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Human Resources Department

International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers - Local 39

2019 - 2023 Local 39 Memorandum of Understanding: Article 22: Miscellaneous Provisions

International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers - Local 39

22.1 Emergency Meals

The County may arrange for meals to be provided at County expense to employees who are required to be kept on duty for prolonged periods of time or for emergency situations.

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22.2 Employment in More Than One Position

Except for working elections as provided by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, no person employed in a full-time position may be employed by the County of Sonoma in any other full-time, part-time or Extra Help position, nor shall any person be employed by the County in two (2) or more part-time positions which will, in combination, provide for more than eighty (80) hours of regularly scheduled work in any bi-weekly pay period.

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22.3 Nondiscrimination For Union Activity

This MOU shall be equally applied to all employees without discrimination as to Union activity. Disputes over this provision shall be subject to the grievance procedure in Article 26.

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22.4 No Discrimination

Provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding shall be equally applied to all employees in the unit without unlawful discrimination as to age, sex, race, color, natural origin, ancestry, religion, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (e.g., cancer related), genetic information, marital status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The parties agree that the prohibition against sexual discrimination include sexual harassment. The County and the Union shall equally share the responsibility of the application of this provision. An employee alleging unlawful discrimination may utilize the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Procedure to first seek adjustment of a complaint, but may not use the Grievance Procedure of this Memorandum of Understanding.

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22.5 Water Agency Personnel Policies

22.5.1  Classification

The Board of Directors of the Water Agency will establish job classifications and job specifications for each Agency job classification in accordance with procedures established for County job classifications.

Whenever the General Manager proposes that a new position be created or an existing position abolished, the General Manager shall report the justification in writing to the County Administrator with a copy to the Director of Human Resources.  Should the County Administrator concur with the recommended change, a copy of the report and recommendation to the Board of Directors shall be furnished in advance to the appropriate employee organization.

Whenever the General Manager, employee or employee organization believes that a significant change has occurred in the duties and responsibilities of an existing position, which are outside the duties of the current classification, he/she/it shall report the significant facts in writing within thirty (30) County business days to the Director of Human Resources, with a copy to the County Administrator and as applicable to the appropriate employee organization for study and a recommendation report to the Board of Directors.  The Human Resources Department staff report shall be presented at a regular meeting of the Board of Directors at which all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to be heard.  All interested parties involved in the study, including the employee and the union if applicable, shall be furnished copies of the Human Resources Department staff report at least ten (10) working days prior to the Board of Directors meeting.

Where the Board of Directors finds that there are significant factors which justify a change in classification of a position, the Board of Directors will place the position in the appropriate class.  Where the Board of Directors finds that a change in classification is not justified, it shall so inform the department, employee, and/or the employee organization.

A reclassified position shall be filled through certification from the employment list unless the Board of Directors provides for retention of the incumbent.  The Board of Directors may retain the incumbent of a reclassified position if the incumbent has satisfactorily performed the duties of the position continuously for at least one (1) year.

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22.5.2  Hiring Procedures

  1. Hiring Authority -- Employment of Staff. The General Manager shall have the authority to hire employees of the Agency.
  2. Hiring Procedures. The General Manager shall use the resources of the County Human Resources Department in the hiring of regular and temporary employees in accordance with Resolution No. DR 42365 of the Board of Directors, dated October 15, 1973, establishing certain rules and regulations for the administration of the Agency’s business.

    Recruitment-Regular Position. With respect to regular positions, the County Human Resources Department will conduct a recruitment and examination to establish an employment list of eligible candidates in accordance with the procedures used to establish employment lists for County positions.  The Human Resources Department will certify the names of all candidates or any lesser number as the Agency shall request to the General Manager for consideration and selection.  The list shall be prepared in the same manner, including, but not limited to, allocation of promotional and veteran’s bonus points, and for the same length of time as a County recruitment list.  The name of an employee or a former employee may be added to the list on the same basis that a current or former County employee could be added as a free name to a County recruitment list.  For example, a regular Agency employee who resigns in good standing pursuant to this Policy may, within five (5) years of his or her resignation, request in writing that he or she be considered for reappointment to (a) the classification from which he or she resigned, (b) a classification in which he or she formerly held a position, or (c) a lower level classification in the same series of either of the two preceding classifications.  If the General Manager would rehire the employee, the former employee’s name may be added to a list.

    Promotional Certification List. If the General Manager requests a promotional certification list, the Human Resources Director shall certify to the General Manager a list of names of those candidates from the Water Agency having the three (3) highest standings on the employment list as determined by the final examination score.

    Temporary Employees. With respect to temporary employees, the County Human Resources Department shall follow the same process for preparing a list of eligible candidates as it does for an Extra Help recruitment for county employment.

    Candidate Appeal Procedures. Agency employees who are candidates for regular positions have appeal rights to the Director of Human Resources on the same basis as County employees. A candidate may appeal in writing to the Director of Human Resources specific test items in a written or performance examination prior to notification of examination results on the basis of typographical error, incorrect keying or factual error. A written appeal must be delivered or postmarked within seven (7) regular County business days immediately following the day(s) the examination is given. After written notice of the results of an examination, including an unassembled examination/application appraisal, a candidate may appeal on the basis of erroneous scoring, fraud in rating, or improper conduct of examination.  Appeals of examination results must be delivered or postmarked within seven (7) regular County business days immediately following the postmark mailing date of the notice of examination results. The Director of Human Resources shall investigate each examination appeal and may grant relief that the Director finds to be justified. If the Director of Human Resources does not resolve the appeal to the satisfaction of the appellant, the employee may, within seven (7) regular County business days after postmark of written notice of the Director’s decision, appeal the decision in writing to the Director of Human Resources requesting an appeal hearing. If all parties mutually agree, the hearing will be conducted by a member of the California Bar Association, or an Administrative Law Judge or a hearing officer provided by the State Conciliation Service. If no agreement is reached, the Board of Directors will select a hearing officer from the above list or at the Board’s discretion may hear the appeal.

