003 WRIPAC Newsletter
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As you've probably heard, the Employment Regulations of the California Fair Employment Practices Commission were adopted on March 6 and will go into effect 30 days after they are filed with the Office of Secretary of State. Although the 95 page document has not yet been made available for general distribution, David Garcia, Executive and Legal Affairs Secretary to the FEPC, has made a loan copy available through his office for reproduction by interested parties. It is particularly relieving to note that job relatedness is included as an acceptable defense against a showing of adverse impact. In a recent presentation to the Personnel Testing Council, Mr. Garcia explained that the omission of job relatedness as an acceptable rebuttal against a showing of discrimination, in the proposed regulations, was not significant because the defenses enumerated were not intended to be exhaustive. It is understandable how the FEPC reached this conclusion. However, the specific inclusion of job relatedness is critical to any merit system employer whose selection program relies heavily on a strategy of job relatedness. Without its inclusion, we may have been placed in the situation of having to show that job relatedness was, in fact, an acceptable defense. The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures were also adopted in the Regulations. This action relieves California employers of a conflicting standard. However, it may have also caused the Guidelines to become legally binding as opposed to an interpretation of legal compliance. Reporting procedures were also relaxed enabling employers to utilize existing EEO reporting forms rather than duplicating data for FEPC in a different format.
Numerous less significant changes were made -and not made. Time is schedule on the May agenda to more fully discuss these.
It is apparent that the changes were effected because of the comments provided by the employer community. If WRIPAC intends to continue to play an active role in supporting or opposing proposed actions affecting us, the need for us to develop and maintain a more timely vehicle of communication is crucial. At our last meeting, we discussed the
Cooperative Item Bank proposal prepared by San Bernardino County. It was not clear at that time whether or not the project in general had the full support of the membership.
Please review the proposal again before our next meeting and pinpoint your primary concerns. This will enable us to concentrate our discussion of this topic in the most productive areas.
Within the next few weeks, you will be receiving a copy of a proposal to cooperatively train Assessment Center raters. The City of Los Angeles intends to submit the proposal for formula funding this Spring. Please review it carefully. If you wish to participate, bring a letter of commitment to the May meeting indicating the extent to which your agency is interested in-becoming involved in the project. Kaye Evleth will discuss the project at that time.
I look forward to working with you at our May meeting.
Reports from . . .
Training Committee Co-chairs Angie Bifano and Mary Lou Bean.
At the February meeting, the following areas of need were identified to be dealt with by the Training Committee:
Identify core areas of training needs in the area of selection.
Survey the literature.
Identify or develop training module packages for various areas of selection.
Develop a vehicle for staff exchange for on-the-job projects.
Survey available training workshops.
Support the need for I/0 psychology programs at the local college and university levels.
And. . .
Test Exchange/Cosmic Search Committee Chair Terry McKinney. A second draft of the WRIPAC Test Use and Security Agreement was distributed and discussed by participants at the February meeting. As a result of this discussion, the Committee revised the agreement. This final form of the agreement is being mailed to participants along with a ballot to indicate "Is the agreement acceptable?" and "Is the agency likely to participate?"
The Committee is also working on a questionnaire that would be sent to agencies throughout the country to survey the current state of the art concerning the search for alternative selection procedures.
Angie Bifano Tells All
Angie Bifano of Santa Barbara County tells us that she has some brochures especially designed for women in how to prepare for the physical agility test the County recently gave for Firefighter, and that she will be happy to make them available to other WRIPAC members.
She also has other recruitment literature aimed at encouraging women to apply for the Firefighter job (a letter telling about her experiences during the job analysis and some preconditioning tips). Drop Angie a line and maybe she'll bring copies to the May meeting for you.
Santa Barbara County was successful in getting four women through the written test, physical agility test and interview. One woman is number 3 on the list and has a good chance of being hired. (She achieved a 100% score on the interview from all four raters!)
Assessment Center Roundtable to be on May Agenda
An Assessment Center Roundtable· will be part of the May WRIPAC meeting. Discussants include Dick Allen from Concord, Mary Lou Bean from the County of Santa Cruz, Roger Carey from Solano County, Karen Coffee of Cooperative Personnel Services, Ken Kreuger from Selection Consulting Center and Tom Young from Contra Costa County. Topics will include a description of experiences with assessment centers, techniques for selling the assessment center concept to managers, job analysis techniques, selection of exercises, center administration, successes and failures, and assessment center validity .
