|The city carries an Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) workers’ compensation insurance policy valid until July 1, 2015. The policy covers incidences up to the statutory limit. Coverage is posted in accordance with State law at the city office, both city shops, and the airport.
Since 2011, the city’s personnel policies have been included in a formal ‘Personnel Policy Manual’ that is separate from the municipal code and amendable by council resolution. The manual appropriately defines job classification types (regular full-time, regular part-time, temporary, and probationary) and provides for a detailed system of progressive discipline. Additionally, it addresses work hours and overtime, pay periods, deductions, leave accrual, holidays, insurance, travel and per diem, harassment, grievances, nepotism, drug usage, hiring, a six-month probationary period, and promotions.
While Section 5.01.50(5) of the manual requires that job descriptions be available for all positions, and Section 5.01.50(1) that the city manager conduct a performance evaluation for each regular employee every 12 months, these policies are not fully enforced. Job announcements are posted for any vacancy, but they do not necessarily detail all of the position’s duties and responsibilities. The city manager is responsible for conducting evaluations of Public Works Department staff, including the operators, while the city/utility clerk’s evaluation is to be conducted by the city council. Personnel files are available for all positions and include necessary tax and immigration paperwork, as well as an employee’s original application, but they do not contain signed letters of acceptance.
The community is only accessible by a 1,200-mile flight twice each week from Anchorage, and local internet access is limited and expensive. These conditions generally constrain employees’ ability to attend trainings in-person or online. Nonetheless, the city has allocated $5,000 in its FY15 budget for operator travel and training and the city always supports utility staff seeking training whenever it’s available and affordable. |