December 8, 2005

(For Board: December 16, 2005)

 

REPORT OF THE RULES, POLICY AND INDUSTRIAL

RELATIONS COMMITTEE

 

Honorable Board of Directors

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway

  and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, December 8, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Pahre presiding.

Committee Members Present (5): Chair Pahre; Vice Chair Murray; Directors Eddie and Moylan; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)

Chair Pahre appointed Directors Eddie and Moylan Committee Members Pro Tem for this meeting only.

 

Committee Members Absent (4): Directors Hernández, McGoldrick, Martini and Newhouse Segal

 

Other Directors Present (4): Directors Boro, Reilly, Shahum and Stroeh

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney Madeline Chun; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James P. Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Public Affairs Director Mary Currie; Human Resources Director Larry Daniel; Planning Director Alan R. Zahradnik; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy Whala

Visitors Present:  Karyn Paulson, former Administrative Assistant in the Engineering Department
   
1. Approve Extension of Two Limited-Term Positions Relative to the Financial Management Information System Project and the District’s Real Estate Activities
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri Mantony, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to approve an extension of the Limited-Term Human Resources/Payroll Lead position through June 30, 2006, to assist with further implementation of the Financial Management Information System (FMIS) project, and to approve an extension of the Limited-Term Real Estate Specialist position through June 30, 2006, to assist with several critical District projects.

Human Resources/Payroll Lead

As background, the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2003-106 at its meeting of October 10, 2003, authorized execution of contracts with SunGard Bi-Tech and Spear Technologies, Inc., to provide system software and assistance in configuring an integrated financial accounting, budgeting, purchasing, human resources, payroll and maintenance management information system to replace the District’s outdated FMIS and related systems.  Activities associated with the configuration and development of the human resources and payroll (HR/PY) suite of the FMIS project were performed by key Human Resources, Payroll and Information Systems staff.  The Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2005-008 at its meeting of January 28, 2005, approved an eight-month Limited-Term Human Resources/Payroll Lead (Human Resources/Payroll Lead) position to serve as team lead for the implementation of the HR/PY modules relative to the FMIS project.  At that time, core Human Resources modules were scheduled to “go live” starting in March 2005, with Payroll to follow in July 2005.  Other ancillary modules were to be implemented after that date, with the anticipated goal to terminate the team lead position by September 30, 2005.

The report stated that, since the initiation of the HR/PY modules, the project implementation team is required to devote more time than anticipated to support the regular processing of payroll.  As a result, ancillary modules have not been fully implemented and final project documentation and system refinements have not been completed.  The incumbent Human Resources/Payroll Lead is available to remain at the District until the end of the fiscal year to administer further implementation of the project, as well as work on compensation issues that have been identified during this project.  Due to the incumbent’s experience at the District and her familiarity with pay and compensation practices, the District would benefit from this extension rather than initiating a process to search for a candidate to assist with this complex and important work.  The Human Resources/Payroll Lead will report to the Human Resources Director when the Payroll module documentation is complete, and the work from that point will lie in the functional area of the Human Resources department.  The incumbent earns $49.02 per hour ($95,589 annually), and is a full-time employee, with benefits.

Real Estate Specialist

As background, the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2001-171 at its meeting of November 16, 2001, approved the Limited-Term Real Estate Specialist (Real Estate Specialist) position for a one-year term beginning November 2001, to maximize lease revenue and manage excess property at railroad station sites.  The Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2002-015 at its meeting of January 25, 2002, amended its initial action and extended the Real Estate Specialist position to a three-year term, to coordinate complex property management issues for the District and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA).  Once again, the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2004-062 at its meeting of June 25, 2004, authorized a one-year extension for the position through June 30, 2005, to terminate at the end of June 2005, to administer activities associated with the transfer of NWPRA right-of-way property to Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), as well as to pursue revenue enhancement activities associated with the District’s various real estate properties.  The position was again extended through December 31, 2005, in the FY 05/06 Operating and Capital Budget.

When the Real Estate Specialist position was originally authorized, it was anticipated that, in time, real estate activities would eventually slow down.  However, real estate activities have instead expanded due in part to the incumbent’s marketing efforts, which are now coming to fruition.  It is important that the Real Estate Specialist continue to develop property issues to a point that routine administrative oversight can be established and transitioned to existing District operations and finance departments.  It is recommended that the Real Estate Specialist position be extended through June 30, 2006, in order to manage several projects, which include transferring railroad properties to SMART, marketing underutilized bus yard properties and assisting with bus lot negotiations for a permanent San Francisco bus yard location.  The incumbent Real Estate Specialist is available to remain with the District through June 2006.  Prior to the addition of the position, the District contracted a consultant to perform these services at a cost of $100 per hour, plus expenses.  The Real Estate Specialist is compensated at $37.96 per hour ($74,022 annually), plus benefits.

