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Making choices on the frontline

Making choices on the frontline

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    Audie Beverly, chairman of the uniform committee, said, "The uniform committee has helped to streamline the ordering process and allow a place to bring up common issues for discussion and resolution. We have decreased the errors in ordering and involved more of the front-line staff in the process." Photo: Orange County Public Works

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    William Baxter, public works director, addresses the Roads and Drainage Division fore-men at their regular meeting. Photo: Orange County Public Works

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    According to Charles West, construction foreman, “The corrective action committee helps us to keep our discipline actions consistent. It also allows the front-line supervisors to bring up situations and ask for guidance on discipline issues.” Photo: Orange County Public Works

When an event occurs that requires disciplinary action, the immediate supervisor requests that the corrective action committee convene. Generally, meetings are within 24 hours of the request. The foreman or supervisor brings all available information and statements to the committee for review. They relate the incident and respond to committee members'questions. After all information is reviewed, the committee discusses the presented material and recommends an appropriate disciplinary action. Actions include verbal warnings and pre-determination hearings. This recommendation is then forwarded to the division manager.

The corrective action committee has reduced the number of grievances filed, since a union representative is involved in making disciplinary decisions. The employees know they will be treated equally and that factors like favoritism will not come into play. This has helped increase employee morale. Due to the overall success of this program, other departments around the county have expressed an interest in adopting this step into their own disciplinary processes.