Ethical and Family-Friendly Work Environment Topics

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Steve Adler
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:12 pm

Ethical and Family-Friendly Work Environment Topics

Post by Steve Adler » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:28 am

Colleagues,
With Natasha leading (but out sick today), she and I, together with Delia and Ann, post this notice of items that we’re working to raise on the council agenda in March:

1. We’re working on a draft item from council that would point to providing greater discretion in determining under what circumstances it would be appropriate for one city employee to assist another in ways that might not be appropriate in all circumstances (such as, e.g., looking after a child when special exigencies are present, it furthers a city purpose, it isn’t primarily for a private benefit, it’s of a limited or controlled nature or duration, it benefits the city, and it’s done in a way that protects against abuse).

2. Because our current practice for ethics investigations for some City employees involves an extended time between a filed complaint and a preliminary hearing or final disciplinary action, we’re also looking to propose an ordinance (see draft here: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 91417.docx) that would give the City Manager, rather than the Ethics Commission as currently provided, the responsibility for determining whether action should be taken against certain non-civil service employees for whom the Auditor has issued an investigation report alleging a breach of ethics. The report would not be finalized or made public until after the City Manager had determined whether or not to take action and the Manager’s decision would be included in the published final report so there’d be some public oversight. These employees would include executives, members of the law department, retirees, and temporary employees and contractors.

3. Finally, there could be more that we can and should do as a City to support an even more collaborative and supportive culture, including helping to provide a family-friendly work environment. The issue of a family-friendly workplace is not new and previous Council and other work has been done. How do we improve follow-through? Where are we with the status of childcare at public meetings? (Note the pilot that came from Resolution No. 20161103-047 Final Report Recommendations here: http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/pio/do ... ?id=286446). Funding was offered as an amendment in last year’s budget deliberations, but it was ultimately not adopted. In addition to childcare at meetings, other family friendly policies also could be given greater emphasis through a new and separate council resolution (e.g., ask for family-friendly questions to be added to the Listening to the Workforce Survey to monitor progress; keep better tracking data on policy; indicated training).

If anyone is interested in being involved in any or all of these topics, please let us know.
Thanks,
Steve
Mayor

Alison Alter
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Ethical and Family-Friendly Work Environment Topics

Post by Alison Alter » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:09 pm

Dear Mayor and Colleagues,

Thank you for bringing up these important topics. I am interested in all three items and would like to be involved with each of them. I look forward to these discussions.


Regards,
Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10

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