The report further stated that monies for the added expense of $47,795, plus benefits, for a six-month extension of the Limited-Term Human Resources/Payroll Lead position are available in the FY 05/06 District Division Capital and Operating Budgets and from savings due to attrition in the Administration and Development Department.  Additionally, the incumbent Human Resources/Payroll Lead is interested in continuing employment on a part-time basis, which would decrease total funding required.  Furthermore, the added expense of $37,011, plus benefits, for a six-month extension of the Real Estate Specialist position will be offset by savings in the FY 05/06 District Division Capital and Operating Budget and with the requested budget increase in the amount of $22,000.  A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Stroeh inquired as to the status of developing the District’s excess property.  In response, Celia Kupersmith stated that the incumbent Real Estate Specialist is currently working on some leasing opportunities involving the District’s excess property, including land near the San Rafael Bus Facility.  She noted that since most of this property was purchased with federal grant funds, the development options are limited in that the District must preserve its rights to use them for transit purposes if the need arises.  She further noted that the rationale for extending the position through the end of the fiscal year is the need to have the incumbent complete all of the leasing activities currently underway, rather than introducing a new individual to the complex negotiation process.

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors EDDIE/MIDDLEBROOK to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve the extension of two limited-term positions relative to the Financial Management Information System (FMIS) project and to the District’s real estate activities, as follows:

     
  a. Limited-Term Human Resources/Payroll Lead position through June 30, 2006, at the current compensation and benefits, to assist with further implementation of FMIS, with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 05/06 District Division Operating and Capital Budgets; and,
  b.

Limited-Term Real Estate Specialist position through June 30, 2006, at the current compensation and benefits, to assist with several critical District projects, and authorize a budget increase in the FY 05/06 District Division Operating Budget in the amount of $22,000, subject to the concurrence of the Finance-Auditing Committee.

Action by the Board - Resolution

NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
 

AYES (5):     Chair Pahre; Vice Chair Murray; Directors Eddie and Moylan; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)

NOES (0):     None

ABSENT (4): Directors Hernández, McGoldrick, Martini and Newhouse Segal

     
  [Note:  The above recommendation was forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of December 16, 2005, for action.]
     
2. Approve Changes to the District’s Classification System and Table of Organization in the Bridge Division and in the Engineering Department
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Director of Human Resources Larry Daniel, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri Mantony, and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to approve reorganization and staffing changes in the Communications and Electronics Unit in the Bridge Division, to better reflect the training and skill sets needed to meet the demands of the changing technology environment, and in the Engineering Department in the District Division, to better reflect departmental needs.

Communications and Electronics Unit/ Bridge Division

The report described how the District’s communications and electronics needs have evolved since September 2001 and how this rapidly changing and complex technology requires upgraded skill sets in the Communications and Electronics work group.  The report provided examples of the highly integrated network of communications devices for which this work group is responsible.  It is important that the District remains competitive in this area to assure that technology is available and operable for departments that rely on advanced technology as part of its routine business functions.  It is also crucial that the District remain poised for future projects, such as a highly integrated radio system for the Bridge, Bus and Ferry operating divisions. 

The report stated that the Communications and Electronics Unit, consisting of three Communications and Electronics Technicians and one Senior Communications and Electronics Technician, is responsible for the maintenance of District-wide equipment, as well as projects involving the use of electronic components.  In addition, the Senior Communications and Electronics Technician has assumed full supervisory responsibility for the work group and serves as an in-house technology consultant and project leader on such efforts as designing and laying out plans for fiber-optic telephone, seismic instrumentation and security infrastructure.  The Human Resources Department conducted an external survey of comparable positions in related industries within the Bay Area.  The salary recommendations are a result of the analysis of market data, in conjunction with a comparison of District compensation of positions with similar levels of responsibility.

Engineering Department/District Division

The report also stated that the District Engineer’s Office staff consists of an Administrative Assistant, who supervises three Office Specialist level clerical positions.  The staff performs a variety of functions including detailed and complex work for contract administration and provides support service to all engineering staff.  After review of departmental needs, it has been determined that an Office Manager position be created in place of the Administrative Assistant position.  The new position will be required to have experience writing, editing and managing legal and contract documents.  It is proposed that the position’s salary be increased approximately ten percent above the current salary. 

