Box 6, Folder 2, Document 25

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Box 6, Folder 2, Document 25

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REPORT OF THE CONSULTANTS
on
CERTAIN PERSONNEL PROBLEMS
RELATING TO THE PROPOSED MERGER
of the
FULTON COUNTY - ATLANTA SCHOOL SYSTEMS
JUNE 19, 1967
WILLARDS. ELSBREE
and
JOHN E. PHAY
CONSULTANTS
�Report of the Consultant s on Certain Personnel Problems
Relati ng to the Propo3ed Merger of the Fulton County Atlanta School Systems, June 19, 1967
This report dea l s with the implications of merging the certificated
and non-certificated per sonnel of the two current school systems - Fulton
County and Atlanta .
The question of the soundness of the merger itself
was deemed to be outsi de the province of this study.
The consultants
have proceeded on the a s sumption that a merger is contemplated; that if
- effected , it is essential to unify personnel policies and practices , and
that specific procedure s for dealing with the employee groups in the two
school systems should be spelled out.
Perhaps the two most important personnel problems that must be resolved
if a merger i s to be effected are the establishment of equitable
salary and wage policies and the determination of how present and future
pension and retirement provisions are to be administered.
Certain other poli cie s and practices must also be unified if the
merger is to deal f airly with the employed personnel.
Sick leave , insur-
ance provi s ions , and tenur e r egulations must somehow be brought into
harmony - otherwise morale wi ll suffer and the objectives of the merger
will not be fully r ealized .
In or de r to obtai n the data and information needed to arrive at recommended pr ocedures the consultants assembled , with the help of the Coordi na tor of the Met ro politan School Deve lopment Council , pertinent published materi a l s
f r om each of t he schoo l syst ems involved and they interviewed executives
re sponsible f or the administration and supervision of the per sonnel poli cies.
Included i n t he l ist of t hose int erviewed were :
�the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Teachers Retirement System
of Georgia,
the Deputy Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Teachers Retirement
System of Georgia,
the Director of Finance for Fulton County Board of Education,
the Assistant Director of Finance for Fulton County Board of Education,
the Controller of the Atlanta School System,
the Assistant Controller of the Atlanta School System,
the Superintendent of Schools in each system,
the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel in Atlanta,
the Coordinator of the Metropolitan School Development Council,
the Director of Non-certificated Personnel in Atlanta,
the Secretary for the Atlanta General Pension Fund,
the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools, Atlanta.
Many official reports were examined together with policy statements in
an effort to learn the basis for existing practices.
The fact that salary
policies were undergoing major revisions has been noted and the proposals
contained in thi s report take full account of these changes .
It should be pointed out that many personnel policies are subject to
revision almost annually o Salary levels in particular are very unstable
and inflation has forced boards of education and public boardsgenerally
to boost salaries and wages more frequently than was true a few years ago .
Because of this i nstabi lity any calculations of future costs are bound to
be unreliable .
The best that can be done is to make what appears to be
�reasonable assumptions and show their implications .
Salaries of Certificated Personnel
With the merger of the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems an
immediate concern of the several thousand individuals employed will be what will be my salary for next year?
It is the opinion of the consultants
that a basic salary schedule should be developed for the certificated personnel of the merged systems but that such
only after the merger is consumated.
a schedule should be developed
The preparation of a salary schedule
that has good possibilitie s of wide and enthusiastic reception should involve many people in its development.
Representatives of organized pro-
fessional groups, area specialists and supervisory and administrative personnel should have a part in the preparation of the basic salary program,
Until the merger occurs , similar professional organizations will continue
to exist for both Atlanta and Fulton County.
After merger , many organiza-
tions will be consolidated and at that time the new organizations may be
appropriately represented .
The same situation obtains for representatives
of area specialists and the supervisory and administrative staff .
A salary
schedule that could be reconnnended by consultants prior to the merger of
the systems and without the involvement of representatives from the new
groups would be premature .
Therefore, it is reconnnended that after merger
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a salary study committee composed of representatives of all certificated
groups and areas be appointed to consider salary schedules and salary
policies for the new systemo
With the decision reached that any new salary schedules should be
developed only after merger of the systems, the consultants examined the
possibilities of what salary provisions might be best for innnediate application following the merger and during the transition periodo
The same
treatment , salarywise, of all personnel in the new system is a prerequisite
in determining salary policies for the new system.
It was found that the two salary schedules could be merged and after
careful review and examination the consultants came to the conclusion that
retention of the salary schedules of the Atlanta System and the placement
of the Fulton County per sonnel on the Atlanta schedules is the best solution
possible with the merging of the two systems .
To make such a t r ansfer from
one salary schedule to another it is recommended that the following rules
be applied :
1.
No employee ' s s alary wi l l be reduced .
2.
