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Thursday, April 14, 2016

NorCo Council Approves Major Reorganization of Human Resources

HR Director Amy Trapp
Amy Trapp, who was approved as Northampton County's Director of Human Resources last October, is quickly proving herself to be one of Executive John Brown's best picks. Last night, Council voted 8-0 to approve a major reorganization of her office so that she could better serve the County worker. As she summed it up, "Employees in the County have not felt the effect of good services."

Trapp told Council, that since Human Relations was first established in 1998, there has been no reorganization of the office while the County's workforce has grown to 2,200 managed by a staff of 13.

As a result of a critical review of her own department, Trapp determined that too many human resource functions are being foisted on department heads, which detracts from their ability to do their own jobs while burdening them with sensitive employee information..

The restructuring approved will re-classify her staff to include two recruitment specialists, two benefit coordinators, one labor relations officer, one leave coordinator and one HR analyst. It will also create an executive secretary and pension and retirement administrator position.

Recruitment specialists ($34,910, pay grade CS-17) will assist with recruitment and testing efforts, as well as employee "onboarding" and employee orientation. Benefits coordinators ($40,083, pay grade CS-20) will administer employee benefit programs, including health, workers comp, life insurance and disability. The leave administrator ($43,948, pay grade CS-22) will coordinate the County's leave programs, whether it is sick leave, military leave or leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).The pension and retirement administrator ($43,948, pay grade CS-22)  will perform pension calculations, conduct benefits audits and respond to pension and retiree questions. The human resources analyst ($57,926, pay grade CS-28) will study job rends and identify appropriate employee compensation based on both internal and external salary statistics. The executive secretary ($38,276 , pay grade CS-19) will work in direct support of the Director of Human Resources and will be trusted with highly confidential information.  

Trapp indicated there will be cross-training within the department. "You can't survive in this day and age, doing more with less, without having everyone cross-trained," she told Council President John Cusick.

The total cost of these changes to the County will be $156,135, but Trapp indicated that there will be no need for a Budget Amendment because she already has the money for these new positions.She added that the County wold see a "huge return" on this restructuring in soft costs like avoiding EEOC claims that on average cost the County $250,000, regardless of outcome.

Most importantly Trapp believes this will help serve the employee population.

In response to Ken Kraft, Trapp advised that department managers can spend between 60-90 minutes of their day dealing with an FMLA matter, and that takes them away from their job duties, slowing them down, and ultimately costing the taxpayer. It also costs employers $78,000 on average to defend a FMLA lawsuit, regardless of outcome. Decentralized FMLA increases the probability of error. .

Trapp has also eliminated the 4-day a week, 10-hour day in her office. "HR is a customer service focused department," she told Peg Ferraro."My philosophy of service to be provided to employees did not allow for four 10-hour days because we needed to be available when employees needed us."  

"When we hired Ms.Trapp last year, this is why we hired her," said Ken Kraft, himself a business agent for the trades unions. "I think this is going to be great."

In other business, County Solicitor Ryan Durkin asked Council to reclassify his Office Administrator, Sharon Lerch, from Executive Secretary to Paralegal,with a modest increase in salary to $47,892 (pay grade CS-21).

Durkin called Lerch "one of the best paralegals I've ever had." He called her "the essential glue that makes the part-time office work," referring to the part-time Solicitors.

Hayden Phillips noted that, in addition to the work experience, she also has a paralegal certificate from Northampton Community College, and was also recommended by DA John Morganelli. "She also has the drive," said Ken Kraft. "I want to keep her."

Her reclassification and raise passed 8-0.

Glenn Geissinger, who is running for Congress, skipped the meeting to attend a fundraiser in Pottsville. Executive John Brown, who is running for state auditor general, opted to attend a candidates' night in Philadelphia.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Geissinger is a waste of a seat on county council No more votes for him.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Vote both Glen and Brown out next year!!

Anonymous said...

Just rearranging deck chairs on the SS Brownstain. Amy's faves get raises while lightening up their duties.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. Paying people more to do essentially the same work that has always been done is a waste of taxpayer money. Dare I say - higher and deeper.

Anonymous said...

How do you retrain some Doppler. I could name one individual who will willingly take a pay raise, but you won't see an effort of extra work or dedication from her!!!!