PTC Spring Conference Announced
The Personnel Testing Council of Southern California Spring Conference will be held on Wednesday, May 28, at the Marina City Club in Marina del Rey from 3:30 a.m. to 5 p. m. The topic for this conference is "Biodata: An Alternative Selection Tool" Speakers for the program include William Owens of the Institute for Behavioral Research at the University of Georgia; John Murray of Prudential Insurance in New Jersey; Lyle Schoenfeldt of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Nevi York; and James Sharf of Richardson, Bellows and Henry in Washington, D.C. Topics will be Development of a Biographical Questionnaire, Biodata as a Classification Device, Biodata for Management Selection, and Validity Generalization.
Conference fees for members are $80, for non-members $90. Lunch is included in the fee. Pre-registration is requested but latecomers will be accommodated. A no-host cocktail party will follow the Conference at the Club. For more information, call Dina Kelleher, Program Vice-President, at 213-613-6013, or write to Dina Kelleher, Hl9-l Security Pacific Bank Box 2097, Terminal Annex Los Angeles, CA 90051
WESTERN REGION INTERGOVERNMENTAL PERSONNEL ASSESSMENT COUNCIL MINUTES
The third meeting of WRIPAC was held on February 21 and 22, 1980 at the Kellogg West conference facility in Pomona, California. All member jurisdictions and individual members attended. Nine guests were also present.
The roundtable, where members and guests speak briefly about news-worthy, interesting, or problematic issues in their agencies, was particularly informative. Of special interest to California representatives, participants mentioned the extent of anticipated cutbacks resulting from the probable passage of Proposition Nine. Indications were that some agencies will experience as little as a ten percent reduction while other estimates ran as high as a forty-five percent budget cut. Hardest hit will be the school districts. For reasons which are not obvious, agencies in the southern part of the state are projecting less budget cuts than jurisdictions in the north.
Also during the roundtable, several people mentioned interesting issues including the following:
Phil Carlin, City of Tuscon has done a test/retest of the F.E.A.T. exam he previously reported on.
Roger Carey, Solano County reported that he has received correspondence from several other regions of the country where the possibility of test item exchange is also being explored.
Rich Joines, HEW indicated that HEW will be making its first merit pay decisions through their newly established performance appraisal system in September.
Donna Terrazas, Los Angeles Unified School District is involved with the problem of testing applicants in a language other than English in, for example, the food services and custodial areas.
Jean Atkinson, Washoe County indicated that a ballot measure similar to Proposition Thirteen will be voted on in June, Since Nevada has no state income tax, there is no bail out monies available to local agencies.
Tom Duncan, Alameda County reports that the County is about to sign a three year consent decree to drop the- age requirement for Police Officer.
Karen Kreutz, City of San Diego noted that the City is implementing a city-wide performance appraisal system. Currently, performance criteria for all classes ·are being developed. A merit pay plan has also been initiated this month. The plan involves a once per year bonus system.
Tom Young, Contra Cost-9 County discussed the broad based civil service reform procedures which are being implemented in the County.
Several people mentioned current activities in the area of oral panels including Jim Robbins, City of Oakland who recently used multiple oral panels for entry firefighter. The interviews were preceded by extensive training including role playing for the interviewers.
Richard Wood, Pima County noted that they are experimenting with three and four person panels instead of two member boards.
Associate Membership – By-Laws
Formal voting on the proposed WRIPAC By-Laws has been delayed due to the need to settle the issue of new members and to draft appropriate language to reflect the decision. President Anita Ford presented recommended bylaw amendments which keep the number of full member agencies to the current twenty-three, but create a category of Associate Jurisdictional Membership. Associate members may participate fully in all activities with the exception of holding office and voting on by-laws, membership, and fiscal matters. The members approved the amendments. The revised by-laws and ballots will be mailed to all members in the near future. In addition a separate membership policy describing the basis for selecting new full members will be developed and distributed.
Test Security Agreement
Terry McKinney, City of Phoenix lead a discussion concerning the proposed Test Security Agreement. Questions and significant concerns were raised in several areas. Additionally, some members had not had sufficient time to fully review the lengthy document. Prior to the next meeting, revised copies will be mailed .to all members along with a ballot to indicate support or non-support. Members were requested to review the material carefully and respond as appropriate. It is hoped that this issue can be brought to closure at the next meeting.
Proposed FEPC Regulations
There was a discussion of the proposed FEPC Regulations which are to be considered by the Commission on March 6. There are many problems and unresolved issues in the proposed regulations. A letter drafted by PTC expressing several major concerns was distributed. Al though the formal comment period is over, it was decided that John DeSoto, City/County of San Francisco, and Rich Joines, HEW should form an ad hoc committee to draft a letter of response on behalf of WRIPAC listing our concerns as well as our support of FTC' s position. Ed Cole, Sacramento Municipal Utility District kindly volunteered to distribute copies of the proposed Regulations as well as WRIPAC’s letter of response.
