SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL

 

Topic: ADVANCED STEP APPOINTMENTS
REGULAR AND EXTRA HELP
Section: RATES OF PAY
Number: IX.1.
Date Issued: Nov. 15, 1990
Date Revised: March 29, 2000
March 25, 2001

PURPOSE:

To document criteria necessary for department head approval of advanced step placement of new employees and extra help (Steps 1 through 3); to document criteria necessary for Personnel Director approval of advanced step appointments (Steps 4 through 5); to document criteria necessary for Personnel Director recommendation to the County Administrative Officer of advanced step appointments (Steps 6 through 7).

BASIS:

Subsection C of the Personnel Regulations and References of Santa Cruz County, Section 161 state in part: "...new employees may be appointed to the second or third step upon approval of the Department Head, and the fourth or fifth step upon the recommendation of the Department Head and with the approval of the Personnel Director. If a qualified candidate cannot be appointed below the sixth step, a department head may request sixth step or higher appointment subject to the Personnel Director's recommendation and approval by the County Administrative Officer. Notice of sixth step appointment or higher will be provided to the Board of Supervisors.

Subsection D of the Personnel Regulations and References of Santa Cruz County, Section 161 states in part: " Salary Upon Original Extra-Help Appointment. When an extra-help appointment is made the starting pay will normally be the first step in the salary range applicable to the position's classification. New extra-help employees may be appointed to the second or third step upon approval of the department Head, and the fourth or fifth step upon the recommendation of the Department Head and with the approval of the Personnel Director. If a qualified candidate can not be appointed below the sixth step, a department head may request sixth step or higher appointment subject to the Personnel Director's recommendation and approval by the County Administrative Officer." Notice of sixth step appointment or higher will be provided to the Board of Supervisors.

POLICY:

All appointments above the first step shall include in writing documentation of the following criteria:

  1. Difficulty of Recruitment -- a scarcity of applicants that meet the minimum employment standards, documentation of the efforts made, number on list, rank of the individual, results of interview, etc.

  2. Advance step starting salary -- Granting the request would result in a pay increase (percentage and dollar amount) for the new employee or pay decrease (percentage and dollar amount) in comparison to their current employment.

  3. Years of experience -- If the new employee's appropriate work experience had been with the County, what step would they be at now?

  4. Unusual Qualifications -- possession of bona fide occupational skills which are necessary to provide needed service and which are unusual in the application population and normally have been acquired through substantial specialized training or experience.

  5. Adverse impact on existing incumbents in the same class -- Would granting the request result in the employee being placed at a higher step than existing employees with similar training and experience?

    All advance step appointments, including extra-help, should address as many of the above criteria in writing as are relevant for consideration/ recommendation. The Personnel Director maintains the right to request that the operating department provide additional information when he/she feels that the above criteria have not been met.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Original appointment is defined as:

  2. Departments must submit documentation requesting an advance step appointment, with the exception of the Courts department. Effective
    3/28/00 the Courts Administrator will approve departmental advance steps and submission of documentation is unnecessary.

  3. Request for appointment at steps 2 and 3

    Departments may offer and approve appointments. Documentation of criteria (as outlined in this policy) will accompany transaction documents.

  4. Request for appointment at steps 4 and 5

    1. Departments may offer advance step contingent on approval of the Personnel Director.
    2. Documentation of criteria is submitted to the Personnel Director for approval.
    3. The Personnel Director will inform the department of the approval within 3 working days of receipt of the request.

  5. Request for appointment at steps 6 and 7

    1. Departments may offer advance step contingent on approval by the County Administrative Officer.
    2. Documentation of criteria is submitted to the Personnel Director.
    3. The Personnel Director will review the request and prepare a recommendation to the County Administrative Officer within 3 working days of receipt of request.
    4. The County Administrative Officer will review the request and make a decision which will be returned to the Personnel Director.
    5. The Personnel Director will notify the department of the County Administrative Officer decision within 1 working day of receipt.
    6. The Personnel Director will send an informational copy of approvals to the Board of Supervisor Chair and to each representation unit. 

  6. The Personnel Director will prepare a quarterly report to the Board of Supervisors of all advance step appointments approved, both regular and extra-help. These reports will be presented at the first regularly scheduled meeting in July, October, January and April. Each department head and representation unit will receive a copy of this report. The Personnel Director will respond to any inquiry a representation unit may have about such appointments.