September 25, 2015
THE ACADEMIC Professional Advisory Committee (APAC) has released the results of its survey concerning employee experiences related to the Job Analysis (JA) Project.
THE JA Project has been going on at UIC for approximately five years. In the JA, all Academic Professionals’ (AP) jobs are being analyzed by UIC to see if they should be classified as AP or Civil Service. The JA was mandated by the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), which charged that too many jobs at State universities were being classified as JA when they should be Civil Service (CS).
INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR for Academic Affairs and Provost Eric Gislason and Chancellor Michael Amiridis supported the survey, which was conducted in April. At that time, APAC worked with the UIC Survey Research Laboratory to send an online survey link to every AP, CS, and faculty employee at UIC. A total of 1,362 individuals completed the survey. The Final Analytical Report has been posted online at https://sites.google.com/site/uicapac/documents/survey .
AP EMPLOYEES and convertees were queried about the JA procedures they had undergone, the length of time that had elapsed since participation in JA, the outcome and methods of notification, and the conversion process, seniority determination, new title, and appeals.
SURVEY RESULTS showed that over the course of the JA project:
*More than five methodologies were employed to review AP jobs, with a large number of respondents reporting having undergone either no or multiple reviews;
*For positions slated to be, or already, converted, decisions were rendered with little consistency or transparency.
*More than 50% of respondents cited poor to no communication from Human Resources (HR) regarding process, timeline, notifications, and/or appeal rights;
*Just two months before the planned close of the JA project, almost 57% of APs who had been reviewed had not been notified of their outcome;
*During the last year, the JA Project began to rely more heavily on an online survey, which captured information on only a limited number of employees’ major duties.
EMPLOYEES AND supervisors submitted hundreds of comments and concerns about the JA process.
“THE SURVEY results are compelling and highlight numerous concerns, many of them pertaining to the Job Analysis methodology, quality and/or timeliness of communications from Human Resources to either the campus community or individuals whose positions were reviewed, and the appropriateness of the recommended CS classifications,” APAC wrote in an open letter to survey respondents and the UIC community.
“IN RECENT weeks, APAC has opened regular communications and discussed possible action items and policy recommendations with UIC’s new HR leadership team of Mark Donovan and Michael Ginsburg,” the APAC letter continued. “We look forward to continuing to partner with the campus to understand the immediate and downstream consequences of Job Analysis and suggest productive solutions.”
THE LACK of a State budget has put the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) in unchartered territory with respect to funding critical State services, including healthcare services for all plan participants enrolled in the State Employees Group Insurance Program.
ACCORDING TO a memo from Tom Tyrrell, Director of CMS, covered plan participants’ medical, prescription, dental and vision plan services will continue. “We have been working with, and will continue to work with the plan administrators contracted with the State for these vital services,” Tyrell wrote. “All healthcare services will continue to be paid as long as possible. However, in the near future, we will no longer have the legal authority to continue to pay healthcare vendors for their services.
“SINCE THE healthcare providers don’t know when they will be reimbursed for the care they provide,” Tyrell continued, “a few of the providers in our self-insured plans (i.e., Cigna, HealthLink OAP, Coventry OAP, and Delta Dental) have asked our members to pay cash at the time of service. If this occurs with a dental claim, the provider will file the claim on behalf of the member and the member will be reimbursed directly by the plan. In the case of a medical claim, the provider will reimburse the member once the provider receives payment for the services.
“ONCE A budget is approved and appropriate funding is in place, the State of Illinois will resume release of payments for healthcare services,” Tyrell wrote. “We appreciate your understanding in the face of these extraordinary circumstances. We will continue to do everything in our power to mitigate the impact on you as we navigate through this budget impasse. Please continue to visit the ‘Latest News’ section on the Benefits website at www.benefitschoice.il.gov for information pertaining to your healthcare. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.”
IN A Sept. 17 email communication, University Human Resources reported, “We have heard from some health care providers, including UI Health, Carle, and Christie Clinic, and they tell us that as of now they are conducting business as usual. We understand that with most providers affiliated with large clinics, hospitals, or organizations, there should be no change in how you are charged at the time of service.”
