11.1.1 Staff Development – Quality
Within available resources, the County will provide the maximum in quality staff development. County participation through expense reimbursement or approval of leave will only occur where there is a reasonable expectation that the employee’s work performance or value to the County will be enhanced as a result of the course of study.
11.1.2 Staff Development – Determination of Training Needs
The County and the Union agree that the County retains full authority to determine training needs, resources that can be made available, and the method of payment for training authorized by the County. Nothing in this Subsection shall preclude the right of an employee to request specific training.
11.1.3 Staff Development – Resources
Resources for staff development include Departmental In-service Training Funds, Continuing Education Leave and Departmental Travel Funds, employee-paid training expenses, and the Staff Development and Wellness Benefit Allowance.
11.1.4 Continuing Education – Courses
Employees in allocated positions are eligible for Continuing Education Courses. Those courses taken on County time must be directly related to an employee’s present position, or career advancement within the present department, and be approved by the employee’s appointing authority.
Back to top
11.1.5 Continuing Education – Leave
When a Continuing Education Course is offered during an employee’s normal work schedule, the employee may be authorized continuing education leave. Such leave authorization shall be subject to the approval of the employee’s appointing authority and must be directly related to the employee’s present position, or career advancement within the present department. Approval of one course in a series does not automatically constitute approval for the entire series unless specifically authorized by the appointing authority. Approval or denial of leave will be provided to employees in writing in a timely manner. This provision will be applied as consistently as possible and will not be unreasonably denied. Continuing Education leave shall be considered as time worked.
11.1.6 In-Service Training – Program
The County shall make every effort to provide a program of in-service training for employees in the bargaining unit designed to maintain a high standard of performance and to increase the skills of employees in the Bargaining Unit. Training courses to be attended shall have a direct bearing on the work of the employee. Attendance at training courses may be authorized by the department head. Decisions by Department Heads on request by employees should be based on the following criteria:
- The effect the absence of the employee will have on the department’s operations and its ability to continue to provide the services and perform the functions for which it is responsible.
- The relationship of the subject of the program, seminar, conference or workshop to the function performed by the employee and the department, and the employee’s professional development.
11.1.7 In-Service Training – Payment
There are three ways the expenses of the program might be paid.
By the County – Expenditures for travel, meals, lodging, registration and other items included annually within the department budget.
By other public or private agencies – occasionally, employees receive approval for their expenditures to be paid by grants from the State or Federal governments, from private organizations or from professional organizations.
By the individual employee – occasionally, the departmental budget may not permit trips to be paid by the County. The employee may feel that the trip would be of benefit to the employee’s professional development, and therefore, would be willing to pay the expenses if the employee were permitted time off from work. In-service training time shall be considered as regular hours worked. When more than one employee within a department requests to attend in-service training and it is not possible to grant attendance for all those employees who have made such a request, because of the criteria listed above, the Department Head shall establish an attendance list based on the priority order of:
- Prior identified training needs.
- Prior attendance at similar courses.
- Seniority (continuous service) for purposes of this Subsection 11.1.7 seniority (continuous service) shall be defined as in-service hours from the date of appointment in the respective department.
Back to top