February 17, 2009

A city board may be axed next month

City councilors are likely soon to eliminate Bristol’s Personnel Appeals Board.

Though the change would eliminate a layer of bureaucracy on paper, its practical impact is virtually nil.

The panel hasn’t met “in a very long time,” Personnel Director Diane Ferguson said, though it tried to hold a session about eight years ago but couldn’t muster a quorum.

The board’s purpose is to allow non-bargaining unit employees who want to appeal a firing or suspension to make their case, but most these days would simply use a union grievance procedure.

The proposed change would hand the responsibility for dealing with appeals to the Salary Committee instead.

“It’s a good idea. I think it makes sense,” city Councilor Frank Nicastro said

Nicastro said some might say the revision opens the door for councilors “to play politics.”

But, he said, “I don’t believe that” will happen if the three-person salary panel handles the appeals instead.

Ferguson has said it makes more sense for the appeals to go to a committee that at least meets regularly and knows how the personnel system operates rather than pleading to a panel that hasn’t met within memory.

“It’s a committee that has not been called on in many, many years,” Ferguson said.

The Salary Committee unanimously endorsed the proposal last week.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

And how much will that save the taxpayer??????

Next, reaarange the chairs.

Odin said...

Incoming message for "Anonymous": you are obviously not management material if you don't know that realigning staff resources and eliminating statutory language that conflicts with contract language saves money.

Anonymous said...


How does eliminating the language save money: the obligation is still there, only to be filled by the Council (will they now want more money?)?
Staff requirements are still teh same.

Odin, have you ever served in any government capacity?

Anonymous said...

They had no budget: what can be cut from that?

No wonder Bristol is in trouble.

But they are sweeping streets and parking lots in February.

Anonymous said...

Please relax everyone - Nicastro and Ward (and Fergusen) are all operating at their level of competence - little steps instead of big steps, inconsiquential issues instead of policies that matter.

Anonymous said...

they must really be stretching for problems to fix - this is another issue that was proposed years ago but never acted upon.

Anonymous said...

But they ain't attacking city expenses!

Odin said...

Statutory language that contradicts contract language creates situations where, at best, management and labor have to waste time by sitting down with each other and say, "okay folks, let's deal with this mess like grownups" and at worst lead to legal battles that nobody wants and nobody wins. Yes, I have "served in any government capacity" but more importantly, I try to see the big picture.