June 26, 2011
By Sonya Booth, UIC News,and William S. Bike, APAC News
AS LEGISLATION was considered in the Illinois House that would change retirement benefits for current employees, 6,234 people signed an opposing petition sponsored by the Academic Professional Advisory Committee.
THE ONLINE APAC petition opposed legislative changes to the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) that would increase employee contributions or reduce benefits for current employees.
“PENSIONS ARE people's No. 1 concern,” said Michael Moss, APAC chair and an assistant director in the Office of Business and Financial Services. “They always have been and likely always will be,"
MOSS SAID APAC hoped to get signatures from the 11,000 UIC employees who contribute to SURS, their friends, families, colleagues and supporters.
THE PETITION was sent to legislators after it closed May 25, he said.
THE UNIVERSITY Ethics Office, Office of Governmental Relations, University and campus Human Resources, Administrative Information Technology Services, and the Office of the Chancellor are aware of the petition, he added, and the ethics office determined that it is not prohibited by State employee ethics regulations.
THE PETITION reads:
TO OUR ELECTED DISTRICT OFFICIALS IN THE ILLINOIS SENATE AND HOUSE:
We entered a contractual relationship with an Illinois State University.
Part of that contract included a modest pension.
We have paid for our pensions out of every single paycheck since our first day of work.
We have paid without fail, on time, and in full.
We are not the problem.
You (the legislature) are the problem.
You have failed to make payments towards our pensions.
You have solved your problems using the pension money you promised us.
You have made the decisions that have resulted in an underfunded pension system.
You have been the problem, and now we call upon you to be the solution.
Do not increase pension contributions for existing employees.
We should not have to pay extra just because you failed to pay.
Do not rob us of our retirement by reducing our benefits.
We should not lose our benefits just because you failed to pay.
We have a contractual agreement, and we demand you uphold our contract.
We have provided countless years of dedicated service.
Most of us do not have Social Security to fall back on.
We have done nothing wrong.
This is not our fault.
Do not make us pay to fix your problem.
We, the undersigned, call upon our elected district officials and demand that you NOT support any changes to the State University Retirement System (SURS) that would:
* Reduce maximum pension benefits as a percentage of salary.
* Reduce pension benefits earned per year of service as a percentage of salary.
* Reduce cost of living adjustments to pension benefits.
* Modify the formula for calculating pension benefits that would result in reduction in pension benefits.
* Increase the number of service years required to qualify for pension benefits.
* Increase the retirement age.
* Increase the contributions required of employees.
We, the undersigned, believe that the Pension and Retirement Rights Clause is intended to protect pension benefits by creating an enforceable contractual relationship between the employer and the employee. We, the undersigned, call upon our elected district officials and demand that you recognize this enforceable contractual relationship and act on our behalf to prevent any changes to the State University Retirement System (SURS) that would alter any of the terms, conditions, formulas, or benefits of the pension plan that were in effect on eligible employees' first day at work.
THE LEGISLATION did not get out of committee this legislative session, but sponsors have threatened to try to pass it in the fall since it failed this time.
A BILL that would have stripped University employees of the tuition waiver for their children enrolled in State universities also failed this session.
THE CHANCELLOR’S Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) Award nomination is available online at http://www.uic.edu/orgs/apac/cape.html.
CAPE, ESTABLISHED in 1988, recognizes the demonstrated excellence of Academic Professional staff, encourages their professional development, and indicates UIC’s high regard for the contributions of APs. Each year, a maximum of four Academic Professionals receive the CAPE Award. The award provides a $1,000 permanent increase to the individual’s salary, along with a $2,000 one-time cash award.
APs, FACULTY, support staff, or students can make CAPE nominations. Resubmission of past nominees is encouraged.
THE DEADLINE for receipt of nominations and all supporting credentials is noon on Friday, July 1, 2011. The CAPE Awards will be presented in November, at a reception as part of UIC Employee Recognition Week.
IF YOU have any questions, please contact William S. Bike, Chair, 2011 CAPE Selection Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-996-8495).
