Report 2014-122 Recommendation 13 Responses

Report 2014-122: Ross Valley Sanitary District: The Board and Management Have Only Recently Begun to Address Significant Weaknesses in the District's Financial and Administrative Functions (Release Date: April 2015)

Recommendation #13 To: Ross Valley Sanitary District

The board should reduce the salary ranges for all positions in the district's salary schedules to better align with comparable positions at comparable sanitation agencies. While we are not suggesting that the board cut current salaries of its employees, it is imperative that the board reduce the salary ranges in its salary schedules before more employees reach the top step of their respective salary ranges. The board should also ensure that COLAs are tied to an appropriate cost-of-living index and that any merit raises are based on satisfactory performance that is documented in an appraisal. Further, the board should either justify its need for longevity pay to attract and retain qualified employees or discontinue its practice of offering longevity pay to those employees who are not already receiving this extra pay. In addition, the district should revise its employee retirement contribution policy to require all employees to contribute an appropriate amount to their pensions and should discontinue its practice of reimbursing its represented employees up to $300 annually for gym memberships. The board should make these changes for unrepresented employees immediately and should seek to make these changes for represented employees by negotiating with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 2167 when the current MOU expires in July 2015.

1-Year Agency Response

The recommendations have been implemented for all unrepresented staff. These same recommendations will all have been met pending the April 20, 2016, Board meeting to consider approving the new AFSCME - RVSD 2015-18 Labor Agreement (AFSCME MOU).

  • Completion Date: May 2016
  • Response Date: April 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

The board adopted the resolution described in its 6-month response that does not include any COLAs for unrepresented employees and requires merit raises to be based on performance that is documented in an employee's annual performance evaluation. The resolution also eliminated the longevity pay program and required all unrepresented employees to begin making the full employee contribution towards their pension benefits beginning July 1, 2015.

The new labor agreement mentioned above ties COLAs for represented employees to the San Francisco Bay Area Urban Consumer Price Index and district policy requires merit raises for unrepresented employees to be based on satisfactory performance that is documented in an employee's appraisal. The new labor agreement also eliminated the longevity pay program for represented employees and requires all of those employees to contribute the full employee contribution towards their pension benefits beginning July 1, 2017.

Citing the Affordable Care Act's emphasis on promoting employee health, the district ceased its gym membership reimbursement program, and established a wellness allowance that reimburses employees for a wider array of programs related to diabetes management, smoking cessation, weight loss programs, and other preventative programs.


6-Month Agency Response

The Board has directed the General Manager and Human Resources to seek these goals for both AFSCME represented and all non-represented employees. The existing agreement with AFSCME expired at the end of June 2015, and labor negotiations are currently in progress. Many of the recommendations are being addressed at the bargaining table.

In regard to unrepresented staff, the Board adopted the Resolution Regarding Compensation and Conditions of Employment for Professional and Administrative Staff in August 2015. The resolution specifically addresses the recommendations. The District has adopted the public policy identified in the affordable Care Act to recognize employer engagement in promoting employee health; the District has ceased, for its unrepresented employees, its "gym membership reimbursement" program in favor of a wellness allowance that permits employees to be reimbursed for a wider array of programs related to diabetes management, smoking cessation, weight loss programs, and other preventative programs.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

The board resolution described above does not include any COLAs for unrepresented employees and requires merit raises to be based on performance that is documented in an employee's annual performance evaluation. The resolution also eliminates the longevity pay program and requires all unrepresented employees to begin making contributions towards their pension benefits beginning July 1, 2015.


60-Day Agency Response

The Board has directed the General Manager and Human Resources to seek these goals for both AFSCME represented and all non-represented employees. The existing agreement with AFSCME expires at the end of June 2015, and labor negotiations are currently in progress. The Board will be considering updated "Terms and Conditions of Employment" for unrepresented employees, which will consider these same goals, in the July/August 2015 timeline.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2015
  • Response Date: June 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2014-122

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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