Comp and Class working through appeals process

Karen Shemanski and Bob Millsap

Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

The Compensation and Classification Redesign Project is in the midst of its latest phase—the appeals process. Individual appeals were submitted following the Feb. 28 unveiling of new job functions, job families, and University job classifications for non-organized professional and scientific (P&S) staff.

How does the appeals process work? The individual appeals are being reviewed by a team of five Compensation and Classification staff members. We read them, refer back to the Job Information Forms (JIFs) independently, and then come together to discuss and make a decision as a group on each appeal.

The appeal review process will be done by early June, and notifications will go out shortly thereafter.

The appeals process has been positive—the input has helped us make some improvements to the overall system. For one, the process has identified the need for some wording changes in the key areas of responsibility (or KARs, for short). These will be updated on the web (hris.uiowa.edu/CC_Redesign). And some feedback made us realize that we need to be clearer about the shifts in thinking involved with the design of the new system. Some of the key points staff may need to better understand are:

The new job classifications and the key areas of responsibility are designed to have room for different levels of skill and responsibility within them. The new system certainly reduces the number of “generic” classifications, but not every job within a classification will be the same when compared at a “micro level.”

Jobs are defined by key areas of responsibility—not set requirements for education or experience. We believe levels of education and/or experience will be evident in the level of skill and responsibility the individual provides. The new system will give us the ability to recognize and reward different levels of performance and responsibility that exist among individuals in a classification. These differences will be recognized in career development and compensation within the resources available.

There will be “dual tracks” for advancement in some job families, so that one does not have to assume managerial responsibilities to advance. These will be more clearly identified on the web site.

We are moving away from using numbers in titles for jobs. We believe that words can provide a more immediate understanding of the jobs’ responsibilities, versus just numbers. Certainly there are times when even more specificity is useful—in those cases, a working title may be appropriate.

In order to have a system that is different from what we have today and achieve the project objectives, we do need to think differently and not mirror our old systems. We recognize the new classification system will impact campus in other ways, and we are taking appropriate preparatory steps:

  • We are working with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity to discuss the impact on how jobs are posted.
  • We are working to have the University directory reflect either the new classification title or an approved working title.
  • While we are not changing the career status system, there are ways we administer the policy that need to be addressed before the system is implemented in July.

Rest assured: the process is moving forward. The classification appeals will be done in early June and the system will become effective in July. The compensation component will be implemented in October. As we move forward into the compensation component of the project, we will continue to provide regular updates to staff.

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As we mentioned in our last update in fyi, we encourage you to stay engaged with the process. Visit the Compensation and Classification web site (www.uiowa.edu/hr/classcomp/redesign/index.html). There is no shortage of information posted there: the list of job functions, job families, and their purposes; a list of frequently asked questions about the project; short and detailed audio descriptions of the project; even the Buck Consultants report that got the ball rolling.

Visit with your Staff Council reps—they receive monthly updates from Karen. And you can always submit questions to us at comp-class-redesign-project@uiowa.edu. We’ve even hyperlinked the e-mail address in the previous sentence so you don’t have to type out that long string of words—just give it a click!

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