Meadville Tribune

Local News

January 30, 2013

County's new HR director to review merit pay plan

SAEGERTOWN — When Crawford County’s new human resources director comes on board next month, county commissioners plan to ask him to review administrative regulations for the proposed pay plan for merit-based hiring in the county’s Human Services Department.

Mark Weindorf, the county’s Human Services Department director, Tuesday asked county commissioners at their weekly work session to have the regulations reviewed.

Weindorf said the administrative regulations and pay ranges for positions need to be set to get necessary state approval for the county to use a merit-based hiring system within the Human Services Department. The department runs programs for persons with mental health and intellectual disabilities.

Last June, Weindorf began seeking state approval for a merit-based system for its Human Services Department rather than civil service testing which uses a standardized test. Weindorf said at the time one of the biggest drawbacks to civil service testing is having qualified people on a hiring list.

The civil service system doesn’t account for skills like how to deal with people, how to talk with people to engage them on issues, Weindorf said.

Also, a civil service system doesn’t allow other types of testing to weed out candidates in need of remedial training. In 2010, Crawford County had to send two Human Services workers — both college graduates — to remedial training in time management and grammar at a total cost of $393 to taxpayers.

Job applicants still must meet criteria approved by the state, and the state must approve Crawford County’s switch from civil service, according to Weindorf.

Administrative regulations for pay ranges need to be set for the nine of the approximately 115 Human Services employees who are not represented by the Service Employees International Union.

Candidates for those nine positions will be paid within the range for the position, and based on qualifications and prior experience, Weindorf said.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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