UCPEA Classification Project Updates

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February 14, 2020

The UCPEA Classification team met with representatives from the University on Tuesday seeking answers to some of our initial questions about mapping and some of the more general issues of concern that members have identified including, but not limited to, what was covered in the Union Wire yesterday.

Some of the concerns we raised were familiar to the University as UCPEA members, faculty and University management have shared their feelings and frustration with Human Resources as well. This had not been communicated to us until the meeting.

We made very clear that the membership’s morale has been negatively impacted by both the outcomes of the project so far and the University’s inadequate communication before and after the release of the new system. This has furthered the message that the complexity of the work done by UCPEA members is not valued and individual’s career growth is not a priority.

The University asked questions about feedback from our members and we shared some of what we know at this point. The University acknowledged that they need to provide more education around the mapping process. This conversation will continue as we work through the data and feedback we are receiving from you.

We would like to tell you that we have been invited to genuinely participate as partners with the University in addressing the problems that the new system has created, but we cannot. It is our hope that future meetings will be highly productive and inclusive so we can efficiently make necessary changes to address the numerous problems identified as the system currently stands.

Please continue to share any information, concerns or issues to ensure that we are representing you in the most informed and effective ways. We will continue to share updates with you as we have them.

January 21, 2020

An agreement on timelines for the remaining work on the updating of the UCPEA classification system was reached by The University and the UCPEA. As part of this agreement, UCPEA has withdrawn the pending grievance and labor board charge however this does not prevent future filings if they become necessary.

Key dates for 2020 and corresponding information are below:
Jan. 31:
  • Human Resources completes mapping of all UCPEA covered employees.
  • Official notification to all UCPEA covered employees of their new job template, level and corresponding salary band from Human Resources.
Feb. 1 – June 30:
  • The Career Progression Program will be developed by the University in consultation with the UCPEA.
  • There will be a pause on Human Resources processing reclassification requests.
  • Approved reclassification requests will be processed retroactively but will not predate Feb.1, 2020.
  • A Reconsideration Process for existing employees to request a review of their placement in the updated system will be developed by the University in consultation with the UCPEA.
July 1 – Aug. 31:
  • Employees will have between July 1 – Aug. 31 to submit their reconsideration request unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Human Resources has up to 10 weeks from the date a request is submitted to complete the reconsideration review.
A few important notes:
  • If your current salary does not meet the minimum of your new salary band once mapped in the updated system, the University has agreed to increase your annual salary to the minimum of your new salary band retroactive to your original January 2020 mapping date.
  • Requests for Reclassification and Reconsideration cannot be made simultaneously.
  • More detailed information about the Reconsideration process will be shared as it becomes available.
If you do not receive a communication from Human Resources with your mapping information by Jan. 31,  please contact the UCPEA Office (ucpeaoffice@ucpea.org).

September 23, 2019
Members of the UCPEA Leadership and the Classification team have met with representatives from the University on three occasions in the last two weeks – September 10, September 17 and September 18. Over the course of the last three meetings, we’ve been provided with more information about how the Job Inventory Worksheets will map into job templates. With this information, we’ve been able to ask more meaningful questions and advocate on behalf of the membership.
Subject Matter Experts that have not yet been asked to provide feedback were sent an email by the University acknowledging the delay and it is expected all Subject Matter Experts will receive their survey and job templates by September 30.
Human Resources is sponsoring information sessions this week. It’s our understanding topics that will be covered during the information sessions include a general system overview, terminology connected with the new system and the connection between the analysis of Job Inventory Worksheets and the development occupational groups. The information sessions will be held in the Student Union Theatre and employees do not have to use accrued time to attend a session:
Tuesday, September 24: 11 a.m. -12 p.m. and 1p.m. – 2 p.m.
Wednesday, September 25: 11 a.m. -12 p.m. and 1p.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday, September 26: 11 a.m. -12 p.m. and 1p.m. – 2 p.m.
The University has committed to visiting all regional campuses with dates and times to be announced shortly.
There are still several outstanding items, particularly project timelines, salary bands, the “reconsideration process,” and our advocacy for a full equity analysis for the bargaining unit.
Members of the UCPEA leadership will attend all the information sessions this week. We are also scheduled to meet again with the University on October 4.

September 6, 2019

Members of the UCPEA Leadership and the Classification team met on Tuesday with representatives from the University to discuss in more detail our concerns regarding the UCPEA Classification project.

While many topics were discussed during this meeting, the UCPEA leadership focused on a few main themes including the absence of:

  • substantive information in our monthly meetings with the University; consistent follow through on promised action items for the UCPEA leadership, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and membership;
  • agreed upon project timelines; and
  • substantive, straightforward and authentic communication in our meetings and with the membership about progress on the project.

