The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has signed a new three-year agreement with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that reiterates affirmative-action goals for minority and female employes first set in 1977 and calls for new measures to meet those goals.
Under the new agreement, the 1,300-employe agency must hire or promote one black or minority employe for every non-minority hired or promoted until the goals are met. A similar "one-for-one" hiring and promotion policy for women in the skilled crafts and higher administrative positions is also part of the agreement.
Last July, the Baltimore office of the EEOC found that the bi-county agency responsible for parks, recretion and planning in Prince George's and Montgomery counties had met goals agreed upon in a 1977 conciliation agreement in only one out of seven job categories for minorities.
For example, a planning commission report showed that as of last June in the Montgomery County Parks Department, none of the 14 upper-level managers fitting EEOC's classification of "administrators or officials" was minority or female. In that department there were only two minority "professionals" out of 61 (versus a goal of nine) and only one minority clerical worker out of 24 (versus a goal of six).
"It (the new agreement) reestablishes certain goals for hiring men and women by department," said Thomas H. Countee Jr., director of the bi-county agency. "Basically, they remain the same, except in some departments. The agreement requires more stringent monitoring and enforcement by the commission and mandates a more expanded and extensive outreach program to attract blacks, females and other minorities for park and planning commission positions."
Last October, the planning commission cited a number of factors for the poor performance, including slow growth in employment, little turnover and a small budget for recruitment of minorities in what has been traditionally a white-male-dominated agency.
The new agreement runs from Dec. 15, 1980 to Dec. 31, 1984, and like the preceeding conciliation agreement is voluntary. However, the EEOC has the option of going to court to have the agreement administration under the a court order.
"I hope that we can make better and faster progress than we have in the past three years," said Countee. "That's what this agreement is designed to do."