CAPE AWARD Selection committee members are Bike; Jessica Canlas, Assistant Director, Communications, College of Pharmacy; Sara Connell, Associate Director of Development, College of Architecture and the Arts; Myra Gaines, Assistant Director, Human Resources, College of Medicine; KJ Hardy, Associate Director of Development, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Janis Hayden, Assistant to the Head, Department of Restorative Dentistry; Jacqueline Leskovec, Program Coordinator, NN/LM GMR, University Library; Tiffany Murkey, Executive Assistant to the Dean, College of Nursing; Rachel Stack, Director of Advancement, College of Business Administration; and Hugo Teruel, Interim Director, LARES.
* Pension funding shortfalls accounted for $660 billion of the $1.26 trillion gap, and unfunded retiree health care costs accounted for the remaining $635 billion.
* States had only about $31 billion, or five percent, saved toward their obligations for retiree health care benefits.
* State pension plans were 78 percent funded, declining from 84 percent in 2008.
“ILLINOIS RANKS at the bottom of all states in seriously underfunding its contributions to our pensions,” said Chair of the UIC Senate Faculty Affairs Committee Dr. John A. Shuler, Associate Professor and Bibliographer for Urban Planning and Government Information/Documents Librarian in a recent memo.
“WE DID not break the State budget because of our pensions,” he continued. “We contribute to the fund every month regardless of our economic circumstances. The State did not. It is that simple. The serious underfunding of our pensions began almost ten years ago; it is not a consequence of the current economic crisis. The only thing the most recent economic downturn did was complicate and deepen the failure.”
ACCORDING TO Pew, "The gap between the promises states have made for public employees' retirement benefits and the money set aside to pay for them grew to at least $1.26 trillion in fiscal year 2009--a 26% increase in one year.
Faculty Attempt Unionization;
Faculty Union Would Have Different Role than Senate,
Would Not Be Unusual
FACULTY UNION organizers, under the name UIC United Faculty, filed authorization cards with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) on April 29. A card signed by a faculty member demonstrates his or her commitment to creating a union, and no additional voting is required. The IELRB checks and processes the required simple majority and validity of the signatures, and within months the campus should have its first faculty union, representing approximately 1,500 faculty members.
SINCE THE inception of the UIC campus, faculty have been represented by the Senate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Each campus in the University of Illinois system has a faculty Senate, with roots in the University’s statutes.
THE UIC Senate is primarily an advisory group, focused on academic programs, such as reviewing courses, admissions policies, requirements for degrees, and the academic calendar. It has no involvement with salary negotiation or any employment issues.
“ALONG WITH the provost, faculty through the Senate have some control of academic programs,” said Dr. Philip Patston, Chair of the Executive Committee of the UIC Senate and Associate Professor in the College of Dentistry. “There is a difference in what we [faculty Senators] are empowered to do and what a union would do. The Senate doesn’t have decision power. It is a consulting body.”
DESPITE THIS limitation, Dr. Patston noted the Senate “has been the only voice through which faculty could raise issues of concern. We point people in the right direction.”
FACULTY HAVE come to the Senate with questions about working conditions, computers, grievances, and more.
“THERE IS disenfranchisement and anger on campus,” Dr. Patston acknowledged, citing recent faculty concern over campus funding, working conditions, attacks on pensions, salaries lower than peers at comparable schools, and pay lost though furloughs.
“CLEARLY, UIC faculty are activated in a way they’ve never been,” said Dr. Patston, whose dental school is not included in the current union organizing (the Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, and Pharmacy faculty are excluded from the current effort because of a 2003 State law). “It is not a selfish agenda. People work hard and love what UIC is about, its urban mission. Can we sustain a top ranking when work conditions are substandard?”
FACULTY UNIONS are more common than many inside and outside of academia may realize.
IN FACT, UIC is the most recent, but not the only Illinois higher education facility in which faculty have organized. Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, and Western Illinois University all have faculty unions--in essence, all public Illinois universities funded by the State, with the exception of the three University of Illinois campuses.