In what we have interpreted to be in response to our most recent complaints, representatives for the University briefly walked us through the “mapping” process they’ve developed using a sample job inventory worksheet (JIW). We were also provided with a cursory description of how the University sees each section of the JIW corresponding with specific leveling criteria. This is new information for the UCPEA team, and we will analyze, ask questions and provide feedback.

We presented the concern we’ve received that managers and directors have been instructed to “slot” employees where they believe they should land in the new system. The University said they have done the opposite, instructing managers and directors not to “slot” anyone.

In a brief conversation about salary bands and how important a consideration equity is when attempting to create a fair and effectively functioning system. To that end, we requested a full equity analysis for all positions. The University did not agree to our request, indicating that they believe the classification system and equity are two different topics. This remains an outstanding issue and something we will continue to advocate for going forward.

Of the 80 SMEs UCPEA provided, 30 have been asked to give feedback on a job series and the rest have not been contacted since late spring. While HR committed to sending a communication to those who have not yet been asked for feedback, they also questioned whether additional feedback from the others is even necessary.  The UCPEA Leadership and Classification team will follow up on the issue of SMEs and feedback. HR also informed us that Sibson Consulting (the firm HR contracted to assist with this project) was only assisting with the development of job templates.

We also conveyed that the consistent collective feedback from the membership is overwhelming cynicism that this project 1) will be completed and 2) result in an updated system that is fair and functions effectively. As expected, the University disagreed with our characterization of our experience through this process.

The meeting ended with the University asking us what we needed to help us understand the system. While we have been consistently and clearly asking for this, we again requested an in-depth review of what has been created so far including the occupational groups, families, and paths and how the University intends to use the “leveling guide” to make such determinations. The University agreed to provide this to us at our next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 10. In addition, we asked to discuss project timelines and requested copies of all job templates and job series’ that have been developed and the list of all SME’s that have been asked for feedback thus far.

August 22, 2019

The communication received yesterday morning from Christopher Delello in Human Resources does not address the concerns we outlined in our message to the membership this past Monday. It in fact underscores our concern about the significant lack of substantive information about the work Human Resources has done on the UCPEA Classification project. It also raises additional questions around the implied use of Subject Matter Experts. In the time since the message was released, the UCPEA leadership has heard from many members expressing their frustration and distrust of this process. We’ve also heard from many members designated as Subject Matter Experts who have not been contacted by Human Resources. We hear you and share your concerns.

Based on the information we have to date, it appears the University is attempting to rush “something” in place; we do not have confidence that this will meet the needs of our members. Our mission is to continue advocating for a system that will appropriately serve our membership. We will follow through on the complaint and grievance processes initiated over the last week in addition to keeping the membership updated in a timely manner.

The next meeting scheduled with the University to discuss matters related to the updating of the UCPEA Classification System is Tuesday, September 3. Please look for an update following this meeting.

In Solidarity,

The UCPEA Executive Board


August 19, 2019

Last summer, we shared the letter that we sent to the University administration outlining several challenges that the UCPEA had been facing with the University, particularly with respect to the classification project. In this, we stated that the “UCPEA has recognized the magnitude and complexity of the classification project from the beginning. We’ve been more than reasonable, but it’s been a challenge working with the University on this project. We have continually provided feedback on the lack of information, communication and tangible progress associated with this project. It doesn’t seem to make a difference.”  As of the writing of this update, it has been more than a year and we continue to be unclear about tangible progress on the project. This past Tuesday, August 13, members of the UCPEA classification team met with the University and made clear our continued frustration. This was met with the stunning response that the University was “unaware of our frustration.”  This could not be farther from the truth.

We have been patient.  We show up and are prepared to contribute in the monthly meetings.  Yet we are unable to explain to you, our members, the process, criteria, and content of the updated Classification System.  We are not being consulted; we are being given “updates” that lack substance and detail.  In our July “update” meeting, we were provided a list of “assumptions” and “target milestones,” euphemisms for actual “procedure” and “timelines,” that we were not consulted on and lack fundamental information.

As noted in the University’s response to us last August, “UCPEA’s cooperation with the project is an essential ingredient if we want to be successful.”  We absolutely agree, however cooperation requires mutual, respectful engagement that we have not been afforded.  While we always prefer to resolve things at the lowest possible level, this has not been feasible.

The University also accurately noted that “the contract and the statutory collective bargaining scheme anticipate such disputes and provide the framework for resolving those disputes.”  Because the University has not, in fact, been working with us in good faith, today we have exercised our contractual and statutory right to file a complaint with the State Labor Board against University for unilaterally extending the contractually established timelines, as well as a grievance for their failure to be in consultation with us on the project.  Additionally, we have begun working on how this issue will fit in to our priorities for the next round of contract negotiations.

Going forward, we will be providing the membership with updates after each of our meetings with the University. These updates will be emailed to you and posted at http://www.ucpea.org. It is our hope that the University will begin to do their part to “resolve issues that arise together in a manner that is fully collaborative and transparent.”

In Soldarity,

The UCPEA Executive Board