UPA moves to hire three

March 16, 2003 11:00 pm

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

Utica Power Authority directors tomorrow will again take up efforts to establish a Human Resources Department and hire three workers who service UPA's flumes and powerhouses.

The meeting from 5-6 p.m. replaces the regularly scheduled meeting, which would have been Tuesday, March 25.

Among items to be considered are an employees' handbook and health insurance.

Since December, UPA has awaited word from the Public Employees Retirement System to learn if UPA can join PERS and include its employees in the PERS system.

Board Chairwoman Debbie Ponte has said previously that uncertainty over the retirement system membership has delayed UPA's ability to hire the operators.

Directors will hear the latest from PERS, and discuss their next step.

The operators working for UPA are technically employees of Calaveras County Water District, one of the three members — with the City of Angels Camp and Union Public Utilities District — of UPA.

UPA pays CCWD for the employees, but has not been able to transfer them to UPA's payroll because it does not have a Human Resources Department in place complete with benefits and a retirement program.

The operators received 45-day layoff notices from CCWD on Jan. 27.

As the layoff deadline approaches, pressure grows on UPA to have everything in place to be able to hire these workers.

UPA has four employees now — a general manager, water system supervisor, administrative secretary and secretary. All are working without benefits.

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