ACROSS THE country, faculty unions exist at Rutgers University, Stony Brook University-State University of New York (SUNY), University of Buffalo-SUNY, University of Florida, Temple University, Wayne State University, University of Cincinnati, Binghamton University-SUNY, University of Alaska, University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, University of Delaware, Florida State University, California State University System, and UMass/Amherst.
THE UIC faculty campus group is partnered with a union trifecta of American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
ACCORDING to the article “Why a faculty union is not like other unions,” written by Dr. Darold T. Barnum, UIC Professor of Management, “The only real difference between unionized and nonunionized faculty it that, with a legal faculty union, the administration by law must listen to faculty views and truly share governance of the university. University faculty unions are aggressively democratic in their decision-making. So, their negotiation proposals reflect what a majority of their membership wants.”
ACCORDING TO Dr. Barnum’s article, faculty union contracts tend to include:
- Fair grievance procedures mandating due process for nontenure-track, tenure-track and tenured members alike.
- Provisions to ensure the university’s core mission is honored (such as class sizes, quality and number of students, faculty qualifications, appropriate staff, cost-cutting measures, layoffs, measures for student retention).
- Provisions for merit pay and fair, across-the-board salary increases (including acknowledgement of market value).
- Protection against unilateral changes unrelated to the financial health and mission of the campus.
BARNUM’S ARTICLE also notes that faculty unions tend to be politically active and work to retain and increase government funding, rather than assume the administration is entirely responsible for revenue growth.
TO READ the article in full, go to http://uicunitedfaculty.org/articles/article%20why%20is%20a%20faculty%20union%20not%20like%20others.pdf.
INDIVIDUALS MAY join as well. For more information, call (312) 368-7533; e-mail email@example.com, or log on to http://www.weareoneillinois.org/. To sign up for We Are One Illinois text alerts, text 225568.
TO INCREASE awareness of the critical issue of our pensions, the coalition recently launched a new statewide radio ad that tells the truth about pensions, which says:
- ”Nearly 80% of Illinois public employees do not receive Social Security.
- ”For many, the modest pension they earn and pay for is their life savings-–their only source of retirement income.
- ”While public employees faithfully contributed to their pensions each and every paycheck, the politicians failed to make the required payments into the pension systems.
- ”Now the politicians are punishing our teachers, nurses, and other public employees. That’s wrong.”
THE ACADEMIC Professional Advisory Committee (APAC) elected its leadership at its June 8 meeting, with the Executive Board returning intact.
RE-ELECTED WERE Michael Moss, Chair; Jennifer Rowan, Vice-Chair;
COMMITTEE CHAIRS elected were William S. Bike, Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) Awards Committee, and Communications Committee; and Yair Rodriguez, Building Community and Education Committee.
REPRESENTATIVES TO the University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPPAC) were Jacqueline Berger and Leticia Sanchez, with Jennifer Rowan named alternate.
through the mentorship program.
UNDER THE direction of the Office for Access and Equity (OAE), a group of volunteers from APAC and the Chancellor's Status Committees are announcing the Fall 2011 APMP, a mentoring program for academic professionals and staff at UIC.
THE PROGRAM allows Academic Professionals as well as other staff the opportunity for professional development, advancement, and leadership and skills development in their careers. The program will run from the beginning of September 2011 through May 31, 2012. A kick-off event for all participants will be held in mid-September, at a date yet to be determined.
THE APMP committee is accepting applications for mentors and protégés through Friday, July 15. If you are interested in becoming a mentor and/or a protégé for the first time or participating in program again, visit the APMP website and complete an application. The website is http://www.uic.edu/depts/oae/APMP/forms/AcademicProfessionalMentoringProgram_General_App.pdf.
“IT WAS nice to connect with other APs whom I wouldn’t normally interact with in my job,” said Dale E. Rush, resource and policy analyst for the Office of Budgeting and Program Analysis and a participant in the program. “The guidance and support I received from this program has really helped me to grow as an Academic Professional.”
IF YOU have questions, contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT ENDEAVORS, in association with 52 other chapters in Illinois, to achieve legislation favorable to retirees and to keep members informed of pending legislation that can be of importance to them. In addition, the chapter disseminates current information on issues of general concern to senior citizens, provides a liaison between retirees and the campus administration, provides opportunities for socializing among members, and works to assure adequate funding of the Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS).
