s why she asked Brad when the new facility was going to be operational as far as moving people to that facility.
Brad Montgomery told them assuming what they were saying is all on paper, until the actual new school year, it is an awesome suggestion, because when we went through this before they started the process of rifting people and they have 10 days to think about it and they can bump people. It takes time.
Kim White said they no longer have 10 days, they have 24 hours to decide. Most people obviously can make a decision just like that.
Brad Montgomery said that will speed it up a lot. Again Jacksonville needs to come to the table. If they know they need 77 drivers then they need to let us know. But, don’t alienate people and wait until the last minute. These people can go to Cabot, Bryant, Benton, etc.
Mr. Roberts said, if it would have been on paper, it would have created security for a large number of people in July. Tell us what we need to do to get Jacksonville to the table.
Mr. Roberts said it hasn’t been an easy process at all.
Whitney Moore said it was a symptom of negotiations. So what you're suggesting is the best for us
Mr. Roberts stated that’s it’s a state of mind that we can’t bring to this process. What’s the best solution for the most people include school district as an entity as an interested party.
Mr. Roberts uses some old adages and then says he doesn’t believe this detachment was a good ideal, nor was it set up very clear in law and statue and we need to get to the bottom line. It never happened before, there was no book to read and we need to figure out the good problems that you pointed out.
Mr. Montgomery said we all have a vested interest in this being successful from day one. We don’t want to read in the paper, the reason this fell apart the first week of school was because PCSSD didn’t have a plan. We take the piece that Charles mentioned off the table, because it’s not in the agreement anyway, and I think that goes a long way to making them successful day one. Let them come to the table and say how many drivers they need and we are going to hire them and what they are going to pay them. Don't let these folks walk off to go to work in Cabot and everywhere else. Asked what kind of problem they were having right now with bus drivers in Jacksonville?
Mr. Blake stated when they came in a took the insurance from the drivers, it caused a crisis all over the state, not just PCSSD. The only person not suffering from it is the private contractor per student, because they're offering that benefit of insurance to others. When you tell these people they are going to get a letter, they are going to be laid off at the end of the year, they are going to leave anyway. We are short on drivers every day. We use to have tons of applications on file to pull from and we could get to them when we got to them, but now we don’t have enough drivers. They don’t have job security.
Kim White says this is happening in other places too. People are jumping ship, because there is no guarantee they are going to have a job. Jacksonville is not posting anything and not indicating who is going to be hired. You can't blame people for being concerned , 6-7 months from now, Jacksonville will not have some of the same positions that we have and you won’t have the opportunity to apply . But they will have to have bus drivers.
Charles Blake stated that if we use that dual seniority center it will make matters worse.
Mr. Roberts asked what you all suggest we do.
Mr. Blake said again he recommended that we have one seniority center for the transportation department
Kim White asked if Mr Blake wanted them to be treated like PCSSD employees.
Mr. Blake stated yes, and whatever number we decide to RIF will include the whole transportation department
Kim White said basically you would tell HR how many positions needed to be eliminated
Mr. Roberts said that’s basically what he was talking about
Kim White said so basically you are going to do what the Maintenance department is doing. You’re going to tell me how many people you will need
Mr. Montgomery stated he had already talked to Jacksonville’s Maintenance person and they are going to hire 6 people. I’m going to shed about 10 people.
Kim White said in other words PCSSD is going to give 16 letters to maintenance people and 6 of them have the opportunity to work for Jacksonville.
Brad Montgomery said yes if that’s the 25%
Mr. Blake said that’s what he wants for transportation. Whatever that number is
Mr Roberts asked how many different skill classifications do you have in the two repair facilities
Charles Blake and Kim White named mechanic ,mechanic super, router, operations specialist, administrative assistant, North pound your Secretary
Mr Roberts stated you are going to lay off the secretary of the director
Mr Blake said exactly
Kim White said she may have chosen to stay where she is because of where she lives
Mr Roberts said especially to Charles I think there was miscommunication in regards to and a lack there of about what they were told, at least that's what Dr Guess told us as far as any decision/ representation and anything else, because I asked the question was there anything we needed to defend or have you issued any other besides the signed document, We were told there were no RIF list and no discussion about treating transportation differently. He never said it and if he did he didn’t mean it.
