The Southeast Utah Board of Health meeting was hosted both virtually and at the Green River City offices on Tuesday evening. The meeting began with the welcoming of new board members.
First, Mary McGann introduced herself. She is a member of the Grand County Commission who is taking over for a previous member and is looking forward to being on the board. Next, Jordan Leonard, Emery County Commissioner, spoke. He expressed his excitement to work on community improvement and collaborate with all on the board.
Also during the meeting, Southeast Utah Health Department (SEUHD) Health Officer Brady Bradford discussed a number of policy updates with the board. He explained that these updates are still in the discussion phase and he did not expect for there to be any votes or approvals on what was discussed that evening.
After the board meeting that was hosted in November, it was indicated that they would review the policies regarding employees grievances and disciplinary procedures, exploring how they are resolved. Bradford explained that what was put forth to the board is one pathway possible and that he felt good about it.
The point of bringing it to the board was to allow discussion and time to review further before approving something final, which would likely take place during the next meeting hosted in March. Discussion began with many questions and clarifications from the board and employees.
Carbon County Commissioner Larry Jensen, acting as a board member, stated that he read through the policies a number of times and that it does not seem to involve anyone from human resources. Jensen’s concern is where a supervisor would direct inquiries if they had a problem and how to deal with it. Jensen explained that it made him uneasy, stating that having a human resources perspective would help with the bigger picture. He believes it would also ensure consistency.
Jensen continued by saying that having that professional perspective would provide a calm, consistent direction. It would also help avoid the problem of one department handling something one way and having it handled differently in another. They board does not want issues handled too leniently or too hard.
Bradford once again wanted all to be aware that this is the beginning stages of the updates to the policies and it is clear that the desire is to have everyone be treated the same. Whatever remedial action the employees may receive needs to be fair.
Jensen discussed the possibilities of the policies further with the board, giving direction and suggestions on the correct stages and assistance. A board member stated that it looks good initially, stating that is a great start, but that it needs to be pursued with a fine-toothed comb and ensure that it is understood. Bradford agreed with the sentiment, stating that he did not want to rush the process.
It was stated that having an outside mediator involved would give good guidance in terms of what qualifies for dispute resolution and therefore, what would not. It was also suggested that a paper trail is needed to protect both the employee and the supervisor of the situation.