Classification review takes center stage at P&S Council

Next P&S Council meeting: Sept. 7 (2:10-4 p.m., Memorial Union Gallery)

Next P&S seminar: Sept. 12 (2 p.m., Memorial Union Pioneer Room), with Stephanie Downs, employee wellness coordinator.

The Professional and Scientific Council learned about the latest developments in the university's classification and compensation review for professional and scientific (P&S) staff and discussed and approved assisting university human resources (UHR) with logistical details for employee open forums about the review process.

Classification and compensation update

Ed Holland, UHR director of benefits, told the council at its Aug. 3 meeting that the job profile tool (JPT) P&S employees were asked to complete in June yielded a 76 percent completion rate.  

"I thought that was really good, and we're happy with it," Holland said.

Now the review team is compiling the job collection tool information and examining feedback from administrators. Following that, Holland said, the team will devise a preliminary classification and compensation structure, determine uniform titles, and collect and evaluate benchmark and market data.

In response to a question from council about who will review and react to the new preliminary structure, Holland explained that two groups, to be assembled by mid-fall, will offer input to the review process. They are:

  • Extended project team -- employees knowledgeable about campus and its employee structure
  • Advisory committee -- staff who also will help communicate changes to the campus community

Council president Jessica Bell stated that P&S Council will have representation on both teams.

FAQ and feedback

Holland encouraged council members -- and their constituents -- to visit the classification and compensation review web page on the UHR website, especially the latest FAQ, which addresses questions about job titles, job families, pay changes and reporting relationships. He emphasized that anyone who has questions about the review process should complete the email form at the bottom of the FAQ page, which goes directly to classification and compensation staff. They will respond to the email and, if similar questions become frequent, add them to the FAQ.

"I know there are a lot of folks who have questions out there on this project," Holland said. "This is a website that's evolving, so check it from time to time because there will be additional things added."

Open forums

Bell said UHR requested the council's assistance with organizing three open forums for P&S employees about the classification and compensation review. The forums, proposed for September, October and November, would cover the project basics and provide opportunities for employees to ask questions. Each forum will cover the same information, but offer multiple opportunities for employees to attend.

Tera Lawson, chair of the professional development committee, said the committee is willing to host an October classification and compensation open forum as part of the council's seminar series.

Some members questioned how P&S Council would add value to the open forum process and if other seminar opportunities might be missed by accommodating UHR's request.

"I think this is our opportunity to help [UHR] tailor the information to our P&S employees who are directly affected by this," Lawson said. "Having it be a seminar series is a service to our constituents."

Katie Thorson, chair of the peer advocacy committee, reminded council members that strengthening its relationship with UHR is a priority.

"Building our relationship with UHR is one of our priorities, and I think this is a good first step toward that," Thorson said.

Following discussion, the council approved a motion to have the professional development, compensation and benefits, and peer advocacy committees work with UHR to organize the classification and compensation open forums.

In other news:

  • Vice president for university community relations Teresa Albertson reported that UHR has streamlined the employee orientation process, which may likely change the P&S Council’s involvement in the orientation session. Albertson and UHR representatives are working together to maintain access to new P&S employees while also supporting the newly shortened orientation sessions. A suggestion offered by UHR is to have a council representative set up a table supplied with information about the organization and be available to new employees after the sessions. The council passed a motion to have the executive committee take up this issue.
  • Lawson reported on behalf of the professional development committee that the next P&S professional development conference, "Cultivating Your Adventure," is slated for Feb. 14, 2018.