THE UIC United Chapter seeks ways in which retirees can help further the goals of the campus through volunteering, re-employment, financial support, or other activities. Membership is open to all SURS members, including current faculty-staff, annuitants, their spouses and survivors. Annual dues can be paid once a year or by deduction from monthly SURS benefit checks.
FOR MORE information, go to http://www.uic.edu/orgs/suaa/.
A VARIETY of services and discounts are available to all UIC employees.THE INCLUDE computer hardware, software, and accessories: I-Card perks; relocation assistance; travel discounts; the Ford X Plan; General Motors supplier discounts: cellular phone discounts (AT&T wireless, Sprint/Nextel, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon wireless); Overstock.com discounts; and Redenvelope.com discounts.
AND, THERE are more.
FOR INFORMATION, go to https://sites.google.com/site/uicapac/resources/employee-discounts.
defends pensions on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.
ILLINOIS SHOULD honor current pensions. See Chicago Tribune, May 6, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0506-pensions-20110506,0,7486051.story.
ACADEMIC PROFESSIONALS at U of I Champaign-Urbana say reclassifying jobs as Civil Service a bad idea. See News-Gazette, May 8, http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2011-05-08/academic-professionals-say-reclassifying-ui-jobs-bad-idea.html.
MOVES TO reclassify APs to Civil Service at UIC catches the notice of the News-Gazette downstate. See News-Gazette, May 8, http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2011-05-08/moves-reclassify-300-chicago-add-worries.html.
HENRY BAYER, of AFSCME 31 and the We Are One Coalition, defends pensions on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight at http://tinyurl.com/65g2tgs.
The clip is taken from a longer piece on the Governor's budget plan and the rebuttal by the Civic Federation which is at the Chicago Tonight Website, http://tinyurl.com/5r2vafc. For clarification, the Civic Federation is a different group from the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
STATE EMPLOYEES—raises or jobs? See State Journal-Register, May 12: http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x447609496/State-employees-will-have-to-choose-raises-or-jobs-lawmakers-say.
THE TRUTH about the pension fight. See Progress Report, May 12:
PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS could cost double. See Springfield Journal-Register May 26: http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1355383674/Cross-pension-bill-spells-out-employee-contribution-levels.
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE attacks Illinois public employee pension benefits, including scathing remarks impugning the three legislators who did not vote "Yes" for SB512 in the Personnel and Pension Committee hearings May 26. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-pension-20110526,0,5063662.story
SALARY INCREASE likely, says June 15 UIC News: http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/uicnews/articledetail.cgi?id=15438.
THE JOB analysis process at UIC is well underway with more than 800 interviews having been conducted for Academic Professional (AP) positions across the campus. This process seeks to systematically study, define, and document the duties, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the jobs performed by APs to ensure they are appropriately categorized as Academic Professional or if they should be converted to a Civil Service position. While there is significant consternation over the impacts of the process (e.g. conversion), there are positive outcomes as well. In the end, there will be a more organized and understandable approach to jobs (including titling, roles/responsibilities, compensation, etc.), an online job library that contains consistent job descriptions (not PAPEs) for use across the organization; and the job foundation necessary to develop and implement a meaningful approach to pay, establish career pathways and training programs for employees, improve selection processes, develop performance based reward programs, etc.
Senate Bill 1150 – The Washroom Act
EVEN AS Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares continues to lend her full commitment and support to the audit compliance, job analysis, and conversion processes, interest in these areas have increased significantly. The most disconcerting is the recent action taken by certain legislators in the Illinois State Senate. A bill has been proposed, voted on, and passed to the State House that seeks to revoke the current ability of public universities to classify non-teaching employees as Academic Professional. The bill passed the State Senate, but failed in the State House. As more information is received on this issue, it will be communicated as appropriate.
Job Analysis - What Your Unit Can Expect
THERE ARE a series of steps required to ensure that the job analysis process runs smoothly. Most critical, however, is the collaboration of the college/unit and the HR Office.
