CS&B AGENDA
                                                FEBRUARY 20, 1997  

                             ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                                December 4, 1996
                                                C.C. File No. 1306-1

   To:       Vancouver City Council

   From:     City Clerk

   Subject:  Councillors' Secretariat Office - Receptionist Position


        A.   THAT the temporary position of Councillors' Secretariat
             Receptionist be established as a regular full-time position,
             effective January 1, 1997, subject to job evaluation by the
             Director of Human Resources.

        B.   THAT the costs associated with this position be funded from
             within the existing City Clerk s Department Operating Budget.


        In the normal course of events, I would recommend approval of this
        position without hesitation.  Service to Council and members of the
        public has been improved.  However, in the light of the $17.2
        million Provincial funding reduction, the priority of this
        expenditure relative to other services should be considered

        The City Manager RECOMMENDS Council defer this report pending
        Council's decisions in response to the Provincial budget


   On February 4, 1994, Council resolved that departments and boards be
   instructed that any recommendations for increased staff or enhanced
   programs be accompanied by recommendations for matching cost decreases
   or related revenue increases in non-tax revenue, subject to Council


   The purpose of this report is to recommend to Council that the temporary
   position of Councillors' Secretariat Receptionist, first established in
   June 1995, be converted to a regular full-time position.


   In the Spring of 1995, City Council held a series of workshops with
   staff, during which the level of support and services provided the
   Councillors was reviewed.  The City Clerk was requested to consider how
   additional support could be provided by the Councillors' Secretariat, in
   order to respond to the additional demands being placed on the

   At that time, the Councillors' Secretariat consisted of three permanent
   secretaries.  Each secretary was assigned responsibility to perform
   secretarial and other related duties for three or four Councillors.  In
   addition, all three secretaries were expected to respond to the needs of
   each of the ten Councillors, if and when required.  Flexibility was
   required in order to adjust and/or reallocate current tasks in response
   to immediate and changing demands.  The three secretaries also shared
   responsibility for reception and mail handling duties, which tended to
   disrupt other tasks being performed.

   In order to respond to Council's request, arrangements were made for an
   additional support position to be added to the Councillors' Secretariat. 
   The temporary position of Councillors' Receptionist was initially filled
   on a trial basis at the end of June 1995, with funding provided from the
   existing 1995 Operating Budget.

   In December 1995, Council approved the extension of the temporary
   position to December 30, 1996, with funding provided in the City Clerk's
   Department 1996 Operating Budget.


   The Receptionist position, as now established, provides general
   assistance to the Secretariat, primarily in the areas of reception and
   mail processing duties, and other tasks for which efficiencies can be
   gained through consolidated and/or co-ordinated effort (i.e., duties
   which may be readily assigned to or co-ordinated by one staff person,
   rather than be shared by the other three existing secretaries).

   The current list of duties assigned to this position includes:

   -    Reception - telephone and in-person;
   -    Mail/fax processing;
   -    Arrangements for courier services;
   -    Co-ordinating and responding to Councillors' general invitations;
   -    Maintaining the Councillors' general invitation calender;
   -    Poll councillors' attendance at meetings;
   -    Maintain and arrange for office supplies and services;
   -    Assist with secretarial work overflow;
   -    Special projects.

   The incumbent of this position is also identified as the first choice to
   fill in for the secretaries (now referred to as Assistants to the
   Councillors) during periods of pre-scheduled or unexpected absences. 
   Under these circumstances, temporary help assistance is arranged to
   replace the Receptionist, when and if required.

   The experience gained over the past year and one half has confirmed the
   anticipated efficiencies gained in the Councillors' Secretariat and has
   resulted in an increased level of support and service to individual
   Councillors and the public.  Specific improvements include:

   -    faster response time in dealing with requests from the public;
   -    secretaries have more time to respond to their individual
        councillors' needs;
   -    secretaries are subject to fewer interruptions and are therefore
        better able to concentrate on other duties;
   -    secretaries are freer to leave their desks in order to respond to
        tasks which require time spent in the Councillors' offices (i.e.,
        receiving instructions, dictation, filing, etc.);
   -    periods of heavy workload and/or urgent tasks can be assisted by
        the receptionist; and
   -    the receptionist is readily available to fill in for a secretary
        during periods of absence. (Temporary help is more readily
        available to fill the receptionist position, rather than the
        secretary position.)


   Funding has been provided in the 1995 and 1996 operating budgets of the
   City Clerk's Office to fund this position (and related vacation relief)
   on a temporary basis.  The continuation of this funding beyond 1996 in
   the department operating budget will provide sufficient funds for the
   regular full-time position as recommended.


   After one and one half years experience, it has been concluded that the
   addition of a Receptionist Position to the Councillors' Secretariat has
   improved the level of support provided to the Councillors and the
   service to the public.  Based on this experience, the City Clerk
   recommends the position be established as a regular full-time position,
   with funding provided at the same level as in the existing department
   operating budget.

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