Teachers and other certifi cated per sonnel will be placed on the
appropriate 1967-68 Atlanta School Sys tem' s sal ary schedule, on
the step stipulating a salary t hat is equal to or next higher i n
amount t o t he current s alary being paid .
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3.
Any Fulton County employee whose salary is higher on his present
salary schedule than it would be on the same step of the Atlanta
salary schedule will be paid this higher salary amount, but when
and if eligible in subsequent years he will proceed according to
the provisions of the appropriate salary scale.
4.
For employees new to the merged system, a maximum of five years'
service in other school systems will be accepted on a year by year
basis .
Such a person, with five years' experience, would enter on
step 6 of the salary schedule.
5.
Salary scale incentives applicable to the Bachelor's and Master's
degree scales will be established following steps 4, 8, and 12.
Teachers will be allowed to proceed on these salary scales only
after completing six semester hours of approved college or university
credit, or its equivalent, in in-service programs approved by the
Board of Education .
To make the salary changes by the application of the above rules it was
estimated by the Coordinator of Metropolitan School Development Council that
the cost increase will be approximately$
During the transition period there should be established a salary study
connnittee, as indicated earlier in this section , to ascertain the adequacy
of the salary schedules and policies in operation and to recommend any
changes that promise to produce better salary arrangements .
In addi t ion,
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a review should be made to ascertain whether or not individual employees
have been appropriately classified and -given correct placement on the
salary schedules.
Wages of Non-certificated Employees
A similar approach is suggested for arriving at appropriate wage
policies for the non-certificated workers in the county and the city school
systems.
Atlanta has recently adopted a classification plan recommended by
the Public Administration Service.
These schedules have been developed
after much study and it appears logical to fit the non- certificated school
employees from the county into the basic Atlanta pattern.
ences in the length of the work year in some categories.
There are differThis calls for
minor adjustments but is not a serious obstacle to unifying the two groups.
Bus drivers are employed in the county but are not employed by the Atlanta
School System.
The current wages paid bus drivers should be continued for
the time being and the pay levels assessed when salar ie s and wage s gener ally
are being reviewed .
In the case of custodians it would be necessary to reclassify the Fulton
County employee s in order t o achieve parity.
This i s not a difficult t a sk
and if the merger is voted , temporar y cl assifica t i ons could be made in tho se
cases where t he job descriptions were not clear and final a ssignments made
a f t er individual case s were reviewed.
According to est imat es made by the Coor dinator of t he Metro politan
School Development Council, the cost of bringing all the non-certificated
employees under a single tent i f the At l ant a pay scales were applied is
$543 , 756 .
This assumes that no consolidation in jobs will be made and the
same number of employees are retained .
Retirement Provisions
Both Fulton County and the City of Atlanta maintain local pensi on and
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retirement systems for their employees .
This practice is of fairly long
standing and, as ha s been the case in other Amer ican cities and counties,
it arose because of the obvious need to provide employees with protection
against the vicissitudes of advanced age and the local community against
the inefficiency which results when workers, past the prime of life , are
retained on the job .
Unfortunately the history of local pension plans has not been too
favorable .
Even when· they have maintained a solvent position, which many
have not, they have seldom pr ovided the pr otec tion to new members that
was guaranteed by those established and administered by the State ~ As a
result , they have rapidly diminished in number and state plans have supplanted them .
The l atter because of l arger member ships , the spreading of
risks, and greater resources , have supplied the certificated staff with
superior protection .
Mor eover , state employees' retirement systems are
increasingl y providi ng coverage f or the. non-cert i f icated employees i n
school systems .
The pr oblem confr onting Fulton County and Atlanta with respect to
pension and retirement is not unlike t hat f ound i n many other systems.
The funds required represent a t remendous investment and the accrued l iabi l iti e s r un into milli ons of dollars,
The ultimate so l ution in t he minds of t he consultants lies in moving
the responsibility as quickly as possible from the l ocal
system to t he
St a t e and t he abandonment of any local ret irement for new cert ificated
per sonnel .
This cannot be achi eved quickly nor painlessly.
While the pro-
posal to merge the two school systems poses some knotty problems with respect to employee retirement , a reasonable solution can probably be worked
out.
1
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With the merger of the two systems, it is recommended that the
policies with respect to retirement and- pension provisions listed below
be adopted by the various boards concerned :
1.
All~ certificated personnel will secure membership under
the Teachers Retirement System of Georgi a .
2.
All~ non-certificated personnel wi ll secur e membership in the
social security program provided under the Federal Insurance Compensation Act.
3.
All certificated personnel who are members of retirements systems
operated by either the Atlanta General Employees ' Pension Fund
Board or by the Fulton County School Pension Board may withdraw
their personal contributions to their pension fund if and when
they become members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.
4.
Members of the retirement system oper ated by the Atlanta Pension
Board who wish to continue to be covered by the provisions of
such board may continue thei r member ship , and the Atlanta Pension
Board will continue to administer and be r esponsi ble for all
pension liabilitie s fo r such personnel as re quired by their current connnitments .
