Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Role of Human Resource Department

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The mission of the State in the Department of Mental Health is to improve the quality of life for adults with serious and persistent mental illness and children with severe emotional disturbance. This is accomplished by a network of effective efficient and culturally competent mental health services that promotes the rights responsibilities, rehabilitation and recovery of the patients served. We aim to provide a system of care that is responsive and appropriate offering services that are of high quality, accessible and cost effective. The components of the system act as a safety net for the most vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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Role of Human Resource Department

The Central and Area Human Resource Office is one of your first contacts with State Employment. This office strives to be instrumental in developing and implementing service, payroll labor relations, staff, development, procedures and policies. The daily operation of this department includes hiring, promotions, classifications, compensation changes and the administration of the benefit plans and programs. Permanent personnel records of each employee are kept by the Human Resource Department. The only changes in this department are the ones bargained by union State contract.


Human recourses has shed its old personnel image and gained recognition as a virtual player in organizational performance. This includes higher employee productivity and financial performance. In today’s tight labor market the ability to attract and retain quality employees is a strategic weapon in private employment. The Human Resource Department consist of Resource Managers, employees are viewed as assets and the goal is to integrate the company’s goals with its employees needs.

Training Techniques

The State recognizes the importance of training programs, the development of career ladders and opportunity structures. Training schedules are formulated by employee,  union agreement focusing on the development and improvement. These programs are designed to facilitate individual career development for equitable employment, may involve external education resources to meet agency needs. The criterion for this training varies for job titles, classes and functions within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The State also recognizes that technological changes may require the need for employees to develop additional skills. To ensure that employees are adequately prepared the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is committed when ever necessary to provide additional training programs and equipment to meet these needs. In 2000 a new computer based program has been added to the training program.


Many private organizations spend one hundred billion dollars each year on training. This includes orientation classroom training computer assisted instruction and case discussion groups. This helps retain and develop productive employees and helps the employee develop their own abilities. Many companies increase training budgets and try different approaches. Employees learn multiple skills so they can perform a number of different jobs and providing variety and enabling employers to adjust to changes in staffing needs. Every company has their own preferred way of doing business but makes provisions to take performance to a higher level.

Wage and Salary Increases

State employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements that are negotiated with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the union. Rates are determines for each job class and provides a particular fate. Increases arise after 5 weeks from the initial date of entry into each job group. Experience is not a factor at entry of employment, and step raises are determined by performance evaluations, attendance or other factors. Cost of living increases are also negotiated into these steps. Performance pay increases are available depending upon legislative action within the State. The State relies on indirect payment system that compensates its employees with benefits.


The private sector employs Human Resources compensation specialist to establish and maintain a pay structure. Often outside consultants are used. Employees with higher skills receive higher pay than those with lower skills. A direct financial payment system that often includes incentives commissions and bonuses. The pay systems is structured with the companies strategic aims. Often they emphasize on performance and the result is higher salaries with more expensive benefits or no benefits at all. This direct payment system has various laws that oversee both State and Private employment. Minimum wage, overtime fates, maximum hours and labor age provisions that influence the design of either plan.


Every company including the State knows that a compensation package requires more than money. Although wage and salary is an important component, it still is only a part. One reason that benefits are important is that health care cost is increasing so quickly. The State provides a benefit package that compensates for the standard pay packages and negotiated pay increases. This includes

· Health Insurance

The State Pays 10% of the cost.

· Dental Eye

Covered under union dues.

· Life Insurance

$5000.00 automatic with employment. Employees can purchase additional coverage equal to 5 times the amount of yearly salary at a rate of 15 cents per $1000.00.

· Tuition

State employees are eligible to attend any State University or College to fulfill undergraduate or graduate degrees and advance personnel growth.

· Disability Long or Short Term

Short term insurance $4.1 and covers 6 months of wage lost.

Long term insurance $6.75 and covers 1 year of lost wages.

· Differed Compensation

Employees are able to set aside voluntary portions of earnings into investment plans.

o Vacations and Holidays/1 paid Holiday per year.

o Unemployment Insurance

o Workers compensation

o Retirement

o Dependent Care Assistance Plan

o Savings Bonds

o State Credit Unions

· Comparison

The private sector with a larger pay scale requires employees to pay a larger portion of Health and Welfare benefits. Many companies only observe 60% of health cost and addition long and short-term disabilities are purchased by outside vendors contracted by the organization. In developing benefits plans, a private organization is able to negotiate what benefits to offer, who receives the coverage, the degree of employee choice in determine benefits and the percent of coverage they will absorb. These figures can change at the employer’s discretion. The State contracts are set for a term of years.

· Exemplary Practices

o The State recognizes the need to promote safety in the workplace and to eliminate the perception that violence is “just part of the job”. It continually adds to non-violence education in the workplace.

o Power, a policy developed by the State to create a partnership of leadership and training of its employees and allow employees to seek training and education at no cost. It began in 17 with State College tuition and each year has added classes, programs, workshops, seminars and certificate programs available to employees. Since 10, 00 workshops have been added to this program.

· Code of Conduct

Massachusetts demands a code of conduct for its employees not covered by the union contract. It holds its employees to high ethical and moral standards, knowledge of this condition of employment. Ignorance of the code of conduct will not constitute a defense against termination of employment. Any employee who is convicted of a crime of minor statue is subject to disciplinary action at work. Any employee who is indicted, charged or arrested for a felony level charge of misconduct will be suspended without pay pending the resolution of the case. If a guilty finding is entered again the employee whether by plea, jury or bench verdict, including “no contest pleas” the employee will be terminated from employment. A no guilty finding will result in reinstatement of employment and retroactive payment of wages and benefits.

· Comparison

The private organization uses deliberate care in terminating employees to avoid wrongful discharge suits. You don’t always have the right to dismiss employees without contract and specific company guidelines. The private sector contains and “at will” employment relationship and this is also becoming limited under federal EEO laws. Various States and court rulings are limiting the right to dismiss employees at will.

· Areas of Concern

Employee relations in the State of Massachusetts are much at a standstill. The idea of “do only what is expected” and collect your paycheck has taken over many of the direct care systems. Not many in State employment are enthusiastic about worker empowerment and advancement.

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