COMMUNICATIONS (STEP 1): At the outset, the college/unit leaders are invited to participate in a planning meeting to review the process steps, potential outcomes, roles, and responsibilities and to provide initial feedback, share concerns, and get questions answered. Following the planning meeting, a series of town-hall like meetings will be conducted for all staff members in the college/unit to communicate the process, goals, outcomes, and the potential impacts to the employees.
DATA COLLECTION (STEP 2): College/unit managers and employees will be asked to provide information about the work being performed by the Academic Professional staff. This information will be collected in two ways via an electronic questionnaire and a face-to-face interview. The questionnaire is designed to gain information about what duties are performed and should be provided prior to the face-to-face interview. The interview will drill down into those duties to determine how they are performed.
EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIZATION DETERMINATION (STEP 3): Once the data is aggregated (via a draft job description), a recommendation for employment categorization (i.e., AP or CS) will be made. The draft descriptions will be turned over to the designated college/unit managers for review. At that time managers will have the ability to modify the documents and make alternate recommendations for categorization. In collaboration with the HR Office, final job descriptions will be created to represent all of the positions reviewed.
MORE COMMUNICATIONS (STEP 4): Employees will be provided with final copies of job descriptions as well as information about the appropriate categorization of their position.
CONVERSION (STEP 5): In the event that conversion of positions becomes necessary, affected employees will be invited to participate in various communications sessions (group meetings, individual meetings, etc.) to ensure that information is disseminated and that questions are answered in a timely manner. Employees will be provided as much written information as possible but will always have access to the subject matter experts involved in the process.
WHILE THE AP positions in all units and departments at UIC will be reviewed in the coming months, the process is furthest along at the UIC Medical Center. During the first review phase, approximately 325 were reviewed and 260 positions were deemed to have been inappropriately exempted. Job analyses have been conducted in the offices of the Chancellor, Provost, Central Human Resources, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Athletics, the Honors College, and the Academic Computing and Communications Center (ACCC). Results of those analyses (and required conversions, if any) are forthcoming. Due to college/unit operational needs, this timeline may be adjusted.
Interview Time Range
Off. Of Admissions & Records
w/o 6/6/11-w/o 6/13/11
Business & Financial Serv.
w/o 6/6/11-w/o 6/27/11
Off. Of Public Affairs
w/o 6/6/11-w/o 6/13/11
w/o 6/27/11-w/o 7/18/11
w/o 7/4/11-w/o 7/11/11
w/o 7/18/11-w/o 8/15/11
VC for Research
w/o 7/25/11-w/o 8/29/11
VC for External Affairs
w/o 8/8/11-w/o 8/15/11
VC Administrative Servs. &
w/o 8/29/11-w/o 9/19/11
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Applied Health Sciences
w/o 9/26/11-w/o 10/24/11
w/o 10/10/11-w/o 10/24/11
VP for Academic Affairs &
w/o 11/14/11-w/o 12/12/11
VP Technology & Econ. Dev. &
Admin. Info. Technology Servs.
Architecture & the Arts
w/o 11/21/11-w/o 11/28/11
VC for Development
w/o 12/5/11-w/o 12/18/11
w/o 1/2/12-w/o 1/16/12
Urban Planning & Public Affairs
w/o 1/9/12-w/o 1/30/12
UIF & Alumni Association
w/o 1/23/12-w/o 1/30/12
w/o 2/6/12-w/o 4/2/12
University Audits &
w/o 2/13/12-w/o 2/20/12
Utilities Administration-UA &
Capital Prgms./Real Estate Servs.
w/o 2/27/12-w/o 3/26/12
School of Continuing Studies
w/o 3/5/12-w/o 4/16/12
School of Public Health
w/o 4/23/12-w/o 6/25/12
w/o 5/21/12-w/o 6/11/12
w/o 5/21/12-w/o 5/28/12
w/o 6/11/12-w/o 7/30/12
w/o 7/9/12-w/o 7/23/12
College of Medicine *
w/o 8/13/12-w/o 12/17/12
* College of Medicine-- Teams 1 & 2 will begin interviewing w/o 8/13/12. Team 3 will begin interviewing w/o 9/3/12.