Futur e change s i n pension benefi ts will be
avai lable to such member s.
5.
The Fulton Count y Boar d of Connnissioners will assume all obligat i ons , l iabili ties , and connnitments of t he Fulton "County School
Pension Fund Boar d .
6.
Member s of the r etirement sys tem oper ated by the Fulton County
School Pension Board may at t heir option t r ansfer their member ship
t o a new Fult on County pension system to be administer ed by the
Fulton County Boar d of Connnissi oner s or i t s de signat e and retain
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all of the rights and benefit s they held under the system operated by the Fulton County School Pension Board.
7.
Commitment s for membe1s who have retired under the pension systems
operated by either the Atlanta Pens ion Board or by the Fulton
County School Peneion Boar d shall have all such commitments
honored
by the Atlanta Pension Board or by the Fulton County
Board of Commissioners re spectively.
Insurance
The practice of providing group life a,_~d personal accident insurance
for employees is connnendable and should be continued.
I t is reconnnended
that:
1.
Employees of the At~anta and Fulton County school systems who have
retained their school system sponsored insurance policies and who
are retired will have their benefits and vested rights under their
policy protected by the Atlanta City Board of Aldermen and the
Fulton County Boar d of Commissioners, respectively, and such boards
will manage and make any annual payments due i nsurance companies
that exceeds the amount required of the employees under the provisions of the policy.
2.
At the time of the mer ger , gr oup life and personal a ccident insurance contracts be cancelled and a new contract agreement be
entered into with a commercial company t hat will pr ovi de the best
policy at the l owe st rate.
Tenure
Joh security should not be placed in j eopar dy for an employee of the
two sch•.iol systems because of t he merger.
1 ..
Tenure policies for the new
It i s recommended that :
sys tem · be e tablished for the
several classes of personnel employed and that the policies
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fo r each clas si f ication be tho se now ex t ant in either the
Atlanta School System or t he Ful~on County Schoo l System that
are more generous to the i ndi vid .al employee.
2.
Employees holding t enure in either of the t wo systems concerned
at the time of merge r be automatically pr ovided t enure in the
new systeltl.
3.
Any probationary period served in the two systems concerned and
prior to the mer ger of the two systems will be accepted at full
value for tenure considerat i ons in t he mer ged system.
Leaves of Absence and Vacat ions
The emoluments and rights earned under provi sions that now exist for
the personnel in the Atlanta and Ful t on Count y schools should be protected .
It is reconnnended that the provisions tha t are most generous t o the employees , tha t now exist in ei t her of t he t wo school sys t ems concerned, be
adopted fo r the new merged system with res pect t o sick leave , maternity
leave , ber eavement leave, mi lit ary leave, pr ofessio nal study leave,
emer gency leave and vacations .
Records
With the merger of the two systems, it is anticipa t ed t ha t changes
wi l l be needed i n bo t h acc ounting and personnel r ec ords systems .
With
moder n office e quipment and el ectronic data proce s3ing 1nachinery, the wor k
of business, acc ounting, financial and statistical offices ·can be handled
with dispatch .
Moreover, information on personnel can be secured i n a s
many ways as ne eded in short periods of time.
In order for t he new sys t em
to be able to function efficiently, it is reconnnended that as soon a s the
merger is voted, specialists i n systems data processing be employed to plan
for the merging of data of the two school systems together with programs
for fast retrieval of such data ,
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Combining the Central Office Staff Personnel
A merger nearly always requires some consolidation of central office
personnel .
Hence, the pro cedures for determining how the unified system
should assign the current centr al office employees needs to be spelled out .
The two systems as might be expected have several comparable central
office positions and in some instances the merger, in the interest of
economy, might necessitate the assignment of certain officials to posts
outside the central office.
This fa ct together with the need to reassess
existing assignments calls for the exercise of both judgment and diplomacy
on the part of those charged with the r esponsibility of building a new
central organization .
The consultants believe that the wisest procedure to follow in
merging the two central staffs is as follows:
1.
The new Board of Education shoul d choo se a superintendent of
schools for the system
2,
and an associate superintendent.
The Board of Education should appoint a connnittee to make recommendations as to the assignment of personnel to the new system
central office positions ,
This connnittee should be composed of
the super intendent of schools, who should act as chairman, the
assoc iate superintendent of schools, and two officials currently responsible for the recruitment, selection and assignment of
personnel in the two systems being merged.
3.
The officials cur rently responsible for the recruitment, selection
and assignment of personnel should make reconnnendations to the
superintendent of schools regarding the assignment of secretaries,
clerks and custodial workers needed for service in the central
headquarters .
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4.
In making a ssignments , consi derati on should be given to the
age , experience and personal fitness of the i ndividual
employee for the job to be filled ,
5.
All central office employees should be housed under one
roof and adequate fac i lities should be provided to facilitate
the work .

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