DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
create mechanism for quicker resolve of tribal personnel complaint. Some of the cases, tribal justice department says it’s cost effective to settle instead of taking time to prove employee is truly in the wrong. i would have to ask for executive session to share what nation has paid out in past five years.
0109-14 deals with time frame regarding filing of personnel complaint, which is 6 months for ONLR to investigate and then 6 months to 1 year for Navajo Labor Commission to hear.
Example – bus driver accused of inappropriate behavior. For Headstart, there is only teacher, cook, bus driver. Concern certainly is that investigation takes significant time and can’t hire bus driver until complaint resolved. It hurts nation. We need people to work. So concern is
DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
Do you have support of tribal personnel office?
Chapters are different in dealing with personnel issue. Ramah Chapter sent a letter.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
is this legislation that tribal justice attorney spruhan supported but we asked question and answer made us think twice about supporting it which is why we tabled it.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
i read this over weekend and some amendments were proposed, especially by Ramah Chapter which wants to be part of streamlining.
I heard you say that there is a three-tier process but legislation talks to two-tier process. You talked about in-house and then Hearing and Appeals and then Supreme Court. But here in legislation, it’s reference to Hearing Officer is for administrative process and not Office of Hearings and Appeals.
chapters tired of regulations. i support this. We still have right to work and burden of proof still on employer. but until we change law regarding employment, we will see our programs, especially chapters being held back.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
there are questions and concerns from tribal judicial branch and that concerns me. so if they are objecting to changing, what is it? and if already objecting, then when these cases come to them, they will rule against Navajo Nation, essentially us. it was odd that I saw Judicial Branch make comment on legislation and they said they wud not be affording employees due process and violating civil rights and I thought that was a bit extreme.
DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
Delegate K.Benally’s concern is why Law & Order tabled. And sponsor even said that he was going to pull his legislation until it conforms with plans of operation with tribal programs.
amendment only speaks to Judicial Branch and only identifies Hearing Officer so more of simple change. I think supervisor not doing job. they move out staff cuz want to get rid of cuz employee questions decisions. Law & Order needs to move hearings along by giving them deadline with due process. he used analogy of bus driver but what if bus driver found not guilty. i feel there needs to be analysis of Bill of Rights. WE are setting deadline for judges too which will overwhelm judicial system. so perhaps this shud be referred back until all questions answered.
DELEGATE ELMER BEGAY
we are talking about employment opportunity but also business opportunity. we have Human Rights Commission and we complain about human rights outside but we shud start with human rights here first. our tribal employees are being discriminated against.
with this, i don’t know where human rights are. and the same is true of Navajo Preference in Business. Non-Navajos are being given preference. Has any of our people used violation of human rights regarding tribal employment or employment on the reservation?
For Delegate Edmund Yazzie – first section of 614 regarding chapters.
Delegate Curley – you have same questions i have about Office of Hearings & Appeals. You don’t have to call OHA but as long as Hearing Officer. Under section 614, line 18, it essentially says that “shall file grievance” per personnel manual. Doesn’t call OHA but Hearing Officer and then Navajo Supreme Court.
Delegate Katherine Benally – Judicial Branch has own review system, they are concerned about having sufficient judges to hold hearings. They’re process is combined grievance and hearings and appeals process and then appeal to Supreme Court. I know had meeting. Same concern of tribla personnel. Everybody goes to labor relations automatically.
Delegate Alton Shepherd – certainly amendment cud be to change from 45 days to 75 days. other possible amendment would be to include district court and supreme court.
Delegate Elmer Begay – i agree with business preference but this is about employment grievance.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
Perhaps we shud also refer 0109-14 back for a complete review of Navajo Preference in Employment Act and Navajo Preference in Business Act.
DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
if we are excluding Ramah Chapter, we are making an exception. for me, we are making an exclusion and another reason we raised question of whether discriminating against our Navajo people.
DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
This legislation shows that the Glove doesn’t fit cuz we are making an exception to this law. This needs additional fine tuning. this reminds me of legislation we passed that was sponsored by Delegate Witherspoon and which has created great concern by our people. So motion to refer back to Health, Education and Human Services Committee.
SECONDED BY DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
SPEAKER PRO TEMP BATES
no debate on referring legislation back to committee, Rule 20-B.
COUNCIL VOTES ON REFERRING 0109-14 BACK TO HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE
8 IN FAVOR, 5 OPPOSED
COUNCIL ADJOURNS 6:46 PM
LAW & ORDER COMMITTEE HAS BUDGET HEARING IN NORTH CONFERENCE ROOM OF COUNCIL TOMORROW, AUG. 12, AND SPECIAL MEETING ON WEDNESDAY, AUG. 13.