Timpanogos Community Mental Health Center employees transferred to a merit salary system early this summer hoping to boost their wages and eliminate specialty contracts, but 42 employees say their job classifications are incorrect.
"It is possible that in some areas there is a mistake," Timp Mental Health Director Don Muller said. "When you are dealing with 90 people and trying to classify them, it's less than perfect. We are trying to sort it out."Muller and Floyd Clark, the center's newly appointed personnel analyst, presented the appeals to the Timp Authority Board Thursday during their monthly meeting.
The board recommended that center administrators conduct an in-depth review of responsibilities on each employee that has appealed the classification.
But Muller said, "Some may not change, and we will find the classifications to be correct."
The scale for licensed practical nurses at the center is already under study, he said. Timp Mental Health LPNs have been at a grade 13, but administrators have found that after one year's experience they should go up to a grade 15.
The board advised Clark and Muller to complete as much work as they can on the appeals and bring the resolutions and reclassifications to them for review and approval at the next month's board meeting.
According to a study done by the center's interim management team, many employees had contracts to compensate for low wages. Only six employees at the center did not have contracts when the legislative auditor's report came out in April.
The authority board was also given litigation status on the pending civil suits during an executive session. Suits have been filed against former executive director Glen Brown, youth program director Carl V. Smith, finance director Craig W. Stephens, accounting technician Deanna Westwood, program director James Schwartz and program director Allen Fife.
Brown, Smith and Stephens resigned in April following allegations that they and five other center administrators mismanaged and misused more than $3.5 million in public funds during a four-year period. Westwood, Schwartz and Fife were suspended and terminated from the center.
"We are bringing it to a close on some parties who have expressed a willingness to settle," Muller said. "We are approaching a decision in one case, but we are not ready to announce it yet."
The authority board was also informed that an auditing firm will be hired to complete an independent audit on the center by Jan. 1. Muller said Timp Mental Health has gone through numerous audits in the past months, but the center is still required by state law to complete an audit for Medicaid purposes.
In other business, the board appointed six new members to the Citizens Advisory Council. There is now 16 members on the council. Four more are expected to be appointed before the end of the year.
Kerstin Sorensen, the advisory council representative on the authority board, requested approval of the new appointments saying, "We need more members, both professionals and lay people, retired and young consumers."
All areas will be represented with the new appointments. Muller said representatives from both Wasatch and Summit counties will be appointed as well as two Timp employees who will sit on the council as non-voting members.