IF YOU are in either the Quality Care (Cigna), Coventry OAP, or HealthLink OAP and you receive care or have an upcoming appointment with an independent provider, you may still wish to call ahead and confirm expectations for payment at the time of service.
DELTA DENTAL also provided further information from Delta Dental, which can be read in their bulletin on the DeltaDental of Illinois website.
THE UIC Chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA) will present its 2015 Fall Forum, Addressing Illinois’ Fiscal Problems and Political Logjam
PANELISTS ARE Ralph Martire, Executive Director, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability; Bill Barclay, Adjunct Professor, UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business; and Dick Simpson, Professor, UIC Department of Political Science. Moderator is Brenda Russell, President, UIC SUAA.
THE FALL Forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 1, in Room 302, Student Center East (SCE), 750 S. Halsted St., from 11 to 12:30 p.m. The program also will be recorded for later viewing on the chapter's YouTube channel.
PARKING IS available at the Halsted Street Parking Structure (HLPS), 760 W. Taylor St.
FOR MORE information, contact Debbie Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org), (815) 254-3731, or Karen Scherman (email@example.com), (630) 257-1491.
NEW ANALYSIS by the Fiscal Futures Project at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs finds a third looming fiscal problem for the State beyond an unbalanced operating budget and pension debt. Depending on the estimate of infrastructure need, the state has an infrastructure-funding deficit of approximately $31 billion. Read the policy brief here.
THIS MEANS the State would need an additional $31 billion in new revenue today to address its annual infrastructure funding needs over a ten-year, debt financed capital program. Moreover, this estimate assumes Illinois maintains its relatively high current bonded debt burden. Assuming the State wants to reduce its debt burden to be more in line with other States, the infrastructure-funding deficit may be as large as $46 billion.
THE REPORT, titled All bad things come in threes: Illinois’ third type of deficit, Infrastructure funding, examines how the State’s debt service structure (schedule of principal and interest payments on its current bonds) cannot absorb the State’s needed new infrastructure debt. In summary, the analysis is as follows:
- Estimates of the State’s annual future infrastructure needs are substantial, ranging from $4.2 billion at the lowest to $8.4 billion at the highest, and centering on $6.3 billion (base case).
- The study calculates how much new revenue the State will need to address its annual infrastructure funding needs over a ten-year, debt-financed capital program.
- Under the base case of $6.3 billion in annual bond-financed infrastructure funding, the State’s infrastructure funding deficit is almost $18 billion assuming the State maintains its current high debt burden. If the State wanted to reduce its debt burden to a level more in line with other states, the State’s infrastructure funding deficit is almost $32 billion.
- If the State were to invest in the lower estimate ($4.2 billion annually) of infrastructure needs, and maintain its current high debt burden, the infrastructure deficit is $6 billion. For the higher estimate ($8.4 billion annually), the deficit is $31 billion. Assuming the State wants to reduce its debt burden, the lower and higher infrastructure funding deficit estimates are $19 billion and $46 billion, respectively.
FURTHER COMPLICATING matters, the State’s recent fiscal struggles may continue to have a negative effect on the State’s credit rating. This will likely exacerbate the infrastructure-funding deficit, as interest rates on future state bonds will increase due to the state’s deteriorating fiscal outlook.THE REPORT concludes: “Given the fiscal and budgetary urgency of dealing with the other two deficits the State faces, it may be convenient to ignore the State’s infrastructure funding deficit. But this is perilous. By failing to maintain, replace and improve its infrastructure and other physical capital assets, Illinois limits the future productivity and income-earning ability of its businesses and workers. This will ultimately lead to a lower standard of living for future generations of Illinoisans.”
THE FISCAL Futures Project is a research group based at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. For more information, contact Kelsey Kapolnek, IGPA Communication Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 996-8854.
ALL APs are invited to the monthly APAC meeting at 12:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. Meetings are held either in Room 4175 of the College of Medicine Research Building, 909 S. Wolcott, or Room 2750 of University Hall on the East Campus. Next meeting is Oct. 14 in Room 4175 of CMRB. For information, call (312) 996-0306.
APAC WILL host its Fall Professional Development Workshop, “Your Productivity Toolbox: Maximizing Your Efficiency in Your Workplace,” Wednesday, Sept. 30, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Room 932 of the School of Public Health at 1603 W. Taylor St.
