When Knoxville City Council meets tonight one item was to restructure Civil Service and create a Personnel Department.
The action had mixed reactions, apparently the uniformed bodies (police and fire) have agreed. However, the General Government have not.
Mayor Kincannon is pulling the item tonight and pledges three shareholder meeting (police, fire and general government) before the next vote. However, Compass Knox reports that Tommy Smith, Janet Testerman and Andrew Roberto have pledged support for the change.
here is a a message I received on my Facebook message page.
This letter has been sent to all council members this morning.
To the Honorable
Council Member of the City of Knoxville
400 Main St. Room 467
Knoxville, TN 37902
Ordinance to create a Department of Human Resource for the City of Knoxville
Dear To the Honorable :
On April 7th, 2020 you will be asked to approve on first reading an ordinance that will give Mayor Indya Kincannon and any future administration almost full control of employee relations and policy making. The Charter of the City of Knoxville explicitly states, “Personnel actions, including, but not limited to, appointment, promotion and retention shall be made on the basis of merit and fitness alone without regard to any political test, qualification, affiliation, association or opinion, except as otherwise provided in this charter. All personnel action shall be taken on a nondiscriminatory basis consistent with general law”.
Employees at the recent City Employees Association special called meeting voted and proposed an alternate solution;
• Provide an Attorney in the Law Department to provide support to the Administration and Departments for employment issues including discipline, interviewing/selection, and employee/management disputes where Civil Service is representing the employee.
• Provide a Human Resource Analyst in Civil Service to help with career building, job retention, talent acquisition, and marketing.
This was presented at the Mayor’s Workgroup March 5, 2020. This Administration has all but ignored this proposal. The Association was never given any cause as to why this would not work. We still would like dialog and discussion as to why this is not a viable alternative.
This ordinance creates a department that will require extra funding. This is a negative image to a city hurting during this time. Do we really need to portray to citizens that adding salaries, benefits, pension, and personnel is a good decision right now?
The City Employees Association would respectfully ask you to consider taking this matter up at a later date. This needs to have open public discussion with employees and administration officials. With the current crisis this cannot be achieved.
Please conscientiously use sound judgment to postpone this vote and not make hastily decisions on important legislation.