WE RECOGNIZE that the operations of the University do not stop as a result of the job analysis process and that there will be instances where new employees will need to be hired. As such, working in collaboration with the Office of Access and Equity (OAE) many of the new hiring processes have been modified to ensure the continued, smooth operation of the University. These changes enable us to meet the commitments made to the Merit Board to report all new Academic Professional new hires to the SUCSS Office monthly and to communicate our seriousness related to the fixing these issues.
Hiring Processes Changes
NEW POSITIONS: If there is a need to hire (including visiting positions), a new first step is to submit request for a job analysis review to HR Compensation at email@example.com. This is necessary to determine whether or not the position should be categorized as AP or Civil Service and which hiring process should be followed.
AT THE end of the job analysis interview, a job description (either AP or CS) will be created for use during the hiring process. Note that OAE will not accept job documentation (job descriptions or PAPEs) that have not been approved by HR Compensation or have expired (i.e. older than three years). Please do not submit new PAPE requests or requests to update PAPEs via the Department Accessible Region for Transactions (DART) application. Current PAPEs will be allowed for use in the hiring process so long as they are not older than three years, and you believe the job is appropriate as an Academic Professional and does not exist in the CS class.
EXISTING SEARCHES: If a college/unit is in the midst of a candidate search, there are several things to consider. First, if the job analysis process is underway or has concluded in the college/unit and the position (or like positions) has been determined to be CS, the search cannot proceed. The college/unit cannot hire into an AP position when it matches a CS class. If the job analysis process is not underway or concluded but the job documentation is current (i.e. not older than three years), the search may continue if you are certain that the position meets the criteria for AP and does not exist in the CS class. If there are any questions, please contact HR Compensation immediately. Second, if the search is near conclusion and an offer of employment has been extended but the position should be CS, the candidate should be notified immediately as the position will be converted to CS immediately upon hire. Third, though units have the capability for direct entry, academic hourly appointments are not allowable. Remember, all new hires are reviewed and will be reported to SUCSS monthly. If an academic hourly appointment is made, it will be immediately converted to CS Extra Help. Finally, revisions to the new hire system (Hire Touch) are being made to include additional routing to the HR Compensation office for review and approval of the job documentation (i.e. PAPE or job description) to ensure that the appropriate hiring process is being followed. This new routing step will occur after the manager reviews and approves the job.
A Note about Conversions
A CRITICAL outcome of the job analysis process is the necessity to correct the inappropriate exemption of jobs from coverage by Civil Service (CS). The conversions process has proven to be extremely complex (e.g. Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA], immigration, seniority, work hours, etc.); and while many of the issues raised have workable solutions, there are many instances where we continue to look for answers. One issue worth highlighting deals with visas. UIC hires many foreign nationals via the various visa programs. When conversions are required, these cases can be very complex, are considered carefully and reviewed individually. Please be mindful of material changes that may have occurred in an employee’s job duties. This type of change may impact an employee’s ability to retain a visa. If you have any questions, please notify HR and the Office of International Services (OIS) immediately.
IN THE meantime, if there additional questions about job analysis or conversions processes overall, please contact the HR Office at http://www.uic.edu/depts/hr/index.shtml
A CRITICAL outcome of the job analysis process is the necessity to correct the inappropriate exemption of jobs from coverage by Civil Service (CS). Conversion of misclassified positions, though unpopular, serves two important purposes: first, to resolve audit findings; and second, eliminate non-compliance with the State law that established the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS).
TO ENSURE fairness and consistency, UIC is conducting a systematic study of all Academic Professional (AP) positions within the organization. Therefore, all employees in positions that are deemed to be inappropriately exempted will eventually be converted.
MANY EMPLOYEES have questioned why positions were misclassified in the first place. Unfortunately, there are a range of reasons that exist (e.g. misunderstanding of exemption guidelines, increased flexibility in the management of one employee group over another, attachment of status to AP position, degree attainment, etc.). Whatever the initial rationale, the fact of the matter is that the exemptions guidelines have been clarified and will be applied appropriately moving forward.
