June 11, 2018 Meeting Minutes
Call to Order
Chairman Wilson opened the meeting at 1:12 p.m. after some difficulty connecting to JRTC Chicago.
Committee members present: (see attached sign-in sheet)
- Ron Wilson, Stratton Springfield
- Christine Dickey, Stratton Springfield
- Dan Strick, JRTC Chicago
- George Indelli, JRTC Chicago
- Tania Morawiec, JRTC Chicago
- Mary Matheny, CMS/BOSS
- Katrina Livingston, CMS/BOSS
- Shirley Webb, CPO/HE
- Diane Herman, DFPR
- Moses Tejuoso, DHS
Chairman Wilson noted there was a quorum present with five members.
Approval of the March 14, 2018 and April 23, 2018 Special Meeting Minutes
Chairman Wilson confirmed the members had reviewed the March 14 and April 23 special meeting minutes and there were no proposed changes. Chairman Wilson called for a motion to approve the Minutes. Motion to approve was made by Member Dickey, seconded by Member Strick. All members unanimously approved the Minutes.
Review and Vote on Proposed Contracts
Chairman Wilson asked the Committee if all had a chance to review the proposed contracts and request letters to be voted on today. All Committee members affirmed they had. Chairman Wilson read aloud each
contract for vote, asked if there were questions, and requested a vote. All voted aye (Dan abstained on New Star contracts only), the contracts were approved.
Member Morawiec asked about the Glenkirk contract for Shredding at DCFS and had concerns about the number of client jobs if they changed with the annual amount increasing or did they stay the same. Chairman Wilson stated that we will follow up with the Agency and provide additional information/clarification.
Member Morawiec asked about the Village of Progress Certificate of Assurance stating 5 client jobs but the narrative having 15 client jobs. Chairman Wilson stated that we will follow up with the Agency/Vendor and provide additional information/clarification.
Discussion State Use Contract Questions submitted by member Morawiec
Chairman Wilson requested member Morawiec to read through questions she submitted to open discussion with the Committee. Chairman Wilson opened discussion to committee after each question was read by member Morawiec.
- How many PWD will be employed as part of this contract? Chairman Wilson concern is with fluctuation in the number of people employed per contract. Member Strick commented on the shortage employers are facing in finding qualified workers. Vendors may have individuals who have been there longer and who don’t need as many hours to complete the job needing to be done. Committee in agreement with this might not be able to be done prior to contract issuance.
- Please provide a brief description of the work that will be performed as a part of this contract? (More than just “janitorial”) Committee members agree more information has been given on contracts being voted on at this meeting. With the new appointment of Katrina Livingston and having someone devoting their time to State Use full time we will have more ability to review Contract Request and the information being submitted to the committee. Chairman Wilson doesn’t see any reason why we can’t be more robust on the info we want on these contracts. Committee feels agency has this information already and they should be supplying it to the committee also. All in agreement with a more robust approach in collecting information from agencies and vendors.
- Will employees who have disabilities earn minimum wage or above performing the work of this contract? Chairman Wilson ask committee for any hurdles they might see arising from asking for this information. Committee had no response and it was determined we should think about it further and discuss at a later time.
- What is the median wage that will be paid to employees who have disabilities performing the work in this contract? Chairman Wilson said this gets back to the pieces and parts of the contract that change and is very hard to determine prior to the approval of a contract. Mary Matheny said this might be something that can be incorporated into the quarterly reports. Member Chris Dickey doesn’t feel we should have to include more info than the number of employees who worked and the amount of wages paid which is already given in the quarterly report. Mary Matheny explained it will be something we couldn’t do up front but could be further examined with quarterly reporting. Member Morawiec asked if on renewals could we look at prior quarterly report and reference what the renewal amounts are versus what the actual hours worked, number of employed, and the salaries paid. Unanimous agreement this would be something we could do and the information would be more accurate.
- Do employees who have disabilities perform work related to this contract in an integrated environment? Chairman Wilson said this is one that would be hard to establish and opened the floor to discussion for people who have a better understanding of this then he does. Member Strick feels like a number of contracts could be right in the middle when it comes to integration. Each vendor would have a different definition of “integrated environment” and it could be very hard to pin down an appropriate definition. Member Morawiec stated the definition is getting better but maybe we should look at the level of integration so we can gage it. Trying to determine are they employed within a workshop environment while others might be out in the community working with on a crew. There might be some work for us on gathering that information but looking more for the level or work environment. Federal definition of integrated is usually minimum wage and or above, working along-side non-disabled individual who are doing the same types of work that you’re doing, as opposed to only working along-side only disabled individuals doing one type of employment. Chairman Wilson stated given the status of the task force and potential legislature etc. he doesn’t want to mandate information that we could get just by simply asking questions. With our previous discussion about asking more robust contract request information we should just ask and get a feel for and from the vendor and just see how this shakes out with the next round of contracts. Member Morawiec agrees this is a good solution and will review further at future meetings.
- If this is a training program, what do you anticipate as the average length of time a person will spend in the training program? Chairman Wilson doesn’t believe we need to formalize this as a requirement and could be handled best with our robust examination of future contracts and our willingness to ask more from the agencies.
- Does your site offer opportunities for advancement/promotion for employees who have disabilities working on this contract? Chairman Wilson again doesn’t believe we need to formalize this as a requirement and could be handled best with our robust examination of future contracts and our willingness to ask more from the agencies. Don’t want to overstep ourselves with relationship to potential legislation. All members unanimously agreed with Chairman Wilson.
Update on discussions with Illinois Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities Report and Changes to the State Use Program with the workgroup leads by member Morawiec.
Chairman Wilson asked member Morawiec if she has any updates from the recent legislative session. Member Morawiec said additional agencies are going to participate in EEOP which should have a positive impact on the State Use Program. People on the workforce committee were very appreciative of CMS for time given and to the willingness to have discussions.
Chairman Wilson introduced the others present:
- Katrina Livingston from CMS State Use
- Diane Herman from IDPR
- Shirley Webb CPO/HE wanted to know where we are on issuing the guidelines under Public Act 100-0203. Chairman Wilson said not yet but it will be something on Katrina’s agenda for the near future. We also have to take in the alignment with what things the task force is talking about since they run parallel to each other. Wouldn’t make sense to establish guidelines without really knowing where the task force is going.
- Moses Tejuoso from DHS spoke about his concerns with not being able to account for the number of employees working and the contract agreement not being met. Chairman Wilson explained the challenge in verifying who is employed and what amount they are paid. We have quarterly reports that are done but we haven’t ever had to have data beyond those reports and we are able to share those reports. No requirement for a set amount of people to be employed for that set of time. Chairman Wilson also explained if you feel someone isn’t honoring the contract to the agency’s satisfaction then you do have the right to terminate the contract and go with another vendor. There is no requirement for agency to use State Use vendors. Market research needs done by agency and if you feel the pricing is not reasonable then the next time you renew the contract you should go a different route. Moses was concerned with vendor wanting an increase in the contract amount. Chairman Wilson reiterated that all request come from the agency and it is at the agency’s discretion to continue using the vendor. Chairman Wilson ended final discussion with Moses about completing a Vendor Complaint form so we can investigate any issues. Form was sent to Moses on June 13th.
Future Meeting Date
Chairman Wilson expressed his appreciation to the Committee members present for their attendance and reviewed the upcoming quarterly meeting dates:
- September 12, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
- December 12, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, Chairman Wilson called for a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn was made by Member Dickey, seconded by Member Strick. Members unanimously approved the motion to adjourn.
Chairman Wilson announced the motion to adjourn was approved and adjourned the meeting at 2:26 p.m.