The report further stated that the total annualized amount for Communications and Electronics Unit and Office Manager in the Engineering Department positions would be $45,412.  In the current fiscal year, the budgetary impact would be half of this amount, given that six months of the fiscal year have lapsed.  The salary increases, including benefits, will be paid through other cost savings measures in the respective departments and divisions.  The additional costs for future years will be allocated through the annual budget process.  A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Teri Mantony summarized the staff report, stating that in April 2004, the Board approved the reorganization and reclassification in the Information Systems Department to better reflect the changing technology environment at the District.  She stated that a similar reorganization and reclassification in the Communications and Electronics Unit is now appropriate, since technicians in that unit also work with highly advanced technology and demonstrate similar training and skill sets.  This change will allow for compensation that is equitable for present-day tasks and provide for suitable training and development in the work group to properly respond to any technology issues that may arise in the future. 

Furthermore, Ms. Mantony stated that the Administrative Assistant position is currently open in the Engineering Department, and, as part of the District’s customary process when a vacancy occurs, staff has evaluated the position description to ensure that the departmental needs are accurately reflected.  She noted that the Engineering Department Administrative Assistant position is the only position in the District with supervisory responsibility.  She stated that staff recommends that the position be reclassified to an Office Manager position, with approximately a ten percent increase in pay, acknowledging the supervisory role, as well as the need for a different skills set than what was previously required for the position.

Public Comment

Karyn Paulson, former Administrative Assistant in the Engineering Department, expressed her concerns regarding the reclassification of the vacant Administrative Assistant position to Office Manager in the Engineering Department.  Ms. Paulson stated that she supports the staff recommendation to upgrade the position to Office Manager; however, she is concerned about the requirement for qualifying candidates to possess “legal experience writing, editing and managing legal and contract documents,” which indicates that the job would involve writing contracts and limits the field of possible candidates. 

Discussion by the Committee Members

  • Director Boro made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He requested clarification regarding the position’s requirement for legal writing experience and whether or not the District is searching for an applicant with experience as a paralegal or an attorney.  In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the primary reason for the reclassification is to recognize the supervisory nature of the position.  He also noted that because many of the documents that are sent to contractors have a legal tone to them, it would be prudent to have staff with the corresponding background to proofread legal documents for consistency.  He further stated that the District is not seeking to hire a paralegal or attorney, but is instead seeking individuals who are familiar with legal language used in an engineering or construction environment.  Ms. Kupersmith noted that the District is not seeking a person with the same qualifications as the Contract Administrator position and that the job description will be further developed and refined.
    • Director Boro recommended, and the Committee concurred, that any reference to legal writing for the Engineering Office Manager position be amended to read as follows:  “The new position will be required to prove and demonstrate ability to edit and manage legal and contract documents.”

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors MURRAY/MOYLAN to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve actions relative to the Communications and Electronics Unit in the Bridge Division and the Engineer’s Office in the District Division, as follows:

     
  a.
Reclassify three Communications and Electronics Technician positions from Grade 288.5, $55,973 - $67,642, to Grade 333.3, $63,690 - $76,960, to better reflect the training and skill sets needed to meet the demands of the changing technology environment, effective the first full pay period in 2006;
  b.
Reclassify one position of Senior Communications and Electronics Technician, Grade 323.4, $61,963 - $74,901, to Communications and Electronics Supervisor, Grade 380.8, $71,843 - $86,840, to better reflect the training and skill sets needed to meet the demands of the changing technology environment, effective the first full pay period in 2006;
  c.
Eliminate the vacant Administrative Assistant position in the Engineering Department, effective immediately;
  d.
Add one Office Manager position in the Engineering Department, Grade 274.2, $50,154 - $60,626, to better reflect departmental needs, effective immediately; and,
  e. Amend the Table of Organization accordingly;
     
 

with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 05/06 Bridge and District Divisions’ Operating Budgets.

Action by the Board - Resolution

NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
 

AYES (5):     Chair Pahre; Vice Chair Murray; Directors Eddie and Moylan; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)

NOES (0):     None

ABSENT (4): Directors Hernández, McGoldrick, Martini and Newhouse Segal

     
  [Note:  The above recommendation was forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of December 16, 2005, for action.]
     
3. Public Comment
     
  Public comment was received relative to Agenda Item No. 2, above.
     
4. Adjournment
     
  All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 10:23 a.m.
     

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Barbara L. Pahre, Chair

Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee