Personnel Committee Meeting Minutes: July 21, 2014

Rockingham Free Public Library
Personnel Committee
Meeting Draft Minutes
July 21, 2014, 10:00AM RFPL Meeting Room
Recessed until July 23, 2014 at 8:30AM RFPL Meeting Room

Click here to download a .pdf of these draft minutes.

Personnel Committee Meeting Minutes
July 21, 2014, 10:00AM RFPL Meeting Room
Recessed until July 23, 2014 at 8:30AM RFPL Meeting Room

Committee Members in Attendance: David Gould, Doreen Aldrich, Carolyn Frisa, and Pat Fowler.
Library Personnel: Célina Houlné (Library Director)
Invited Guests: Chip Stearns (Rockingham Town Manager) and Kerry Bennett (Rockingham Executive Assistant).
Members of the Public: None.

Chairman Gould called the meeting to order at 10:04am with three committee members present. Fowler joined the meeting at 10:10am.

No additions or changes to the agenda were proposed.

No public comment was made.

Minutes of June 3, 2014 Personnel Committee – Aldrich asked that “motioned” be changed to “moved” under adjournment. Aldrich moved the minutes be approved as amended, seconded by Frisa and carried unanimously.

Differences between the current Town Personnel Rules (adopted August 31, 2004 including amendments approved through January 31, 2012) and the RFPL Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual (adopted June 19, 2008 including amendments approved through September 12, 2008) were discussed. Bennett and Stearns reviewed these differences with the committee members in detail. The following items were identified as discrepancies:

Holidays (Item 19, p. 10 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL full-time employees receive one more day (Columbus Day) than Town employees.

Vacation for full-time employees (Item 21A.2, p. 11 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL Policy                                                                            Town Policy
1-5 years      12 days                                                            1-48 months         12 days
6-10 years    17 days                                                           49-108 months    17 days
11+  years     22 days                                                           108+ months        22 days

Vacation for part-time employees (Item 21A.4, p. 11 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL employees do not have a minimum for weekly hours worked to accrue pro-rated vacation time. Town employees must work at least 20 hours per week to accrue pro-rated vacation time. Part-time staffing needs greatly vary between the two organizations.

Additional benefits for part-time employees
RFPL part-time employees do not receive pro-rated holiday or sick leave time. Town part-time employees receive pro-rated holiday and sick leave time in addition to pro-rated vacation time.

Retirement Benefit (Item 22.B,2, p. 14 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL full-time employees are required to join the plan after one year of full-time service. All new Town employees are automatically enrolled in the plan on the first day of the month following employment.

Group disability insurance (Item 22.E.2, p. 15 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL policy does not include any employment termination date. Town policy terminates employment once long-term disability commences after 89 days of short-term disability program coverage.

Group hospital and major medical insurance (Item 22.F, p. 15 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL policy does not indicate amount of employer’s contribution towards highest premium. Town policy states “the municipal contribution amount (80% of the highest cost plan premium) may be applied toward any of the plans”.

RFPL policy does not specify amount of cash incentive an employee will receive if hospital and major medical coverage is not provided by the employer. Town policy states the employee “will receive a pro-rated cash payment in the amount of 35% of employer premium cost for unused coverage”.

Employee assistance program (Item 22.I.2, p. 16 of RFPL Policy)
RFPL policy states “RAM provides counseling and assistance”. Town policy refers to EAP (Employee Assistance Program). “RAM” is an outdated acronym.


Bennett also recommended that the policies following Item 24 in the RFPL Personnel Policy  (p. 17 – 25) be listed as separate appendices to enable changes be made more efficiently since they are technically separate policies. This would also make the RFPL policy more consistent with Town policy format. These include:

  • Safety Policy
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Drug-free Workplace Policy
  • Smoking / Tobacco Policy
  • Harassment Policy

Further discussion of differences in personnel policy matters included:

  • RFPL’s need for a personnel policy that is separate from the Town policy since library employees are not Town employees.


  • Difference in options for employees to use comp time vs. overtime. Town allows for comp time instead of overtime at a rate of time and a half; union employees can accrue up to 80 hours and non-union employees can accrue up to 40 hours. Item 6 on p. 17 of Town Policy states: “With the approval of the municipal manager, compensation may be offered in lieu of earned vacation time. This policy shall be implemented only under special circumstances arising from the needs of the employee or municipality.” Stearns stated if RFPL decides to allow compensation time for their employees, RFPL needs their own forms for application and approval of comp time.


  • Need for consistent and appropriate storage location and retention procedures for Library personnel records. Pros and cons of having this be the responsibility of the Town vs. RFPL were discussed.
  • Pros and cons of having RFPL employees as non-Town employees vs. Town employees from a human resource management perspective.


At 11:35am, Aldrich moved the meeting be recessed until Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 8:30am in the Library Meeting Room; seconded by Frisa and the motion unanimously carried.

Chairman Gould called the meeting back to order at 8:40am on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 with all committee members present.

Recommendations for proposed changes to the RFPL Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual were discussed, with a focus on the differences between the Town and RFPL Policies identified at the beginning of the meeting. The Committee identified several areas where additional information was needed  – how do other comparable libraries in the region set their holiday calendars and define inclement weather closure policies? The need for more information on the legality of offering comp time was also identified. Library Director Houlné will provide committee members with this information. The Committee discussed the potential benefits of changing the leave policy for dental and medical appointments. Under current RFPL policy, all employees may be granted up to two hours leave [per appointment] to attend personal appointments with a medical or dental doctor or paraprofessional. Such absences are not charged against the personal leave category [sick or vacation], but will be subject to approval of the director. The Committee reviewed the pros and cons of changing policy so all employees would be required to charge these appointments against the personal leave category, which would incorporate the addition of 2 personal days [pro-rated for part-time staff] to help offset the loss of the previous health care appointment benefit. Storage location and procedures for retaining RFPL Personnel Records were also discussed.

The Committee will review all proposed changes to the RFPL Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual in detail before presenting them to the full Library Board of Trustees for discussion.

Frisa moved to adjourn at 9:50am, seconded by Aldrich, and the motion carried unanimously.

Draft minutes respectfully submitted on July 24, 2014 by Secretary Frisa.