    The hearing shall be conducted in the manner of hearings conducted under the Administrative Procedure Act. The hearing officer may affirm, modify or revoke the decision of the Human Resources Director. The decision of the hearing officer or Board shall be final.

    An employee alleging unlawful discrimination in the final job interview selection process is encouraged to utilize the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Procedure.

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22.5.3  Promotional Procedures

  1. Agency Positions:  Vacancies in allocated positions at the Agency shall be filled by promotion whenever practical and in the best interest of the Agency. Promotional recruitment and examinations shall be conducted by the Human Resources Department in the same manner as open examinations, except that eligibility is limited to: (1) regular employees of the Agency; and (2) County employees with permanent or probationary status in allocated positions. For each eligible employee, whether part-time or full-time, one (1) service point shall be added to the employee’s final examination score for each completed year of continuous service.  Service points are computed to the final filing date, to a maximum of five (5) points for up to five (5) years of continuous service. Promotional points shall be given to an employee who was laid off and reinstated within two (2) years of the date of layoff. The time between layoff and reinstatement shall not count as service.

    The final examination score for each candidate shall be a whole number of points, not to exceed one hundred (100) points. For this purpose, each score which is greater than a whole number by 0.5 or more shall be counted as the next greater whole number. Each score which is greater than a whole number by less than 0.5 shall be counted as the nearest whole number.
  2. County Positions: Regular employees of the Agency are allowed to participate in County promotional examinations. When authorized by the Civil Service Commission, regular employees of the Agency shall be granted promotional points in County promotional examinations in the same manner as similarly situated County employees. Continuous service as a regular employee with the Agency and/or the County shall count toward the computation of promotional points.

22.5.4  Provisional Appointments

Whenever it is necessary to fill a vacancy and an employment list with at least three (3) eligible candidates is not available, the General Manager may, with the approval of the Director of Human Resources, appoint to the position any person who has filed an application and who meets the minimum qualifications for the class. The Human Resources Department shall make reasonable effort to schedule examinations so that provisional appointments do not exceed six (6) months.  A provisional appointment shall be terminated within one (1) month after the date of certification to the General Manager of candidates who are available for employment.

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22.5.5  Temporary Promotions

When an incumbent of a position is on extended leave or a position becomes vacant and it is necessary to fill the position temporarily, the General Manager may request the Director of Human Resources to authorize the General Manager to make a temporary promotion from a directly related, lower level job class. Whenever possible, candidates for temporary promotion should be selected from a certifiable employment list. The individual selected does not have future restoration rights to the higher level class as a result of the temporary promotion. When the position is permanently filled or the incumbent returns to work, the individual temporarily promoted will be returned to his/her former job class.

22.5.6  Transfer

Regular employees of the Agency may transfer to an allocated position in a County Department with the approval of the General Manager, the County Director of Human Resources and the affected County Department Head. Before a transfer will be approved, the County must verify that the employee was hired by the Agency through a competitive examination process equivalent to that used by the County in selecting regular employees. A County employee occupying a permanently allocated position may transfer to the Agency if approved by the General Manager, the County Director of Human Resources and the employee’s Department Head.

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22.6 Retirement Credit for Prior Public Service

Employees who are contributing members of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association can purchase retirement credit for public service time rendered prior to employment with the County of Sonoma pursuant to Government Code Sections 31641.1 and 31641.2, during the term of this MOU.

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22.7 Distribution

This Memorandum is available on-line at the County’s inter-net and intra-net sites.

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22.8 Retirement Committee

After the effective date of the parties’ successor MOU and during the timeline specified below, the County and the Union will form a management / labor retirement benefits committee. The charge of the Committee is to gather and analyze information on County employee retiree benefits and to develop recommendations for optimal long-term solutions that meet the interests and needs of all impacted parties and still position the County to have total compensation market competitiveness and workforce stability. As part of this recommendation, the parties shall address the following items: unfunded liability cost sharing; pension cost sharing; pension obligation bonds; retiree medical benefits; longevity; and retiree cost of living adjustment. Other retirement related issues may be considered by mutual agreement. 

The Committee shall consist of up to three (3) Local 39 Union members and six (6) management representatives. Union team members will be permitted time off without loss of compensation or other benefits when formally meeting or engaging in mutually agreed upon preparation or caucus time. Additional Local 39 staff may participate.

The County and the Union further agree that the Committee should include representatives from all County Bargaining Units and employee organizations and that they will support having representatives of all such units and organizations participating in the committee by commencement of the Committee’s work in the March 2021. The County and the Union further agree that the Committee’s work will be completed by March 2022. The Committee’s recommendations and strategies will be advisory only to the County’s CAO’s office.

The County and the Union agree that to the extent the Committee’s recommendations and/or strategies, and/or the County Administrator’s recommendations resulting from the Committee’s recommendations and or strategies, address subjects that are specifically covered by existing Articles or Sections in the parties’ labor agreements, those specific Articles or Sections may be re-opened by either party to formally meet and confer. Unless the parties mutually agree otherwise, the earliest reopener negotiations will commence will be June 2022.

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