PARTICPANTS WILL learn to implement Lean Six Sigma principles to address potential causes of problems in the workplace. (45 minutes) and, using pivot tables in Excel, learn to create reports quicker and more effectively (45 minutes).
SPEAKERS WILL be Kim Mayfield, MBA, Business Manager in Health Policy and Administration, SPH, Co-Chair of Professional Development in APAC, who is certified with a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma; Julie Kong, MED, RD, CRA, Director of Research Services, SPH, Co-Chair of Professional Development in APAC, who is certified in Lean Six Sigma; and Christine Rapp, is a dual MBA/MPH degree candidate with more than ten years of Excel experience and who has worked on projects examining data sets with over 200,000 entries and created multiple levels of reports from these data sets.
By Susan S. Stevens
THE NEW Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources is Dr. Michael Ginsburg, a long-time UIC employee. He assumed the role in July 2015.
“I HAVE worked at UIC for the past 37 years in Student Affairs,” Ginsburg said. “Prior to joining UIC Human Resources (UIC HR), I served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA), a position I held for 31 years. My primary responsibilities involved financial and human resources management and oversight for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, which has a budget of over $100 million and more than 500 employees.”
HE HAS a deep understanding of Academic Professional jobs being converted to Civil Service, having overseen the analysis of each position under Student Affairs and the resulting conversions of 90 positions to Civil Service.
“WHEN THE Job Analysis Project began in 2010, my former units were some of the first to participate in the Job Analysis Project,” he said. “I understand job analysis, having lived through the process, experiencing it as an employee and member of the senior leadership team. I took this task very seriously and worked closely with UIC HR throughout each step in the process.”
THE VCSA LEADERSHIP team kept employees informed at each stage of the process, and explained to each individual employee details about the decision on their classification.
THE JOB Analysis Project initially arose in response to audit findings from the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS). “We are now moving toward a more comprehensive, ongoing approach to job analysis. I believe the campus will find these ongoing efforts to be more flexible and collaborative. We will be working toward the establishment of an appeals process with appropriate input from APAC and other campus partners.”
MORE CONVERSIONS might be coming. “We are in the process of completing the Job Analysis Project for a few remaining colleges and finalizing some additional conversions in other colleges,” Ginsburg said. “But at this point it would be difficult to say how the final phase will turn out.” Over 2,300 jobs have been analyzed to date.
SENIORITY WAS a concern for many employees, which is understandable to Ginsburg.
“CIVIL SERVICE has a prescribed method of determining seniority for converting employees,” he said. “Seniority is accrued from the date that it can reasonably be determined that a position description meets the criteria of a Civil Service classification. UIC follows this method for calculating seniority based on the information available within UIC HR.”
EMPLOYEES CAN submit supporting documents related to their seniority. “There are occurrences when a department or an employee may have records that can supplement the HR information used to determine Civil Service seniority. In these instances, employees can submit additional documentation to UIC HR Compensation for review.”
GINSBURG IS committed to maintaining an open line of communication with employees, Academic Professional or Civil Service. “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me can tell you that I try to be transparent with those I work with,” he said. “I hope this will be a hallmark of my leadership in UIC HR. I believe in open and ongoing communication with all members of the campus. If UIC HR has to make a difficult or unpopular decision, we will explain fully why this is the case. For situations where there is a ‘gray area,’ we will work with the campus to find collaborative ways to work together and focus on ongoing process improvement measures.”
APAC CAN help him. “I look forward to working closely and in partnership with APAC,” Ginsburg said. “I want there to be an open line of communication. I bring a unique perspective to UIC HR. I understand HR from the unit level and can use my experience to help initiate positive change within UIC HR and for the good of the campus. My goal is to make UIC HR a more transparent and customer-focused unit, providing partnership and support to the campus. I hope APAC will support me in this endeavor by continuing to provide feedback and support.”GINSBURG CAN be reached at Ginsburg@uic.edu or (312) 413-9416.
By Monica M. Walk
TIMING IS key for some commitments.
KATHLEEN STAUFFER, MUPP, Assistant Dean for Administration in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA), felt that sense of positive timing keenly when she joined APAC in February 2015. Her professional and personal commitments were aligned in a way that finally opened the opportunity to join the organization she had long wanted to support.
