40 per cent of ASPA members appeal new job classifications
U of S Human Resources and the University’s middle-level staff union are hard at work throughout the summer to assess an unexpectedly high number of appeals over the job classifications that staff were given under a new position grid system implemented in May.
HR and the union, the Administrative & Supervisory Personnel Association (ASPA) report that 310 staff – fully 40 per cent of the estimated total of 775 ASPA members – have appealed the job classifications they were assigned May 1.
HR Analyst Raelin Zaparaniuk told an information session for University Advancement division staff June 3 that HR had estimated there might be up to a 20-per-cent error rate in the assignment of job classifications May 1.
Zaparaniuk and ASPA President Mike Grevers say that because of the high volume of requests for reconsideration of the classifications, joint HR-ASPA reconsideration committees will meet two days per week throughout June, July and August.
Zaparaniuk says HR provided information sessions to the committee members, and she and Grevers say steps are being taken to ensure the reconsiderations are assessed fairly and equitably. For instance, Grevers says, “no ASPA committee member will be dealing with reconsideration requests from persons in his or her college or unit”, and all the cases will be reviewed in late-August to ensure they have been handled consistently.
The rulings on each appeal will be issued in writing on Sept. 1 for four of the five new “job families” in ASPA, with rulings on appeals in the Operational/Administrative job family to be issued Oct. 1.
Zaparaniuk says the reconsideration process is a positive move, since it gives HR more accurate and up-to-date job descriptions for all those who are appealing, and it provides for more accurate information to be used in making a final determination of a job classification.
The new classification system stems from an April 20 vote by ASPA members, approving the final recommendations of a 5½-year job evaluation project between ASPA and the University. That approval put the new system in place May 1, reducing the number of pay levels for ASPA members to four from the previous 12, and offering a greater range for pay increases.
It also put each job into one of five new job families – operational/administrative, instructional; information technology; specialist/professional; and managerial – each family having one, two or three “phases”, or pay ranges.
ASPA members who disagreed with their new job classifications had until May 31 to submit their requests for reconsideration, including a completed position description form.
Under the terms of the HR-ASPA agreement approved by the ASPA membership, the results of this summer’s appeals to the classification reconsideration committee will be final and won’t fall under the grievance process.