The HR design team has taken the recommendations from the work teams and combined it with ongoing input from stakeholder groups and the project’s executive sponsors. The project team will release a plan for campus consideration in September. The plan will include the recommendations the project team feels should move forward and also suggest the timing of implementing these recommendations over the next few years. The plan will be made available to the entire campus and engagement events will be scheduled to discuss the recommendations. Feedback from campus and governance groups will be considered and incorporated into the plan. The plan will then be reviewed by the Board of Regents in November and December. Key components of the plan will then be submitted to the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) in spring 2013. (Back to top ↑)
Frequently Asked Questions
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance amended the Governor’s budget bill to delay the effective date of the HR Design provisions until July 1, 2015. We are continuing to gather information on how the delay will affect our human resources system. We will post updates on the situation here at the HR Design website as we learn more.
Have questions? Submit them to email@example.com
- Where does the project go from here?
- Will I lose any of the vacation I’ve accrued?
- How will you define the “market” for market-based wages?
- What safeguards to ensure favoritism does not play a part in pay increases will be part in a merit-based system?
- Will there be cost-of-living increases?
- Will raises be available again?
- How will the new HR system improve employees’ chances for promotion
- How many classified employees will be moved into academic staff?
- What does it mean for me if I am currently classified staff but my position is moved to the academic staff category?
- Will UW employees become an “at-will” workforce?
- Will the principles of “due process” and “just cause” be incorporated into the new system?
- What does civil service employment at UW–Madison mean going forward?
- Were the work teams that provided recommendations for the HR Design proposal primarily made up of people from human resources positions?
- How does this relate to recent HRS implementation?
Current employees will not lose any vacation hours accrued to date, any vacation banked to date in ALRA/Sabbatical, or any sick leave accrued. In the future, the project may propose changes to the way that employees accrue vacation. These new vacation/sick leave programs would affect new hires going forward. Any potential impact on current employees would be discussed extensively with employees and governance groups before it is finalized. (Back to top ↑)
Different jobs are associated with different labor markets. A market is typically defined with three main factors:
- Geography. For example, local, regional, national, international
- Employer size: organizations with a certain number of employees
- Employer Type: such as university, public sector, or private sector
Each job will be associated with a specific market. The market should reflect the employers that we compete (or want to compete) with to fill those jobs. Once the market is defined, salary data from third-party sources can be used to calculate the range of salaries currently being paid for those jobs. Universities who use market data typically purchase or subscribe to multiple data sources in order to cross-check results. A market analysis only provides a reference point for determining pay for different jobs—it does not automatically set the pay for those jobs. The university will combine market analysis along with other factors (e.g., internal equity, living wage standards) to develop compensation strategies. (Back to top ↑)
What safeguards to ensure favoritism does not play a part in pay increases will be part in a merit-based system?
From both the work teams and campus engagement, we heard both support and concern for more closely linking compensation to performance. Supporters feel that it was important to reward strong performers or those who go “above and beyond” in their roles. Those who raised concerns feel that performance evaluations are subjective and that if all compensation is based on these subjective evaluations raises won’t be fairly distributed and those, those who perform at a satisfactory level may not receive increases. The intent of the future compensation approach is to provide ways to reward performance for all employees. This does not mean, however, that all salary increases will be completely driven by performance. The project team recognizes that employees in different roles have different opportunities to demonstrate exceptional performance and that the compensation system should reflect this. We also realize that providing pay for performance requires strong performance management practices. These should be based on a fair, transparent and documented system by which managers and employees develop goals together and track progress against those goals. Performance management should also consider the perspectives of coworkers, customers, and other managers, wherever possible. We will develop this performance management system along with other components of the HR system (Back to top ↑)
Cost-of-living increases are general increases in base salary or wages intended to adjust employees’ pay for inflation. In some cases, these increases are linked to specific measures of inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Contrary to some recent press releases, the compensation work team’s recommendations do include ways for the university to provide this type of adjustment. The HR Design project, however, is not a pay plan—it does not propose or require any specific pay increases. The project also does not create any additional financial resources to fund increases. Additional flexibility provided by the HR Design project will create the ability for the university to make pay adjustments. (Back to top ↑)
In the past number of years, the state has not funded a pay plan. This, combined with the university’s limited flexibility to create its own pay plans and limited financial resources, has constrained the university’s ability to provide raises. The university has developed some creative solutions which have provided some flexibility, including the Critical Compensation Fund. The HR Design project will provide the university with greater flexibility and independence to provide both base pay and one-time pay increases. The project on its own, however, does not create additional financial resources for the university. It is likely that for the next few years, pay increases will need to be done strategically to balance multiple needs: retaining key staff, rewarding excellent performance, and preserving internal equity. (Back to top ↑)
As the new HR system is designed, it will improve employee opportunities for advancement in a number of ways:
- Through the job classification analysis, we will create more defined career paths that will include considering the creation of levels for certain jobs in order to provide additional steps for promotion.
