Employees’ Advisory Council Overview
The mission of the Pinellas County Employees’ Advisory Council (EAC) is to continually improve the Pinellas County classified employees’ quality of work life by interacting cooperatively with the Appointing Authorities, advocating the views of classified employees and by delivering candid, effective feedback to the Personnel Board on how employees perceive proposed Board actions that affect employees.
The council’s authority to exist is protected state law, which in part reads:
“There shall be an Employees’ Advisory Council which shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Pinellas County Personnel Board concerning personnel matters, policies, rules and regulations affecting Pinellas County employees. The size and department representation of the Employees’ Advisory Council shall be determined by rule of the Personnel Board. All members of the Employees’ Advisory Council shall be members of the classified service and shall be elected by their fellow employees. Members of the Employees’ Advisory Council shall serve a two-year term of office. In case of a vacancy, a new member shall be selected in the same manner as his predecessor and serve out the unexpired term.”Unified Personnel Act, Laws of Florida, Chapter 77-642, Section 7
The EAC has a total of 15 members, of whom 14 are elected by County employees. Eight elected members are allocated to departments under the County Administrator; two to the Clerk of the Circuit Court; and one each to the Property Appraiser, the Supervisor of Elections, other Appointing Authorities and the Tax Collector. One representative at-large is appointed by a quorum of the 14 elected members.
The EAC structure includes delegates at every worksite throughout Pinellas County. The mission of these delegates is to act as a communication link between employees at their work locations and the council representatives.
Many EAC representatives serve with County management on joint committees or task forces that address a variety of subjects, including health benefits, leave, pay for performance, grievances, ethics, safety and affirmative action.
To guide its day-to-day business, the council has a set of bylaws outlining its role in county government and covering other matters such as membership, meetings, voting, elections, committee activities and the duties of officers.
Representatives and Delegates
EAC representatives meet each month on the third Wednesday. Representatives are elected to a two-year term.
Approximately 75 delegates meet every other month in January, March, May, July, September and November on the fourth Thursday. Delegates are appointed through an informal process for a one-year term.
Pinellas County employees want to be informed about or included in all levels of the decision-making process where quality of work life matters are concerned.
We see our role in the organization primarily as communicators and facilitators between the classified service, management and the Personnel Board. Our role is advisory in all matters that come before us. We concentrate on situations that have a general impact on employees within the Unified Personnel System. We will take action only on broad issues of general importance, and we will refer any narrowly-defined issues or personal grievances to the proper authority. We use our understanding and position to clarify the personnel policy or rules that speak to certain issues that arise from within the classified service. However, when direct or formal action is indicated, we will discuss the issue thoroughly before taking positive action or referring the matter to others. Depending on the nature of the topic, we may choose to make it an EAC goal.
While we recognize and respect the organizational structure of the Unified Personnel System, it is essential that EAC members reserve the privilege to communicate directly with Appointing Authorities about matters that have not yet been formally acted upon by the Director of Human Resources or the Personnel Board. It is the role of the EAC to foster good employee relations. Some situations can be handled more effectively by a visit, memo or meeting invitation from a council member directly to an Appointing Authority. We have enjoyed an open-door policy, and that has been a major factor in establishing the EAC’s credibility as an organization.
In this time of greater employee involvement, participative management and quality improvement, we regard the EAC as a vital component of Pinellas County government. It is our desire to avoid situations which will create adversarial feelings or polarization. Perhaps our greatest responsibility is to speak directly and candidly to the Personnel Board on behalf of the classified employees.
We are proud of our past accomplishments, and we look forward to improving the EAC as the collective voice of the Pinellas County Classified Service.
Visit the EAC webpage for more information about the EAC, including membership list, meeting minutes and bylaws.