TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTEC[WE SERVICES

CoIIIsswNER
I I. L. Whitman, Jr.

January 27. 2017

ACTION

MEMORANDUM FOR THE EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONER

FROM: H. L. Whitman, Jr.
DFPS Commissioner

SUBJECT: Human Resources Policy Exemption Request for DFPS

Purpose

To request your approval to implement certain Child Protective Services (CPS) salary’ actions
that require exceptions to Health and Human Services (HHS) Human Resources (HR) policy.

Back2round/Summan’

To improve retention and encourage applicants to consider front line CPS work, the state
leadership authorized flrnds for DFPS to provide a series of targeted salary increases for CPS
employees as a pan of the fiscal year 2017 critical needs request. While implementing the new
pay structure, two compensation scenarios have been identified that require your approval to
allow the greatest flexibility in establishing starting salaries for competitive transfers within
DFPS or between DFPS and another HHS agency.

In certain situations, the new CPS starting salary for positions in classifications with a lower
minimum salary rate may be higher than the salary of positions in ajob classification with a
higher minimum salary rate as a result of the recent salary adjustments. While the new pay
structure has increased interest in front line CPS work, existing HHS HR policies may negatively
impact these recruitment efforts for certain internal HHS staff Specifically, the HHS HR
Manual, Chapter 7, Section D provides limitations on the starting salary certain HHS employees
may receive.

701 W. 51sT STREET, P.O. Box 149030 + AUSTIN, TEXAS 78714-9030+ (512)438-4800
An Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider
Action Memorandum for the Executive Commissioner
January27, 2017
Page 2

The first compensation scenario involves HHS employees competitively selected to fill a vacant
position in a different class title and job code in a salary group with a lower minimum salary rate
(i.e., a demotion within the same HHS agency, or a transfer across HHS agencies). According to
HR policy, these employees would have their new salary determined as follows:

• set to no lower than the minimum rate of the lower pay range for the new classification;
• maintain their current salary; or
• request that you, as the Executive Commissioner approve a policy exception and allow the
selected employee to receive a salary increase.

The second compensation scenario involves employees at another HHS agency transferring to
DFPS through a competitive selection to fill a vacant position in a different class title and job
code in a salary group with the same salary group as the current position. According to HR
policy, these employees would have their new salary determined as follows:

• no lower than their current salary;
• up to 3.4 percent above the current monthly salary; or
• request the Executive Commissioner approve a policy exception and allow the selected
employee to receive a salary increase above 3.4 percent.

DFPS is seeking policy exceptions to avoid salary inequities between newly hired CPS front line
staff and more tenured HHS staff hired who are competitively selected through a demotion or
transfer.

Discussion

DFPS requests blanket exceptions to the following HHS HR salary policies:

1. When an employee applies for and is selected for a front line CPS position that results in a
transfer (within DFPS or from another HHS agency) to another position with a different class
title and job code in a salary group with a lower minimum rate, DFPS would be allowed to
offer a salary increase to reach the minimum of the new starting salary for an eligible CPS
position.
2. When an employee transfers to DFPS (from another HHS agency) to a front line CPS
position with a different class title and job code in the same salary group as the current
position, DFPS would be allowed to offer a salary increase above 3.4 percent to reach the
minimum of the new starting salary for an eligible CPS position.

Although current policy allows DFPS to request an exception to the above policies on a
case-by-case basis, DFPS believes requesting individual policy exceptions would impede the
process of selecting and hiring qualified, tenured HI-IS employees to return to eligible CPS front
Action Memorandum for the Executive Commissioner
January 27, 2017
Page 3

line positions. With blanket exception approval. DFPS would be able to more efficiently
streamline the hiring/selection process and offer the eligible HHS employee the new CPS
position starting salary.

Comments from HHS Human Resources

Approval of this request will decrease the transaction times required for processing salary actions
that currently require policy waiver. It should be noted that current sala x’ policies were
developed in an effort to discourage frequent job changes by employees, for purposes of
maximizing individual salary increases and to reduce turnover within HHS. Additionally,
approval of this request will result in an inconsistent compensation policy within NI-IS.

Recommendation

In order to avoid compensation limitations related to the new CPS salary structure, DFPS
recommends granting the following blanket exceptions to HHS HR policy:
1. When an employee applies for and is selected for a front line CPS position that results in a
transfer (within DFPS or from another HHS agency) to another position with a different class
title and job code in a salary group with a lower minimum rate, DFPS would be allowed to
offer a salary increase to reach the minimum of the new starting salary for an eligible CPS
position.
2. When an employee transfers to DFPS (from another HHS agency) to a front line CPS
position with a different class title and job code in the same salary group as the current
position. DFPS would be allowed to offer a salary increase above 3.4 percent to reach the
minimum of the new starting salary for an eligible CPS position.

DFPS recommends the aforementioned waiver be approved and implemented as soon as
operationally possible.

Executive Commissioner’s Decision

Approve Disapprove

Modify Schedule Briefing

Comments/Acknowledgment
Action Memorandum for the Executive Commissioner
January 27, 2017
Page 4

Information for Scheduling Briefing (If Requested by the Commissioner)

Meeting Priority and Explanation of Time-Sensitive Factors

The additional funding for salary changes was effective December 1,2016. This matter is
considered time-sensitive and a decision is requested as soon as possible.

Possible Date(s) and Time(s)

Staff are available to meet at your convenience.

Participants

DFPS HHSC

H.L. Whitman Chris Adams
Trevor Woodruff Raette Hearne
Shaniqua Johnson Mathis Hale
Kristene Blackstone Amy Tippie
Lisa Subia
Lynn Blackmore

cc: Kara Crawford, Chief of Staff

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