March 19, 2012

State Universities Civil Service System Attempts to Take Power to Exempt Workers from Civil Service Status Away from University

A PROPOSED rule change from the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), which would take the power to exempt University workers from Civil Service status away from the University and give it to SUCSS, was posted by SUCSS in the Illinois Register, the rulebook for Illinois Governmental agencies, on March 9, Volume 36, Issue 10.

THE AUTHORITY to approve exemptions in order to establish Academic Professional positions would therefore no longer reside with the University, but solely with SUCSS and its Executive Director.

THE PROPOSED amendment, which would hinder the University’s ability to create Academic Professional positions, is on page 3840 and can be found at

ANY ILLINOIS citizen has 45 days from March 9 (approximately April 25) to provide comments. Comments should be addressed to:

Abby K. Daniels
Manager, Legal Services and Legal Counsel
State Universities Civil Service System
1717 Philo Road, Suite 24
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: 217/278-3150 ext 226

THERE ARE several serious negative implications should this amendment go into effect:

  • If the University loses its exemption authority, it would cause significant delays in hiring processes. Any new AP position would have to be approved by SUCSS.
  • UIC has hundreds of Human Resources (HR) professionals who are able to efficiently and accurately process these transactions. If the change is implemented, the process would be managed by an external agency that is disconnected from the University’s day-to-day HR operations and UIC’s campus-specific HR needs.
  • SUCSS has only 11 staff. If this change is implemented, the work currently supported by hundreds of dedicated UIC HR staff will have to be absorbed by these 11 SUCSS staff members who already have full-time job responsibilities. SUCSS does not have the capacity to absorb the HR transactions from the entire UIC campus, much less all 11 State Universities that they support.
  • The change could be implemented as early as May; a critical window for hiring new employees to replace retirees (the University anticipates significant retirements prior to July 1, 2012, as a result of the changes to the SURS Money Purchase formula).

WHILE AT work, you may review and submit a comment before work, after work, or during any normally scheduled break (such as lunch) using your work computer. Do not participate in this activity while at work if it will significantly interfere with your ability to perform your job effectively. You may also review/submit a comment outside of work.

HUMAN RESOURCES and the Office of Governmental Relations have been made aware of this process. APAC has assurances that it does not represent a prohibited political activity, and it is not forbidden by the State Officials Employee Ethics Act.

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