News From San Antonio:
August 2001

 

Down With Evaluations, Up With Equitable Policies

It is an important job of every employer to employ a system for raises and bonuses. The City of San Antonio currently uses an evaluation system, the Employee Performance Assessment (EPA), to rate employees on their performance. Supervisors rate employees on a scale from 0 to 4 and those who score below a certain number do not receive bonuses or pay raises. Others who score in the middle receive only partial bonuses. While it may be a fair system in theory, biases make it unfair in practice.

City employees claim that the supervisors show favoritism towards certain employees and discriminate against others. They have described the EPA as a "buddy-buddy" system. In addition, many employees, such as solid waste collectors, animal control workers, street workers, drainage workers and Parks and Recreation workers who work outside and on the streets of San Antonio, complain of unfairness. Many of these workers argue that the supervisors-even when unbiased-do not have enough information to judge their overall performance. One city employee stated that "the evaluators cannot properly judge our performance because they don't even go into the field with us." The bottom line is that the EPA is unfair to many city employees.

In response to the EPA, city workers recently started a petition that demands an across-the-board/all-inclusive pay-raise and bonus system. They hope the city will provide a just system that distributes money evenly among city employees based on seniority rather than evaluations. Currently, some employees who have worked for the city for 25 years are making the same as-and in some cases less than-employees that have been there for less than five years. The new system would give employees a yearly raise that would accumulate and reward employees for their dedication.

It is quite apparent that many city employees are being treated unfairly and that the EPA system is a failure when applied in real-life work environments. Many employees who are unhappy have complained to their supervisors and had disparaging results. Now we implore all employees for the City of San Antonio to unite with SEIU and join us in the fight to change their work environment for good.