Bob Lavigna, director of human resources, gave attendees a thorough description of the plan. (View his PowerPoint presentation.) He said a goal of the HR Design project is to redesign the university’s personnel system so it is more flexible, efficient, integrated and transparent, to meet the needs of a world-class higher education institution. He said while not every member of the campus community will agree with every recommendation in the proposed plan, everyone should agree that, “not every step in our current personnel system adds value.”
The 2011–13 state budget bill (Act 32) gave UW–Madison the authority to create its own personnel system separate from the state and the UW System. Lavigna stressed that all university employees will remain state employees and continue to be part of the state pension and health benefits plans.
One of the critical issues with the current system is the existence of two separate systems, for classified and unclassified staff, which creates complexity, inconsistency and some inequity across employee groups, Lavigna said. These inequities and inconsistencies were a common theme communicated by campus members during feedback sessions this spring.
Under the HR Design plan, governance rights already granted to faculty and academic staff will be extended to classified staff, who will be renamed university staff. Lavigna said that employee categories that now have due process and just cause protections will retain them, and the ability to collectively bargain will not be involuntarily taken away from current employees.
For due process and just cause protections, “We are going beyond what the legislation requires us to do because these are such fundamental principles,” Lavigna said.
The current system is also burdened with more than 1,700 different job titles, many of which are out-of-date, and a pay system that does not provide the university with the flexibility needed, Lavigna said. The plan calls for the university to conduct its first job title study in two decades, and to comprehensively study the compensation and benefits structure. The campus community will be engaged in the process of examining our compensation and benefits systems, Lavigna said.
The next information session is Tuesday, October 2, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Union South. The session will also be live streamed on the Web and recorded for posting at the HR Design project Web site.
To accommodate the schedules of third shift employees, late night information sessions are also scheduled for Tuesday, October 2, from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Memorial Union; and Thursday, Oct. 4 from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
A Web chat with the project team is scheduled for tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with another Web chat set for Oct. 10 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.