Borough Manager, George Zboyovsky, PE, Public Works Superintendent Robert Mackewich, Finance/HR Director Susan Toth, and Chief of Police Adam Zeppuhar, joined other municipal leaders from across the Commonwealth, at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College for the 34th Annual PELRAS (Public Employer Labor Relations Advisory Service) Training Conference. This event is considered the premiere training forum for public sector employees in the Commonwealth.
“The 2.5 day annual PELRAS Conference in State College saw an all-time high in attendance as it is a proven difference maker in controlling personnel costs with the ultimate beneficiary being Pennsylvania taxpayers,” said PML Executive Director Richard J. Schuettler. “PELRAS is clearly the elite local government labor relations program in the Commonwealth.”
The Conference, March 16-18, was attended by municipal managers, elected officials, police and fire chiefs, solicitors, personnel and finance directors, and risk administrators. Over 20 labor relations specialists addressed key issues via panel discussions, in-depth seminars, case examples, role-playing and Q&A sessions supplemented with a comprehensive reference manual, access to PELRAS attorneys and networking opportunities.
They all participated in the many valuable workshops and sessions designed to educate, engage and enhance skills to better serve the Borough. The following is a sampling from a long list of educational sessions held during the Conference:
• The Public Scrutiny of Policing: Are There Lessons to be Learned from Recent Events?
• Ethics for Municipal Solicitors
• Updates: Health Care, Wage and Hour, Act 111, Legislation
• Social Media Essentials
• H.R. Lessons Learned from Litigation
• Managing Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health in the Workplace
• Social Security
• Complying with the Amended Child Protective Services Law
• Performance Standards for Police Officers: It’s Not About Quota, It’s About Quality
• Managing Difficult Employees and High Risk Disciplinary Issues
• Post-Retirement Benefits and DROP
• Everything You Should Know About Public Sector Pensions
• Navigating the Legal Requirements Surrounding Wellness Programs
• Types of Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA
Featured speakers at the conference included attorneys from the law firms of:
• Ballard Spahr LLP
• Blakey, Yost, Bupp & Rausch
• Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller, P.C.
• Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees
PELRAS is a service program of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML). The mission of the PML is to strengthen, empower, and advocate for effective local government. PELRAS was created to address increasingly complex issues in managing local government workforces, providing its members with extensive training, access to specialized legal counsel and frequent updates on topics and developments in the employee relations process and municipal law. The goal of the program is t o share workable solutions on how to avoid lawsuits, mitigate labor/management tensions and improve service delivery ensuring that municipalities of any size effectively and proactively manage their workforces.
PELRAS is endorsed by the Association for Pennsylvania Municipal Management (APMM), the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners (PSATC), the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS), and the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services.