ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE

 

10.

AUTHORIZE FUNDS TO CONTRACT FOR LIMITED-TERM FIELD POSITIONS DURING FY 2017-2018

 

Meeting Date:

June 12, 2017

Budgeted:

Yes

 

From:

David J. Stoldt,

General Manager

Program/

Aquatic ResourcesFisheries / Hydrologic

 

 

Line Item No.:

2-3-1 K, 2-3-2 B, C, F; 2-3-4 B, 2-3-7 & 2-5-1 F

Prepared By:

Suresh Prasad

Cost Estimate:

Up to $70,600

 

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on June 12, 2017 and recommended _______________________.

CEQA Compliance:This action does not constitute a project as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines section 15378.

 

SUMMARY:The District has funded limited-term positions to assist District staff in the completion of field activities for many years.These positions are not on the District organization chart and their incumbents are not included in the District bargaining units.The schedules for these positions are part-time and largely seasonal in nature. Contracts are for six-month periods of time or less. However, limited-term employees may be offered subsequent contracts. Funding for these positions is included in the proposed 2017-2018 Fiscal Year (FY) budget.

 

Authorization is requested to hire several part-time limited-term Water Resources Assistants for a total of 2,837 hours. These hours will primarily be divided as follows: 680 hours will be used for juvenile fish rescues, 886 hours will be devoted operating Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility, 600 hours will be for the monitoring of adult steelhead counts, 416 hours will be for Carmel River and Lagoon water quality monitoring, and 265 hours would be for compiling well production and groundwater quality historical data. These positions would prevent the accrual of excessive compensatory time and overtime for higher level regular full-time positions. The Water Resources Assistants would be paid $14.75 to $15.00 per hour and cost up to $47,400.

 

Authorization is also requested to hire several part-time limited-term Fisheries Aides for up to a total of 1058 hours of work during FY 2017-2018.These individuals will assist staff with basic labor tasks in the intensive rescues of steelhead juveniles and smolts in the lower Carmel River, as well as performing other fisheries tasks required to prepare for rescues.They may also assist in the release of reared fish from the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility later in the year. The Fisheries Aides would be paid $13.75 to $14.00 per hour and cost up to $16,500.

 

Additionally, authorization would be for an on-call Fish Rescue Crew Leader for up to 136 hours.The position, requiring a biologist with fish rescue experience and knowledge of electro-fishing technology is necessary for the District to be able to perform crucial weekend fish rescues. The Fish Rescue Crew Leader would be paid $44.00 per hour and cost up to $6,667.


RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the expenditure of funds to hire several limited-term Water Resources Assistants for up to a total of 2,837 hours of work, several Fisheries Aides for up to 1,058 hours, and one on-call Fish Crew Leader for up to 136 hours, between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.Approval of this item will be contingent upon final adoption of the FY 2017-2018 budget.

 

IMPACTS TO STAFF/RESOURCES: The total cost of the limited-term contracts described above would not exceed $70,600. It should also be noted that limited-term employees receive no District benefits in addition to their hourly wages, and additional costs to the District are limited to legally mandated payroll taxes and workers compensation insurance premiums. The FY 2017-2018 budget includes $70,700 for these limited-term field positions.They are listed in the Project Expenditures section, under the Aquatic Resources Fisheries and Hydrologic Programs.

 

BACKGROUND:

 

A.    Water Resources Assistants:This job classification was created in December 1998 to assist staff in the Water Resources Division with field and administrative tasks, including rescuing of juvenile steelhead in the lower Carmel River, surveying of steelhead spawning habitat, and monitoring of groundwater and surface water resources within the Monterey Peninsula Water Resource System. It is needed to help ensure that tasks for the Districtís Fisheries Mitigation Program are completed on schedule. They have also been integral in conducting the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure (CSBP), developed by the Department of Fish and Game as a rapid bioassessment protocol and method to track overall stream health. Without the assistance of limited-term help, the ability to conduct these tasks would be severely impacted. Additionally, the Water Resources Assistants will support regular staff with lagoon water quality monitoring, well production and groundwater quality historical data compilation, and grant projects. These employees will work in the Water Resources Division and be supervised by the Senior Fisheries Biologist and Senior Hydrogeologist.

 

B.     Fisheries Aides: Over the past two decades, District staff has initiated rescues when streamflow receded below ten cubic feet per second at Highway One.This has occurred anytime between March and September.The District will be rescuing and transporting three groups of steelhead, including smolts, kelts (spawned-out adults) and juveniles. The smolts and kelts will be transported downstream to the lagoon or ocean, while juveniles will be transported upstream to permanent habitats above the Narrows. Additional help is needed to successfully perform this critical function. If staff attempted to conduct rescues with fewer workers, more fish would be lost because a smaller crew cannot effectively keep up with the number needing rescue and cannot work fast enough to keep up with the retreating river front. It would also increase the risk of on-the-job injuries for people working too strenuously as they attempt to complete two critical jobs in the same period of time. The incumbents of this position will work in the Water Resources Division and be supervised by the Senior Fisheries Biologist.

 

C.     Fish Rescue Crew Leader:The Fish Rescue Crew Leader position was created in 2009, when the District began weekend fish rescues.The regular crew leader and other fisheries staff members qualified for this role are not able to work full-time during the week and also on the weekends.

 

EXHIBITS

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