[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 7-21-2003 by L.L. No. 8-2003; amended in its entirety 1-2-2018 by L.L. No. 2-2018. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of the Town of Amherst Employee Suggestion Program is to secure for the Town of Amherst and its taxpayers the maximum benefit from the conservation of Town resources. The program recognizes that the employees of the Town represent an unlimited source of ideas for better ways to serve the public. Monetary awards are intended to offer a significant incentive for employees to become involved in the creative process and to amplify the capabilities of management. The program recognizes that every employee will, by identifying problems and providing possible solutions, become, in a very real sense, a part of the creative management team.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE
- All Town employees, whether full-time, part-time, or volunteer, are eligible to submit suggestions. Former employees are also eligible as long as (1) the suggestions were submitted prior to separation of service with the Town; (2) such separation was voluntary; (3) and the suggestions are implemented within one (1) year of submittal. Department heads and supervisors, where supervisors' job responsibilities call for them to seek methods to improve operations or services, shall not be eligible for cash awards for suggestions which deal with operations under their own supervision. They may, however, receive cash awards for suggestions that deal with operations other than those under their supervision or assigned general responsibility. Elected officials of the Town may never receive cash awards.
- MERIT AWARD BOARD
- Consists of the following individuals: the Town Board of the Town of Amherst and two (2) private citizens with business backgrounds, to be appointed annually by a majority vote of the Town Board at the Town reorganization meeting.
- A. The Merit Award Board shall have the power and duty to make rules and regulations pertaining to the payment of employee awards. All decisions of the Merit Award Board regarding the worthiness of a suggestion for an award and the amount of such award shall be final and binding and shall not be subject to review in any court or before any other body, except as provided for in the rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with this chapter.
- B. Members of the Merit Award Board shall not receive any salary or compensation for service as members of such Board. However, Town Board members will continue to receive their regular salaries as provided by law.
- A definite, constructive, original idea or a new application of an old idea, submitted in writing by one or more eligible Town employees, which is intended to do the following: increase productivity; conserve Town resources; reduce Town costs; or improve the morale of Town employees. The suggestions must not be the kind which employees are reasonably expected to develop in the course of their regular duties.
- SUGGESTION REVIEW COMMITTEE
- Consists of the following individuals: the Director of Human Resources; the Comptroller; a Town Board member; three (3) private citizens with business backgrounds, to be appointed by the majority of the Town Board (these individuals shall not also serve on the Merit Award Board), with one (1) member employed as a representative of a labor organization (public or private) and the Town Attorney.
- A. The Suggestion Review Committee shall receive all suggestions, as defined above, review them and forward its recommendations to the Merit Award Board for final determination. The Suggestion Review Committee may use other resources in order to complete its investigation/analysis.
- B. The Suggestion Review Committee shall have the power to make all rules and regulations implementing the receipt of suggestions by employees, the review of such suggestions by the Suggestion Review Committee, and the criteria for determining which suggestions shall be forwarded to the Merit Award Board. All decisions of the Suggestion Review Committee shall be final and binding and shall not be subject to review in any court or before any other body, except as provided for in rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with this chapter. A copy of the rules shall be on file with the Town Clerk.
- C. Members of this Suggestion Review Committee shall not receive any salary or compensation for service as members of the Committee.
All necessary procedures for the submission and review of suggestions, or for the awarding of monetary awards, will be established by the Suggestion Review Committee or the Merit Award Board, respectively, subject to the following guidelines:
All suggestions become the property of the Town of Amherst upon their receipt, and all decisions of the Merit Award Board or the Suggestion Review Committee shall be final and binding and nonreviewable, except as provided for in the rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with this chapter.
Duplicate suggestions cannot be given consideration for cash awards. If duplicate suggestions are dated on the same day, the time received in the Town Personnel Office shall govern, and the first filed shall be the only one eligible for award.
In order to be eligible for a cash award, a suggestion with tangible benefits must result in at least One Thousand Dollars and Zero Cents ($1,000.00) in projected savings during the first year after implementation.
The amount of the cash award shall be ten percent (10%) of the first year's tangible monetary benefit, with no cap.
All employees who have a suggestion adopted, either individually or in collaboration with others, will receive an Employee Suggestion Award Certificate and a letter of commendation, both of which will become a permanent part of their personnel record. Any suggestion which have a tangible monetary benefit will have the same noted on the Award Certification which shall also state the amount at issue.
All monetary awards will be charged to the budget or department which benefits most from the suggestion.
Rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter shall govern the character and quality of acceptable suggestions, the method of submission and the procedures for their review, the manner in which the suggestions will be passed on to the Merit Award Board, the value of awards, the issuance and payment of such awards, and any other policies and procedures as may be deemed necessary or appropriate for the proper administration of this chapter.
Nothing herein shall be construed to change or otherwise modify the terms of any collective bargaining agreement existing between the Town of Amherst and any duly organized employee union of the Town of Amherst.
The Town Board is hereby empowered to fund and expend moneys for the purpose of this chapter.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, or part of this chapter or application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be adjudged by any court to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof or the application thereof to other persons and circumstances but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, or part thereof and the persons and circumstances directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State of the State of New York, pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York and the Code of the Town of Amherst.