Westmoreland outsources human resources
Westmoreland commissioners Charles Anderson and Tyler Courtney on Thursday turned over control of the county human resources department to a private company that they said will save taxpayers up to $140,000 annually.
Opponents said the deal, which will pay Felice and Associates of Greensburg $216,000 a year, may not produce any savings.
“This deal was not properly vetted. We received no other proposals, and it was not proved this is a better deal than having an in-house director,” Commissioner Ted Kopas said.
The minority Democrat commissioner cast the lone dissenting vote.
Anderson and Courtney said the firm will modernize the personnel office, which oversees 2,000 employees and labor negotiations with 11 bargaining units.
John Felice, the company's owner, did not return several telephone calls seeking comment.
The firm will save money by reducing legal fees and securing additional reimbursements from the state and federal governments, according to Anderson and Courtney. But other officials said those reimbursements are being received for personnel services the county provides under state and federal grants.
The Felice company is being paid an additional $90,000 to analyze the county's nonunion workforce. The firm's $2,000 monthly retainer will be halted in February.
The Felice contract differs slightly from a four-year proposal revealed earlier this week. Commissioners approved a one-year deal, with three, one-year options allowing for the contract to end. If the company is retained all four years, the county will pay $864,000.
A company employee will serve as the human resources director. Anderson said office staff will remain on the job for now.
“We're not hiring a person. We're hiring a system. The people in there now will be evaluated, and there might be reassignments. This is a process,” Anderson said.
Under the contract, Felice and Associates will:
• Review and reorganize the human resources department.
• Update personnel policies.
• Update employee handbooks.
• Connect the human resources department to the county's computer system.
• Develop performance evaluation plans for nonunion workers.
• Implement financial analysis for labor negotiations.
• Develop consistent benefits for all unions.
• Develop management training programs.
Courtney said a study of the human resources department revealed deficiencies. “This has been a process going on for two years,” Courtney said.
Republican Controller Jeff Balzer told commissioners before the vote that the Felice contract was too costly. Balzer sought a three-month delay so additional options could be explored. Kopas' motion to table the action failed.
“Approval of this contract is not in the best interest of Westmoreland County,” Balzer said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Township man who shot friend gets probation
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- United Way surplus funds benefit 9 nonprofits in Westmoreland County
- Arbitration decides Westmoreland court workers’ pact
- 11 Westmoreland inmates accused of setting fire put in solitary confinement
- Plenty of ‘pain’ to share, as Westmoreland County budget OK’d with $8M in cuts
- Youngwood fire department reaches out to homeless family
- Ligonier man first in Pa. to own aluminum-body F-150
- Demolition project at Oliver’s Pourhouse in Greensburg moves ahead
- Unity name excised from Latrobe parks, recreation
- Mt. Pleasant man charged with unlawful restraint