Mr Blake asked the question about exhibit "C" for a couple of months and never got it. Didn’t know what it was.
Discussion of Exhibit “C” – nobody has a copy. It is the last 2 pages of Personnel policy on page 104, since July of 2015.
Mr Montgomery asked if anyone needed to ask the lawyers anything before they left.
Mr Roberts said we'll be at your disposal. We will be glad to help minimize the confusion. I can definitely communicate the position that transportation not be included in the per school identification. He would communicate separate seniority center to the board.
Mr Blake asked did we understand his concern
Mr Chesterfield said yes he understood his concern if it's going to benefit the professional bus drivers. If it's not going to benefit them then
Mr Blake said it's going to affect the drivers because of the salary scale. In Jacksonville Salary scale it only goes to step 10 on our salary scale. If that person is laid off and they go to Jacksonville then they can only go to a step 10.
Mr Chesterfield stated that he understood and he could agree with that as long as they don't get the short end of the stick . Because I see where we're at and Jacksonville ain't going to bend until they get ready to bend regardless.
Mr Montgomery stated that if you put them in this group then Jacksonville will lay them all off.
Mr Blake said exactly
Mr Chesterfield stated that's what they said they was going to do anyway. Which is not right.
Mr Montgomery said there were a lot of senior drivers in that if they did do it that way. This way the most senior drivers have the right to use seniority. Jf anybody should go, it should be the most junior Mr Blake exactly a person coming in on October 17 saved and a person that's been in Jacksonville for 20 years automatically receives a non renewal notice.
Mr Chesterfield asked Mr Blake if he was saying he didn't like the dual seniority center
Mr Blake told him no, he didn't think it was fair.
Ms English said it worked for her. Maybe not transportation. When she does classified recommendations, it's to that school.
Mr Chesterfield said personally when we voted on the senior seniority center, some people kicked against it. But I don't know.
Mr Jackson stated he said sometime back why don't we have both sides come to the table to hash it out. Instead of one side using we don't want to speak to them and the other side saying we don't know what they are going to do.
Mr Blake stated they won't come to the table
Mr Montgomery stated if you want them to do something tell them the opposite , like the attorney said.
Mr Blake wants to know how they differ from maintenance?
Brad Montgomery stated location
Mr Blake wanted to know besides that
Ms Davis stated that in her opinion Jacksonville was going to do what they want to do. Like Whitney was saying , give them all non renewal and then do whatever. They will be rehiring some of them at the cheapest rate possible. How are you going to give slips in January , if you don't already have a plan?
That won 't happen, that's too fast was the consensus
Mr Montgomery says he personally is against the dual seniority center for transportation
Mr Blake wanted to know if anybody felt any differently he needed to know so when we talk about it again we can be prepared. The dual seniority center it will hurt employees. What can we do?
Ms Davis asked about the agreement that was signed on July 29th. Nobody on this committee had anything to do with it.
Mr Montgomery said it was all at a higher level.
MS Davis wanted to know what we were talking about doing. If they signed off on this document, then this is what they plan on doing.
Mr Blake stated that's what they want them to do. Stick with what they signed off on, because now they are talking about changing it. The schools are in the dual seniority center and they are trying to add transportation on.
Ms Davis So Dr Guess, Mr Key and Mr Woods are going to get back together again I'm sure.
Mr Blake stated then if that's what they are going to do then we will know that's what they're going to do. That's not the agreement they signed for, but if that's what they're going to do then there is nothing we can do. I thought we were here to represent the classified staff. I thought that was our sole purpose and to make recommendations that would best benefit the classified staff.