Anonymous said...

I truly hope the HR office becomes an employee FREINDLY office. It hasn't been in years!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

8:17 continues his bizarre fascination with fecal residue.

Anonymous said...

It's highly likely that Amy's faves are not your average recipient worker finding ways to scam the system. This is likely rewarding those worth retaining and setting the stage for the ambition and intellect challenged to depart.

Anonymous said...

Yes but what of the HR queen bees?

Anonymous said...

Bring back Connie!

Anonymous said...

8:17 seems like a poor potty training type. Some days are better than others for him or her. It Depends.

Anonymous said...

There's only one queen bee nowadays and her name is Amy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

She is very much in command and like Ken Kraft, I think she is going to have a very positive impact on the County.

Anonymous said...

paying people to do the same freaking job is a complete waste of tax payer cash. but then again, it is govt we are talking about. it doesn't matter who is running the show, neither party could care less about wasting tax payer cash in their over bloated scam of a govt.this is and always has been one of the reasons people do not trust govt on any level. lets hope this lady cleans house/eliminates jobs , that are not needed, and figures out a way to save the tax payers cash.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I wonder if this person realizes how idiotic he or she sounds. Apparently, paying someone to work is a waste. I see.

Anonymous said...

Brownstain has left a skid mark with this reorganization.

Anonymous said...

You are swallowing bullshit Bernie

Anonymous said...

Bet you anything the undereducated and unqualified queen bee will make sure she gets a nice raised and a new title. She is good at that. Staff has known that for years.

Anonymous said...

4:56. Undereducated ? How do you figure that?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The "queen bee" being maligned here has retired. So much for the knowledge of this anonymous coward.

Anonymous said...

If you watch video stream closely, H. Phillips corrects himself and notes that the Solicitor's Office Paralegal has a 2-yr Associate Degree, not a "certificate." Another NCC grad making a mark in the local legal community.

Anonymous said...

"The "queen bee" being maligned here has retired"

Not true as you well know. She is still buzzing around the Department. Staff do not lie, however they don't want an arbitrary desk audit to demote them so they keep anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I'm grateful or upset that John Brown is not in the county "doing his job". It seems most of the initiatives he's involved in go very badly, but as a tax payer I wish he would do the job he was paid to do

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Not true as you well know. She is still buzzing around the Department."

You are incorrect and don;t have a clue what is going on, probably bc you don't work fro the county.

Anonymous said...

If one were to watch the committee and council meetings, one would notice there is mention of an upcoming employer retirement.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You mean employee. But let this person continue to make a fool out of herself, and then tell more lies.

Anonymous said...

You want to protect the queen bee. It shows how disingenuous your information is on this topic. Staff are still in fear of the queen bee while you protect a friend's close friend. People know.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Does anyone know what this person is discussing? I sure as hell don't. I am protecting a friend's close friend for pointing out that you are full of shit?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I just deleted AN anonymous comment bc it includes a huge gap at the end, which drives me nuts. I am reproducing it below.

"Bernie, I think people are referring to a secretary that was given an administrative job in HR. She was close to a couple of the Department heads some years back. some staff are apparently still miffed that she got the job despite not having the educational and experience fro the job. At the time it ruffled a lot of feathers. I guess some of the older staff are still angry. Also she is known to have a bit of an attitude."

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no idea who this person is, and still don't know what is meant by "friend's close friend." I am not nor have I ever been close to anyone in that department. I rarely come into contact with any of them, so the whole thing puzzles me.

Anonymous said...

How dishonest are you? you said you wanted to know what 3:43 was talking about, you were told and you quick hide it. I guess you really do take care of your friends with your "factual" blog.

Ssup!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not hide or delete anything. I re-posted the possible explanation, without the huge gap at the end. You are blasting me for deleting empty space. It also does not answer my question. As I've indicated, I simply am not close to anyone in HR. So I do not know who the friend or who the friend's friend is. At this point, I am no longer interested in what you have to say. You obviously have issues.

Anonymous said...

The queen bee did not retire yet.....you are wrong Bernie O'Hare! I know for a fact and I will never read your blogs again because you do lie!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank goodness.