DETERMINING WHETHER or not a position will be converted requires the application of one basic rule. That is, if the positions’ duties (in essence, not every task performed) match those of an already existing Civil Service classification, the position is Civil Service. If there is not a suitable match (since there are more than 1,000 classifications the likelihood of a match is high) in the CS class plan and the job meets the criteria for exemption, the job may be established as AP. However, be mindful that the rules have to be applied in that specific order. The SUCSS website provides a user-friendly application to review general information about each classification within the class plan, http://www.sucss.state.il.us/classspecs/admin.asp?kw=accountant&criteria=SearchAll
Results from the UIC Medical Center’s Job Analysis and Other Departments
WHILE THE AP positions in all units and departments at UIC will be reviewed in the coming months, the process is furthest along at the UIC Medical Center. During the first review phase, approximately 325 positions were reviewed and of them, 260 were deemed to have been inappropriately exempted. Beginning May 1, employees began converting from AP to CS. Job analyses have been conducted in the offices of the Chancellor, Provost, Central Human Resources, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Athletics, the Honors College, and the Academic Computing and Communications Center (ACCC). Results of those analyses (and required conversions, if any) are forthcoming.
Impact of Conversions
RUMORS ABOUND regarding the impact of converting from AP to CS; but whether or not conversion is “good” or “bad” depends on a particular individual’s perspective. However, in some cases, conversion of certain positions will likely create additional management challenges. For example, in a position elimination scenario the potential impact of bumping or the requirement to retain CS staff whose positions are grant funded and in the event the funding goes away. Maureen Parks, executive director and associate VP for human resources, is working closely with the executive leadership of SUCSS to develop win-win resolutions to these and other issues. The truth of the matter is that conversion signals a change, not only in the culture and mindsets of this institution but there will be specific impacts to employees’ every day work lives. The following details those areas of employment that are not impacted at all, that may be impacted or will definitely be impacted as a result of conversion.
CONVERTING FROM an Academic Professional position to a Civil Service classification will not impact an employee’s: Work assignments, responsibilities, relationships, tasks, or duties; pay, since the amount of annual salary will not be reduced; health benefits, since benefits offered by Central Management Services (CMS) are the same for all eligible State employees; and retirement.
CONVERTING FROM an Academic Professional position to a Civil Service classification may impact an employee’s: Weekly work schedule (37.5-hour vs. 40-hour schedule); pay schedule will change from monthly to biweekly (every other Wednesday) when the conversion becomes effective; overtime status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA; and representation by a union. This is a determination controlled by the Illinois Educational Labor Board and reflected in a labor agreement, which is a legally-enforceable contract. If a position is represented by a union, employees are not required to join the union, but will be required to contribute a “Fair Share” payment for the work done by a union to represent that job if the employee does not join and pay dues. If your job will be covered by the new Service Employees International Union (SEIU) “Professional” unit, there is no “Fair Share” or dues arrangement with the Union at this time.
CONVERTING FROM an Academic Professional position to a Civil Service classification will impact an employee’s: Notice rights. Eventually, employees will not have notice rights, but will have specific rights regarding employment processes, including promotion, reduction in force, discipline and termination; gaining of seniority rights within the Civil Service system for the time spent in the same position/job; ability to bump or be bumped from positions.
SPECIFICS VARY among individuals. To determine the amount of classification tenure (not overall University tenure) that is considered in the position elimination/bumping process, consider the following examples:
EXAMPLE 1: Hired as an AP Project Coordinator 20 years ago, and will be converted to a clerical title in the near future: Will have 20 years of seniority in the Civil Service classification.
EXAMPLE 2: Hired into a Civil Service clerical position 20 years ago, promoted to an AP Project Coordinator title four years ago, promoted again into an AP Accountant title two years ago, and will be converted to a CS Accountant title in the near future: Will have two years of seniority in that classification.
Paid Time Off
FOR APs, sick leave is accrued at 25 days per year (12 accruable); while for Civil Service employees it is accrued at the rate of 0.0462 hours for each hour worked.
