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WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD
Board of Directors’ Meeting
August 31, 2004

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors was held on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at the Board's Central Office in Augusta, Maine (AMHI Complex, Deering Building, Rm. 170). Chair Dionne called the meeting to order at 9:52 a.m.

ROLL CALL

PRESENT: Paul Dionne, Rodney Hiltz, John Cooney, James Mingo, Joan Kirkpatrick, Gary Koocher, and Anthony Monfiletto (participated via telephone).
ABSENT: None.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. FY 06/07 Biennial Budget: After noting that this was a Special Meeting scheduled to approve the FY 06/07 Biennial Budget, Chair Dionne informed the Board the Budget Subcommittee met again this morning; there were a couple of issues the Subcommittee discussed – one was the total number of full-time employees which stands at 111, in addition there are four contract positions with the Worker Advocate Program, equaling 115 total employees; that the four contract positions in the Worker Advocate Program have not been funded for FY 06 and 07, so the funding the in the FY 06/07 Budget reflects 111 positions; a process that has been utilized by Staff for approximately six months is that if any vacancy occurs, that department head must justify the filling of the position; if justification exists, then the position is filled; otherwise, other departments may be able to justify a need in their department for the vacated position; with the four Worker Advocate contract positions, it might be possible to justify additional positions in the Worker Advocate Program; also perhaps supplementing the Audit Division with another position. Mr. Dionne reported that another issue that was discussed this morning related to programming and EDI; the Board is presently programming in the Claims Unit with a full implementation of EDI anticipated; that when the Coverage Unit was reprogrammed, the staff count decreased from nine positions to six; the Agency Technology Officer has suggested that there may be some positions eliminated after the Claims Unit is fully reprogrammed and after EDI is fully implemented, but it was still too soon to determine how many positions would be affected; and there has not yet been discussion regarding whether any such positions would be better utilized somewhere else within the Agency. Chair Dionne noted that these were some of the concerns discussed in this morning’s meeting.
Discussion:
Directors discussed that reassignment of resources was something that the Board should be looking at, especially considering the continued employment of four contract workers in the Advocate Program; and noted that the Budget Committee went through a sound and responsible process, without much time to deliberate, regarding the Budget and there was much planning regarding expenditures, resources, and revenues and Board Members differed in two areas regarding the proposed Budget for FY 06/07, one of which was the practice of utilizing reserves to fund the Budget, that the potential to be in the same position as two years ago exists, necessitating an increase in the cap and depleting reserves, that reserves should be for very specific needs; and the second area was the lack of willingness to reduce the staff count by the anticipated savings from EDI; two years ago the Board made a commitment to EDI, had additional funding made with the expectation that the Board would continue to reduce the staffing level;
Joan Kirkpatrick Moved to submit a Part I budget in the amount of $9,066,709 for Fiscal Year 06 and $9,376,559 for Fiscal Year 07; and to use $441,709 from reserves in Fiscal Year 06 and $751,559 from reserves in Fiscal Year 07 to assist in funding the Personal Services Account expenditures and All Other account expenditures; Gary Koocher seconded. MOTION CARRIES 4-3 (Directors Mingo, Cooney, and Koocher opposed).

ADJOURNMENT

John Cooney MOVED TO ADJOURN TODAY’S MEETING; Gary Koocher seconded. MOTION CARRIES 7-0.

The meeting formally adjourned at 9:58 a.m.


Return to 2004 Board Minutes