Each of the standing committees met several times during the two day meeting and later reported their progress to the entire group. A summary of each committee' s activities will -be included in the newsletter. A training committee has been formed. It will be co-chaired by Angie Bifano, Santa Barbara County and Mary Lou Bean, Santa Cruz County. They will issue a statement of purpose and goals in the near future.
Jean Austin and Ted Darany of San Bernardino County made an extremely interesting presentation on the use of COD.AP for classification purposes. Jean described the County's pilot effort working with 2,095 clerical positions and distributed some very informative materials. Due to inclement weather, the tour of San Bernardino's facility was cancelled. We are grateful to Jean and Ted for a very informative and well thought out presentation.
Nomination of Officers
Nominations were held for next grant year's officers. Nominations are as follows:
President: Roger Carey, Solano County
Vice President: Phil Carlin, City of Tuscon
Kaye Evleth, City of Los Angles
Secretary: Karen Coffee, Cooperative Personnel Services
Voting will take place by mail ballot in the near future.
WRIPAC Administrative Grant
Due to time constraints, next year’s WRIPAC administrative grant had been submitted to IPA without extensive review by the membership. The grant and next year’s objectives were reviewed and endorsed formally by the group. Several minor editorial changes were recommended as well as the inclusion of this year’s products and outputs as part of the grant application. Copies of the application will be distributed to the membership in the near future. Briefly, next year’s objectives (many of which are a continuation of this year's program) will be the following:
Develop job analysis procedures and Standards that facilitate exchange of job analysis information for determining comparability of jobs and exchanging selection procedures.
1980-81 Activity: Standardize job analysis procedures for test transportability including the development of a dictionary of task action verbs.
Develop the methods and procedures to facilitate test and test item exchange.
1980-81 Activity: Expand test use policy and services to other agencies within the Region and other consortia.
Develop and research the methods and procedures to identify alternate selection procedures which have less adverse impact than selection procedures presently used.
1980-81 Activity: Develop and publish paper; “Alternative Selection Procedures as Used in the Uniform Guidelines of 1978”
Develop and publish a quarterly newsletter which informs the WRIPAC membership and interested jurisdictions and consortia of its activities.
1980-81 Activity : Continue to publish quarterly newsletter expanding content to include more information about individual member projects.
Research the state of the art in automating selection functions and determine the feasibility of jurisdictions developing or sharing automation facilities.
1980-81 Activity : Specific committee activities will be determined by the outcome of the groundwork being established this year by the job analysis and test item exchange committees.
Identify and address common assessment problems that can be worked on cooperatively by WRIPAC members.
1980-81 Activity : Continue research to identify common assessment problems that can be worked on cooperatively by WRIPAC members.
Automated Item Bank Grant Application
San Bernardino County has developed an IPA grant proposal for the purpose of establishing a WRIPAC automated item bank. This proposal was discussed at length by the group. The general consensus was that the current application did not adequately address several major areas of concern to the membership. While still endorsing the idea of a WRIPAC item bank the group did not feel it could support this grant application at this time. Rather, the group expressed interest in exploring in depth the group’s concerns and resubmitting the proposal for state funding in June. This topic will receive further discussion at the May meeting.
John Klinefelter reported on the status of our finances. All fiscal categories have been fully expended with the exception of travel reimbursements. Only $4000 remains suggesting the need to economize on our fourth meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 8 and 9 in Sacramento. Marty Cromwell, State of California and Ed Cole, Sacramento Municipal Utility District will research the availability of meeting facilities. Since Sacramento is highly accessible, it is hoped that most members will require only one night's lodging.
In addition to regularly included topics, there will be a special panel presentation on Assessment Centers. The panel will consist of Mary Lou Bean , Karen Coffee, Roger Carey, Tom Young, and Dick Allen.
Diane Wilson will also make a short presentation on how to write a grant application.
Other agenda topics are as follows:
Recommendation of jurisdictions for associate membership
Automated item bank grant
Possible mechanism for WRIPAC review of grants
Results of by-law and officer voting
Next Year’s Meetings
The group established the following schedule for next year’s Meetings:
August 21 & 22 - San Diego (backup location: San Mateo)
November - Yosemite (backup location: Phoenix)
February - Kellogg West
May - to be decided
Diane Wilson, OPM reported that the Clearinghouse is being used extensively. Because of the heavy use, several problems are occurring, all of which can be solved by following these suggested procedures:
Double bag or securely materials when returning them.
Please include a return address with the material so OPM staff will know who has returned the publications.
Try not to request more than six items at a time.
Be sure to return materials promptly as some are being requested frequently.
David Garcia A., Executive and Legal Affairs Secretary, California Fair Employment Practices Commission is the guest speaker at the Personnel Testing Council luncheon on March 26, 1980. This promises to be an interesting meeting.