A three-member Personnel Commission is appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer the Merit System for the Sonoma County Office of Education. The Merit System governs the establishment of eligibility lists and employment standards for classified employees to ensure that classified staff are selected, promoted, and retained without favoritism or prejudice.
The members of the Personnel Commission are Theresa L. Cunningham, Deborah Muchmore, Nan Banker(alternate), and Gail Whooley.
The Commission normally meets the fourth Monday of each month at 3:00pm in the Human Resources Conference Room. If a member of the public is interested in having an item added to the Personnel Commission agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting, please provide it to Nicole Rosaschi (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the close of business on the second Monday of the month. For additional information about Personnel Commission meetings, contact SCOE’s Human Resources department, (707) 524-2724.
Agenda and Minutes
Recent agendas and minutes can be found below.
About the Commission
The Merit System is a fiscally responsible and accountable personnel system, which ensures a fair and equitable process for selection, evaluation, and retention of the most qualified candidates for classified positions. The Personnel Commission is charged by the Education Code with prescribing and amending the rules that may be necessary to ensure the efficiency of service and the selection and retention of employees based on merit and fitness, subject to the provisions of the Education Code.
Appointment of Commissioners
Personnel Commissioners for the Sonoma County Office of Education are appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who receives recommendations from the Sonoma County Board of Education and the Service Employees International Union. Commissioners serve a three-year term and may be re-appointed. The SCOE Personnel Commission has adopted rules providing for an Alternate Personnel Commissioner. The three Commissioners appointed by the State Superintendent select the Alternate Commissioner. The Alternate Commissioner attends all Commission meetings, but does not vote unless a regular Commissioner is absent.
Education and Government Code Requirements
To be eligible for appointment or reappointment to the Personnel Commission, a person shall be a registered voter and resident within Sonoma County and a known adherent to the principle of the merit system. (“Known adherent to the principle of the merit system” means a person who by the nature of his or her prior public or private service has given evidence that he supports the concept of employment, continuance in employment, in-service promotional opportunities, and other related matters on the basis of merit and fitness.)
No member of the governing board of any school district or county board of education shall be eligible for appointment, reappointment, or continuance as a member of the commission.
During his or her term of service, a member of the commission shall not be an employee of the Sonoma County Office of Education.
A member of the Commission must meet the criteria to be a public official in the Government Code.
Desirable Experience and Training
- Volunteer work in the community.
- Concern for the educational system.
- Familiarity with civil service, its concepts and philosophy.
- Ability to work with employee organizations; some knowledge of labor relations.
- Time to engage in Personnel Commission activities, including meetings of the Personnel Commission, workshops related to Personnel Commission functions, and conferences dealing with the Merit System and responsibilities of the Personnel Commission.
The Personnel Commission adopts and revises rules that provide the procedures to be followed by SCOE as they pertain to classified service. These procedures cover applications, examinations, eligibility, appointments, promotions, demotions, transfers, dismissals, resignations, layoffs, re-employment, vacations, leaves of absence, compensation within classification, job analysis and specifications, public advertisement of examinations, rejection of unfit applicants, and any other matters necessary to carry out these provisions and purposes.
The Personnel Commission ensures that the provisions of the Merit System are carried out. The Commission meets monthly to consider taking action on items such as requests for working-out-of-class pay, advanced step placement for new hires, reclassification requests, appeals on hiring procedures or disciplinary action, approval of newly created classifications, salary surveys, and adjustments for unrepresented employees.
The Commission gives input on the goals of the Human Resources Department, makes an annual report to the Sonoma County Board of Education, and adopts an annual budget. The Commission works with the County Superintendent to select and supervise the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, who is responsible for administration of the Merit Rules.
Functions of the Commission
The primary function of the Personnel Commission is to develop and maintain a thorough and ongoing merit system for the classified employees of the Sonoma County Office of Education and to foster the advancement of career service for such employees. Authority for this function is provided by the Education Code of the State of California, contained in Sections 45240 to 45313, inclusive.
The following are the specific functions for which the Personnel Commission is responsible.
- Establishing and keeping a classification plan up to date and allocating all positions within the Classified Service to classes within this plan.
- Allocating each class in the Classified Service to the proper schedule.
- Conducting or participating in community salary surveys in order to allocate salary rates which are based upon the principle of “equal pay for equal work.”
- Preparing class descriptions, including qualifications, education, and experience requirements.
- Formulating and prescribing such rules and regulations as are necessary to ensure the efficiency of the service and the selection and retention of employees on the basis of merit and fitness. Included are rules related to applications, examinations, eligibility, appointments, promotions, demotions, dismissals, resignations, layoffs, reemployment, compensation within classification, job analyses and specifications, public advertisement of examinations, rejection of unfit applicants without examination, etc.
- Prescribing procedures used to establish eligibility lists, which may be extended by order of the Commission.
- Designating classes for which examinations will be open, competitive, or promotional. Consideration is given to the welfare of the service, development of career service, and the promotion of employee morale.
- Conducting hearings of appeals from such administrative actions as classified employee suspensions, demotions, and dismissals. Conducting investigations into merit system matters as prescribed by the Education Code.
- Certifying that employees have been recruited by competitive procedures and assigned in accordance with compensation schedules.