March 22, 2011

Conversion to Civil Service Classifications is Underway

UICHR PUBLISHED on the Human Resources (HR) website new information on the job analysis process and compulsory Civil Service conversions currently underway.

THE JOB analysis (JA) process is a result of recent audits conducted by the State Universities Civil Service System that determined inappropriate exemption of positions from Civil Service. Through job analysis, we are able to determine the appropriate employment category for positions

SO FAR, close to 600 interviews (Chancellor’s and Provost’s Offices, Academic Computing and Communications Center, Honors College, Athletics, and contested exemptions from the audit) have been held with the interview process just concluding at the Medical Center. At the Medical Center, many of the jobs reviewed (approximately 70%) will be converted.

ACADEMIC PROFESSIONAL positions (approximately 3,200) in the Specialist, Assistant to, Coordinator, Director, Assistant Director, Associate Director, and Executive Director categories will be reviewed as part of the job analysis process.

THE PROCESS, as stated above, began in January of 2010 and is tentatively scheduled to conclude in January of 2012. The intent is to analyze jobs in the following sequence in the coming months:
  • Administrative units and disputed exemptions
  • Medical Center
  • East Side colleges
  • West Side colleges
  • University Administration positions

THE PRESENTATION details the overall process, but from the perspective of employees undergoing analysis the JA process has three major steps. First, the jobholder/AP will provide information on his or her current job—what he or she does via an online questionnaire followed by a face-to-face interview. The face-to-face interview will focus on how the person does the job. Supervisors will be present for the face-to-face interviews.

IF THE results of the interview process indicate that the position matches an already existing Civil Service classification, the employee will be transitioned via the “conversions” process. The conversions process is separate from job analysis and focuses on ensuring the employee is transitioned into the appropriate job titles.

CONVERSIONS FROM AP to CS will have no impact on employees’ assignments, responsibilities, tasks, or duties. It may or may not impact Fair Labor Standards Act status (salary exempt status versus hourly status), union representation, and vacation and sick leave. Conversions will eliminate notice rights and converted will enter a seniority-based system with “bumping” rights. Seniority is defined by (110 ILCS 70/36i) as follows:

Sec. 36.i. Seniority. After the completion of the probationary period, the employee's seniority shall date from the day of original employment. Employees seniority shall be by institution or campus at which he is employed, unless a lesser unit shall be determined by the Merit Board in an agreement with the employees involved. Whenever it is necessary to reduce the number of employees those with the least seniority shall first be laid off, and their names placed on a reemployment register which shall take precedence over any other register. Reemployment shall be made in the order required to preserve the seniority rights.

THE FULL presentation is available at:

APAC ALSO has received a number of questions related to the Civil Service conversions. In an effort to address some of those questions, we have compiled a series of Questions and Answers from the HR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Given the importance of communications and in an effort to ensure that employees have as much information as possible, APAC is planning a fourth Town-Hall event to address the conversions specifically. The HR FAQ will be expanded to include questions that are raised in the Town-Hall meeting and will be made available at the UIC Human Resources website, FAQs.

Select questions and answers

This feels like an attack on Academic Professionals. Why can’t current Academic Professional jobs be grandfathered and the new ones get converted to Civil Service? Academic Professionals represent a critical employee group to the University overall and are necessary for the University to achieve its mission. However, the University must also ensure that it is compliant with all applicable Federal, State, and Municipal laws. Ensuring that the position management process at UIC is compliant, a thorough review of all AP jobs is being conducted. The outcome of this review, including conversion of some jobs to Civil Service, must be approached seriously and applied fairly and equitably across the Campus.

If the employee refuses to convert, what is the outcome for the employee? The position will be converted and the person will not be reappointed in the same AP job.

How many AP jobs must be converted to Civil Service classifications? There is no specific number or planned amount of conversions. Jobs currently classified as Academic Professional that substantially mirror jobs in the Civil Service Class Plan must be converted.

Will additional conversions take place? Yes. Based on experience to date with the job analysis process, the University is anticipating that more conversions will occur within the next several months and as the University progresses through the job analysis process. There are more than 1,000 classifications embedded with the Civil Service Class Plan. For more information, refer to the SUCSS website.

Will my pay rate be affected as a result of being converted from AP to Civil Service? Pay rate will not likely decrease as a result of a conversion to Civil Service classification.

Does this change impact the frequency with which I’m paid? Yes, Civil Service employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis. The University bi-weekly payroll schedule can be viewed on the OBFS website, Payroll Schedule.

Will benefits - pension, vacation, and sick time, health care - be impacted? Health insurance benefits for Civil Service and Academic Professional employees are the same. Retirement (pension) benefits for Civil Service and Academic Professional employees are the same. Paid time off (e.g. vacation and sick leave) benefits are provided for eligible Civil Service and Academic Professional employees. However, the accrual methodologies differ slightly.

What methodology will be used to conduct the job analysis? Each AP job will be reviewed against a common set of factors approved by UIC’s senior management. The factors are autonomy, expertise, thinking skills, planning and development, responsibility for resources (physical and financial), responsibility for staff, relationships with others, communications and interpersonal skills, working conditions, and physical environment.

EACH INCUMBENT will be interviewed about his/her job duties with his/her manager present (the manager will provide context and ensure fairness and consistency between job holders).

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