Western Council of Engineers

2018 - 2019 WCE
Memorandum of Understanding:  
Article 16: Staff Development & Wellness

16.0 Staff Development Benefit Allowance Program

The County will reimburse, out of departmental funds, the renewal cost of licenses and certifications required by the employee’s current job specification.

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16.1 County Participation

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.

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16.2 Financial Resource Options

Resources for staff development include Departmental In-Service Training funds, Staff Development Benefit Allowance amounts, Continuing Education Leave and Departmental travel funds, and employee paid training expenses.

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16.3 Determining Training Needs

The County and the Council 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.

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16.4 Continuing Education Courses

  1. Employees in allocated positions are eligible for Continuing Education Courses (CEC). 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 subject to approval by the employee's appointing authority.
  2. In the event the State of California mandates continuing education to retain licensure, the parties agree to meet and confer regarding Section 16.5 to include payment, the issue of work time, and implementation of an In-service agreement.

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16.5 Continuing Education - Approval by Appointing Authority

When a Continuing Education Course (CEC) 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. Continuing Education Leave shall be considered as time worked.

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16.6 In-Service Training - Program Description

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 of 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; the method of financing the training requested by the employee.

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16.7 In-Service Training - Financial Resource Options

There are three (3) ways the expenses of the program might be paid:

  1. By the County: Expenditures for travel, meals, lodging, registration and other items included annually within the department budget.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 at full salary.

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16.8 Employee Attendance Selection

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).

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16.9 Staff Development and Wellness Benefit Allowance Program

The Department of Human Resources shall develop, modify, implement, and administer administrative / programmatic guidelines to remain in compliance with IRS regulations, based on the County’s Staff Development Benefit Allowance Program Administrative Manual.

An eligible employee may request reimbursement for allowable expenses, upon approval of the appointing authority, and as defined in the County’s Staff Development Benefit Allowance Program, Administrative Manual.

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16.10 Staff Development and Wellness Benefit Allowance Amounts

The annual Staff Development / Wellness Benefit Allowance and carry-over amount will be provided to all full- and part-time eligible employees as specified in the following table:

Employee Status Annual Benefit Staff 
Development / Wellness Allowance
Full-Time – .75 FTE & Above $ 950
Part-Time – Less than.75 FTE $ 475

These amounts shall be maintained through this Contract term. Total funds per fiscal year can be used for Staff Development and/or Wellness expenditures. Funds may not be carried over into the next fiscal year. Use of Staff Development / Wellness Benefit funds subject to approval and provisions of the Staff Development Administrative Manual and non-job related expenses may be taxable pursuant to Internal Revenue Code.

On the date of the County Board of Supervisors’ approval of this successor MOU, the fiscal year Staff Development / Wellness Benefit may be used towards reimbursement for allowable Staff Development and Wellness Benefits. Reimbursement of expenses will be based on the MOU in effect on the purchase date.

16.10.1 Staff Development - Computer Hardware and Mobile Devices

Staff Development / Wellness Benefit Allowances may be used towards reimbursement for the purchase of computer hardware as defined in the County’s Staff Development Benefit Program Allowance Administrative Manual. Monthly service charges for internet and mobile communication connections are not reimbursable under this Program. The use and approval of all computer hardware and mobile devices is subject to review by the Department Head (or may be delegated to a senior manager only) and is subject to the specific job requirements for each job classification in that department. All computer hardware and mobile devices must be directly job-related, must be used for County business a minimum of 50% of their use and require department head (or senior manager designee) authorization in order to qualify for reimbursement. Department Head authorization for the use of this benefit towards reimbursements for computer hardware, and mobile devices must be outlined and approved in the employee’s annual Professional Development Plan document and will be considered together with other staff development training and educational priorities required by the department head.

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16.11 Notary Services

When Notary services are required to be performed as an assigned duty of the job classification of the position and approved by the employee’s appointing authority, the County shall pay out-of-pocket costs associated with the Notary license, including bond, stamp and book. Time spent to test for license or renewal is paid work time, as it is related to required duties.

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16.12 Non-Grievable / Non-Arbitrability

Article 16 of this MOU is not grievable or arbitrable.

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Contact Information

Human Resources Department
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Address
575 Administration Drive
Room 116 B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465237, -122.725363

Labor Negotiation Updates

Bargaining Unit Contacts

Nancy Watson
Executive Director
Phone: (707) 536-1185
watson@wcengineers.org

950 College Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Google Maps Directions

Download a Printable Version

WCE MOU 2018-2019
(PDF: 1.1 MB)