The Oneida Business Committee (OBC) took official action on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at their regular meeting to dissolve the Oneida Personnel Commission (OPC) and create the Personnel Selection Committee (PSC).
The OBC has reported to the General Tribal Council (GTC) that the consolidation of administrative hearing and judicial hearing responsibilities in the Judiciary will increase consistency in hearing processes, efficiency, and reduce the overall expenses associated with the providing like services. This action is consistent with how the OBC has amended the laws to remove this function from other entities such as the Environmental Resource Board and the Oneida Land Commission.
Chairman Tehassi Hill said, “There has been continued effort to transfer the hearing authority of various bodies to the Judiciary; we’ve already done this with the Environmental Resources Board and the Land Commission. The decision to dissolve the OPC and separate the responsibilities is the next step. With that change the hearing process will now be in a venue with the appropriate responsibilities and qualifications.”
The actions taken by the OBC on April 11, 2018, are seen to be more efficient, effective and in alignment with the proposed employment law revisions being recommended to the GTC later this year. The resolution was designed to take into consideration an orderly transition and no loss of jobs as well as minimal impact on the budget. Through reassignment current staff may be placed in BC Support Office and the Judiciary.
Through the transition, the individuals with cases that are currently active in the OPC will be afforded options to maintain the current hearing body and stay the course or file with the Judiciary to be assigned in the Trial Court. Those cases that are pending and have not been assigned a hearing will be transferred to the Judiciary Trial Court. Further information will be conveyed to those individuals.
In subsequent action, the OBC adopted a resolution to establish a Personnel Commission which is focused on the initial intent of the original Personnel Selection Committee (PSC) to assure the hiring process of the Oneida Nation is fair and orderly in compliant with Oneida Law. Former members of the OPC are eligible to apply for the PSC.
The origination of the OPC goes back to the 1970’s when it was first called the Personnel Selection Committee and was established to oversee the hiring process of the Oneida Nation. Per the web page for the OPC, “The purpose of the Oneida Personnel Commission (OPC) is to develop an employment system that is orderly and fair and one that will benefit the individual worker and strengthen Tribal Programs and Government. The OPC’s vision is to ensure and enforce fairness, equality, and utmost due process to all employees and all potential employees.”