FOR APs, vacation is accrued at 24 days per year (48 maximum accruable); while for Civil Service employees there is a maximum accrual = two years’ total; must be accrued prior to use. Depending on the FLSA status and years of ongoing service, Civil Service employees may receive between 12 and 25 days if non-exempt. If exempt, between 25 and 28 days.
CIVIL SERVICE employees must accrue leave before it can be used; no “up front” usage. Impact of vacation change is highly dependent on years of service and FLSA status. Paid time off “banks” will be converted intact so that you lose no days of leave.
IN THE event that a conversion is required, employees will have some choices to make. Employees with notice rights may choose to work as an AP until the notice rights expire following issuance of a terminal appointment notice and then convert to Civil Service status, or choose to waive notice rights and convert in the near future.
WHERE NOTICE rights are not considered (e.g. visiting or academic hourly) employees will be converted at the end of the appointment or contract periods.
THE CONVERSIONS process has proven to be extremely complex (e.g. FLSA, immigration, seniority, work hours, etc.). While many of the issues raised have workable solutions, there are many instances where we continue to look for answers. As that information becomes available, it will be communicated widely within the organization. See http://www.uic.edu/depts/hr/index.shtml.
AS MANY of you are aware, UIC is undertaking a major effort to analyze most Academic Professional positions at UIC. The goal is to define and document (via job descriptions) the work of Academic Professionals, which enables us to accomplish several critical objectives including determining if positions are appropriately categorized as Academic Professional or Civil Service.
THE PROCESS requires us to conduct interviews with Academic Professional job holders and their managers to collect information about the job duties performed, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to fulfill the role.
IT IS our intent to analyze the jobs for most AP’s in each college and unit on campus; and to date, more than 800 such interviews have been conducted. Some colleges and units are further along in the process than others. You may have already met with an HR staff member to conduct a job analysis for your role, you may be waiting to hear back on a final job description, or this may be the first time you are hearing of this. Regardless of where you are in the process, I encourage you to visit the “UIC Civil Service Audit and Job Analysis” section of the UIC HR website for valuable information on the process and its potential implications and effects.
WHETHER YOU feel you are well informed about the job analysis process or know little about it, a good first step is to review the FAQ section. The FAQs will provide you with excellent background information about why we are conducting job analysis and what you can expect as you begin the process. For even more detailed information, you can next consult the link titled “Campus Communications.” Here you will find links to presentations HR staff members have delivered to APs both before and after the job analysis process as well as copies of memos from senior leaders on campus. These presentations and memos contain information about the criticality of the process, the plan and methodology for the job interviews, timelines, and what you can expect if your job is converted to a Civil Service position. The links currently listed in this section can be found below:
6/01/2011 - AP – Civil Service Conversion Project – Group Meeting Slides
3/01/2011 - Job Analysis and Conversion
9/17/2010 - DDDH Communication - Civil Service Audit Requirement
8/31/2010 - Your Role in the UIC 2010 Civil Service Audit Process
8/30/2010 - Job Analysis for Academic Professionals – Post SUCSS Audit Compliance (PowerPoint)
8/19/2010 - Civil Service Overview, Meeting with the UIC Dean’s Council
11/17/2009 - Official Message from UIC Senior Leaders
IF, AFTER reviewing the material you continue to have questions, I encourage you to do any or all of the following:
- Contact the HR representative who works for your college or unit for specific information related to job analysis and conversions for your particular College or Unit.
- Check with the Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC) about upcoming meetings that will be scheduled which will specifically discuss the job analysis process. I am working closely with APAC to disseminate information and I see them as a valuable partner in this process.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email will be received by one of HR’s staff members who is familiar with the job analysis process. Your question will be routed to the appropriate individual and we will respond back to you.
I UNDERSTAND that the job analysis and conversions processes can be intimidating due to the uncertainty they bring and the questions they create. It has always been my intent to be transparent with you, your supervisors and the HR leaders across campus to lessen the anxiety that you may be feeling. I hope that this memo provides some guidance for you to get your questions answered.