WHILE SHE had attended APAC events casually prior to this year, Stauffer felt a pull to more deeply participate in the organization.
“IT IS something I thought about for the last 15 years,” she said of serving the organization. “Now I have more [UIC] experience, and I am done raising my kids. Now, I have time.”
WHEN SHE joined the group, Stauffer also immediately stepped into a board position as APAC budget officer, drawing on her years of professional UIC budgeting experience.
“I AM an Academic Professional,” Stauffer said. “I like the mission of APAC. It is very helpful to me, especially because of the concerns with HR issues the last several years. The Academic Professional to Civil Service conversions have been going on for five years, and have been contentious. Being part of APAC gives me a better feeling of control, and that it is possible to shape how things turn out.”
STAUFFER CITES the ongoing conversion process among her top priorities in her APAC work.
“IT WOULD be nice to come up with some type of solution to conversions that have happened, and to review those that are questionable and may be moved back to AP,” she said. “I want to inform everyone of what they need to be aware of.”
UNIONS, PENSION issues, and salary parity and increases also are among her top concerns for Academic Professionals.
“THE ACADEMIC Professionals are the only group on our campus with no union representation,” Stauffer said. “We are the only ones on our own. This group is the only way to advocate for Academic Professionals on campus. It is a good way to have our voices heard.”
STAUFFER CAME to UIC as a graduate student in CUPPA in 1990 and earned a Master’s degree in urban planning and public affairs. She then worked for CUPPA in several departments: the Center for Urban Economic Development, the Urban Transportation Center, and the Dean’s office. She moved to the College of Pharmacy, but returned to CUPPA in 2005, where she now concentrates on administrative work for both the college and the unit, with a focus on human resources and budgets. Throughout her UIC career, Stauffer has worked with students ranging from new undergraduates to departing graduate students.
“THIS IS a really nice place to work,” Stauffer said of UIC. “It has been very collegial in all the positions I have had throughout my tenure at the University.”
SHE URGES other Academic Professionals to attend APAC events. “It is well worth the time and effort to get involved,” Stauffer said. “Everyone has perspective and positive things to add, whether they have been here a year or ten,” she said.
“JUST DON’T wait as long as I did,” she advised, with a laugh.
TO CONTACT Stauffer, email email@example.com.
Labels: Member Profiles
UIC HAS Immediate Care Clinics: walk-in health and wellness clinics open evenings and weekends.
THE MAXWELL Street Clinic is at 722 W. Maxwell St. It is open Monday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Call (312) 355-0517.
MILE SQUARE Urgent Care, 1220 S. Wood St., is open Monday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (312) 996-2000.
IN AN emergency, go to the Emergency Room at the University of Illinois Hospital, 1740 W. Taylor St. Call (312) 996-7296.
Labels: Resources and Prof Development
THE STATE Universities Retirement System will offer a fall Retirement Education Seminar for members enrolled in the traditional and portable plans on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Naperville, IL, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is required, and there is a fee of $20 per member and $10 for a non-member guest. Lunch will be provided. To register call (800) 275-7877. For more information, go to http://surs.org/news-article/090815/retirement-education-seminars-naperville.
Labels: SURS and Benefits
|(Photo courtesy Progressive Democrats of America.)|
The budget impasse between Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly
now will affect insurance benefits for State employees.
BUDGET STALEMATE Won’t Affect Payroll, May Delay Health Provider Payments, UIC News, Sept. 15, 2015: http://news.uic.edu/state-budget-stalemate-wont-affect-payroll
GOVERNOR THREATENS to Halt Health Insurance Payments to Providers for State Workers, State Journal-Register, Sept. 12, 2015: http://www.sj-r.com/article/20150912/NEWS/150919820
ATTORNEY GENERAL Lisa Madigan Will Not Appeal Illinois Supreme Court Ruling Upholding State Employees’ Pensions, Capitol Fax.com, Sept. 9, 2015:
Labels: Budget Crisis
APAC News is published by the Academic Professional Advisory Committee of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Editor: William S. Bike
Staff: Gail Mansfield, Susan S. Stevens, Mary Voelker, Monica M. WalkChair: Colleen Piersen
Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany
Secretary: Mary Berta
Treasurer: Kathy Stauffer
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar