|HR Director Amy Trapp|
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.