Personnel Practices Committee

Canons 19.09, 20.01 and 20.06

Resolved, that Canon XIX, Section 19.09 of the Canons of the Diocese of California be repealed and Canon XX, Sections 20.01 and 20.06 be amended as follows (deletions in bold strikethrough text and insertions in bold italic text):

Sec. 19.09. Personnel Practices Committee.

Subject to confirmation by the Annual Convention, the Bishop shall appoint a personnel practices committee which shall review existing minimum stipends and allowances and shall recommend, not less than 60 days prior to Convention, appropriate changes. In addition, the committee is charged with the ongoing education of members and organizations of the Diocese in responsible personnel practices and with recommending to Convention programs to implement such practices for both Clerics and lay employees.

Sec 20.01 Group Coverage.

The Diocese shall provide group coverage for medical benefits through the Denominational Health Plan of the Episcopal Church Medical Trust; dental benefits; long-term disability benefits; term life insurance benefits; and such other benefit programs as the Personnel Practices Committee Executive Council may approve with the consent advice of the Finance Committee.

Sec 20.06 Salary Continuation Benefits.

The Diocese shall provide, to lay and Clerical employees working 20 hours or more per week and continuously employed for a minimum of 90 days, a salary continuation benefits program similar to the State Unemployment Insurance Program for the benefit of those employees whose employment within the Diocese of California is discontinued for reasons beyond the control of such employee. The terms and conditions of eligibility for such coverage and the benefits provided shall be determined and administered by the Personnel Practices Committee Executive Council under such rules and regulations as they may from time to time adopt, amend or modify, consistent with sound actuarial practice. The Personnel Practices Committee is authorized to determine and to recommend to Convention not less than 60 days prior to Convention the level of benefits and the assessment upon employers necessary to fund such benefits on a sound actuarial basis.

 

Proponent’s Explanation:

This proposal removes the Personnel Practices Committee from the Canons of the Diocese.

In recent years, the Diocese of California has been moving toward a more modern governance structure, with the Executive Council as its corporate board of directors assuming responsibility for finance and administration.  The Personnel Practices Committee as defined in the canons is a relic of an earlier approach where the Annual Convention assumed more direct supervision of such functions and committees reported directly to it.

During the 1990’s, the Personnel Practices Committee did significant work on minimum salary standards for clergy, resulting in a resolution adopted in 1999.  That resolution provided for automatic annual cost of living adjustments which are now calculated by the Controller’s office. More recently, insurance and benefits for clergy and lay employees are largely constrained by what is available from the Church Penson Group.  These developments have significantly reduced the tasks traditionally performed by the Personnel Practices Committee.  The committee has not made a separate report at either of the last two Annual Conventions.

The last sentence of Section 20.06 is effectively inoperative because salary continuation benefits and rates are determined by the insurance provider and not set by Convention.

Adoption of these amendments does not necessarily mean that the Personnel Practices Committee would be dissolved.  It would be left up to the Executive Council to determine if the committee is still needed and how its functions might be redefined.  A reconstituted committee would then report to the Executive Council rather than the Convention.

Note:  The Executive Council is also proposing a separate revision of Canon XX.  Every effort has been made to ensure that the proposals are consistent.  In the event that this resolution is adopted, these amendments to Sections 20.01 and 20.06 will be considered adopted regardless of whether other amendments to Canon XX are adopted or not.

Submitted by:  The Executive Council:  Lane Ringlee, Chair, ringlee@comcast.net; Christopher Hayes, Chancellor, christopher.hayes@borowsky.com.

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