- By requiring more robust performance management processes, the HR system will provide a more consistent way to evaluate and meet employee development needs, and to consider readiness for promotion.
- By defining core competencies that are common across jobs, the system will focus on developing skills and abilities which are applicable across units and functional areas.
No decisions have been made regarding moving employees into new categories. The most significant change proposed by the Employee Categories work team would move approximately 1,400 current FLSA exempt classified jobs into the academic staff. The impact of this change and the concerns raised by stakeholders are still being considered by the project team. (Back to top ↑)
What does it mean for me if I am currently classified staff but my position is moved to the academic staff category?
At this time, no decisions have been made regarding moving employees into new categories. The project team is seriously considering concerns raised by campus stakeholders regarding changes to existing categories. The project team is trying to balance preserving what employees have today with providing a way for the university to transition to its own personnel system. The employee categories discussion has been particularly complex and challenging. While the work team considered changes to existing employee categories, it also proposed changes to other workforce issues associated with those categories, such as governance, vacation accruals, and appointment types. If a change happens in employee categories that impacts current employees, we will provide a full explanation of what the change specifically means. (Back to top ↑)
“At-will” employment refers to an employment contract that the employer or employee can end at any time, provided that other contracts or agreements are not in place. The new personnel system will not be expanding the number of positions that are “at will” Some employees (in leadership positions) currently have “at-will” limited appointments. These appointments reflect the high level of responsibility and impact these positions have on the university’s mission and operations.The Employee Categories work team recommended renaming the Limited category to “Executive at Will,” but did not recommend expanding these l appointments. We do not expect significant changes to the number of “at will” appointments at UW-Madison. (Back to top ↑)
Employment in civil service systems is often associated with certain rights regarding job security; namely, that in most civil service appointments discipline or termination can only occur where there is just cause and after due process has been provided. The “just cause” principle means that discipline or termination should take into account reasonableness, notice to the employee, investigation, proof, consistency, and equity of action. According to Act 32, “employees holding positions in the classified service on June 30, 2013, who have achieved permanent status in class on that date shall retain just cause and appeal rights, though the specific procedures may evolve.” (Back to top ↑)
Act 32 requires that the new university personnel system “include a civil service system.” Early in the project, the Badger Working Group, an advisory group to the project, also affirmed that the personnel system “will be based on the civil-service concept (applied as appropriate to employee groups).” Here, “civil service system” is distinct from the State of Wisconsin civil service system, which is the set of laws, codes, and policies which govern state employment. Generally, civil service means an employment system that is built on hiring,retaining and promoting employees based on their qualifications and ability to do the work (merit concept). The HR design project is committed to creating this type of system for UW-Madison that allows fair competition for employment and promotion opportunities (Back to top ↑)
Were the work teams that provided recommendations for the HR Design proposal primarily made up of people from human resources positions?
In constructing the work teams, we included a broad range of perspectives: governance, employee category, job type, and HR experience. Human Resources can be a very complicated area which involves technical, legal, and operational considerations. UW-Madison HR policy and procedure also can be very complex. As a result, we felt it was important to have at least one HR representative on each work team. Of the 149 work team members, 47 were representatives of employee or student groups, and 46 were HR professionals. (Back to top ↑)
HRS is a system that supports certain aspects of human resource management, including payroll/benefit calculations and accounting. HRS is built around business rules and structures which could potentially change as a result of this process. We appreciate the effort that was put into the implementation of HRS and know that the campus is still adapting to it. Our project team includes advisers who represent the technical and functional side of HRS. They will help us to evaluate the scope and impact of changes that we are proposing. We are not designing around the constraints of the current configuration, but we are respecting its importance as a parameter. (Back to top ↑)