Ms English stated she doesn't think transportation should have the dual seniority center , but nutrition does
Mr Blake doesn't either
Mr Chester stated he wanted to ask Mr Blake a question since he thinks that. The only somebody that can change what your argument is, is Mr Allen Roberts. If Allen Roberts is talking in that direction of Johnny Key then he already talked to Johnny Key. I can guarantee that. The only somebody that can change that is Johnny Key, the commissioner.
Mr Blake stated then there's nothing we can do about it
Mr Chesterfield stated that's not what he was saying. Johnny Key is a guy who will listen, but you can bet your bottom dollar Mr Roberts and Jerry Guess, they really persuade Johnny Key to do things he really don't want to do. I guarantee you that's probably one of them he doesn't want to do. I'm just telling you how politics is. That's why he was sitting on the end of the table and she was sitting over there talking the way they were because they done already had the conversation with Johnny Key.
Ms Davis stated they had some kind of meeting this morning. If they had one they already knew what they were doing.
Mr Chesterfield stated that before Dr Guess say anything to his employees he has already visited with Johnny Key and convinced them some kind of way that's the best thing. While we sit around this table having a headache and everything it's already a done deal.
Mr Montgomery stated that we still have to speak on the issue and let our voice be heard. He gave a history lesson from cuts that had to be made and Mr Chesterfield remembered it.
Mr Montgomery stated by default it is written correctly, if they just don't mess with it, it'll be fine. But if they mess with it, they need to be at least forewarned. All the work falls to us , we as classified always pick up the pieces and keep marching on.
Mr Walker Asked Charles if they stacked and pulled out the bottom 25% , figure out what we need, have ya'll looked at how many jobs that will fill by going ahead and doing it how it's suppose to be done now?
Mr Blake said it would fill most of our jobs and Jacksonville is the one who would be short
Mr Chesterfield stated that he didn't understand why people wanted to stay in the Jacksonville pound when they had been warned they're not going to make the some money they are making now. Why stay,
Mr Blake That's the problem with the dual seniority . You have no choice about staying
Mr Montgomery They say you can apply for a job
Mr Chesterfield said they can apply, but there is no guarantee they will hire you. That's the easy way out. My opinion is to leave it all alone. Then nobody have to go through nothing. But some people want to mess it all up and it's messed up now. Now some people got what they want and they want people to vote for taxes. Don't vote for no taxes on yourself. If they don't have enough money to run it then they will be left out.
Talked about base may be closing.
Mr Walker asked if we were closed for discussion does anybody have anything to say about that
Election of the Chairperson and Secretary for 2015-2016
Mr Walker conducted the
Mr Chesterfield nominated Ms Donna Davis for Secretary of PPC
Claude Jackson -2nd
Mr Walker asked if Ms Davis would like to accept that. She said yes
Ms Pearl called earlier and said she wanted to vote for Donna Davis
Voted in unanimous
Mr Johnson nominated Mr Emry Chesterfield for Chairperson
Donna Davis - 2nd
Mr Walker asked if he would accept the nomination. Mr Chesterfield did.
Regina English nominated Clint Walker for Chair. He accepted
Mr Chesterfield requested Ms Loria Bryant take over and call for a vote.
Ms Bryant asked for all in favor of Mr Chesterfield being chair raise your hand
Mr Walker stated Ms pearl voted by proxy for Mr Chesterfield.
MS Bryant asked for all those in favor of Mr Walker as chair raise their hand
Vote 5-4. Mr Chesterfield won the position as chair.
Mr Chesterfield took over the meeting and set the next meeting day for Wednesday, December 2, 2015 in board room B. 'Mr Chesterfield requested everyone give their email to Ms Davis and send anything they wanted on the agenda to Ms Davis.
Ms Davis requested cell phone numbers
Mr Chesterfield will check with Mr Robertson to see if it's a update on this situation. If so, we will put if back on the agenda.
Motion to adjourn - Mr Johnson
2nd- Ms Davis