The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly is considering an alternative hiring process for the recruitment of new borough employees. According to current policy, borough job notifications are first publicized to borough employees for five days.
At Thursday’s Kodiak Island Borough Assembly regular meeting, Borough Manager Michael Powers said the change would be to that aspect of the policy.
“The pragmatic analysis of this is this ordinance will grant some leeway to staff to either recruit internally or externally, but will remove the five day mandatory posting within the ranks of current borough employees to apply.”
He also explained staff has opened up lines of discussion with the borough’s cooperative bargaining unit and also met with the unrepresented employees. He says the bargaining unit would like to include the policy in the collective bargaining agreement discussions which will begin in a few weeks.
Borough assessor Bill Roberts, speaking on behalf of the Working Conditions Advisory Council – which consists of employees not represented by a union – stepped up during public comment. He said they would like the assembly to postpone action.
“The reason is we’re going to go into union negotiations here pretty soon. You pass this ordinance, it’s not going to apply to over half the staff. It’s going to have to be written into the union negotiation or maybe not. At the time we do the union organization, there’s a lot of other things in the personnel manual that need to be addressed – most of them a lot more important than getting an extra five days advertisement.”
He said therefore the WCAC asks that the assembly wait until staff can enter negotiations with the bargaining unit.
Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner, who proposed the change, said she continues to support it.
“I think a lot of times there’s a fear of the outside, so you hire or you choose or you stick with what is familiar to you, and I think that the five day notice just imbeds that potential bias more and more.”
The assembly voted to advance the ordinance in the first reading and to a public hearing.