Phase 1 Work Team DRAFT Recommendations, April 9, 2012

A message from the HR Design Project team about the Phase 1 draft recommendations



Phase 1 Work Team draft recommendations translated into Tibetan, Hmong, and Spanish language

The Benefits work team emphasized the need for consistency across employee groups. The team recommends creating a single vacation and sick leave system for eligible employees in all non-student employee groups. A single system would be more equitable, easier to manage, and improve the campus work climate. The team also recommends taking action to preserve benefits that are particularly valuable, including the Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion Credit (SHICC) program, as well as streamlining and enhancing supplemental insurance options. The team also recommends new benefits programs, including parental leave, to fill gaps in our current system. The team stresses the need for measuring satisfaction with the university’s benefits program as well as the need to expand education and communication about benefits. The benefits team is also continuing to consider other potential benefits programs, including leave for employees who do not currently earn vacation, benefits for Trades employees, and tuition reimbursement and remission.
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The Compensation work team proposes a market-based approach to compensation, which would relate rates of pay at the university to rates of pay at competing institutions, including local, regional and national employers. The work team also recommends greater emphasis on performance in providing raises or other pay adjustments. This would require more robust performance management/evaluation processes, recognizing the importance of an objective, unbiased performance review process. In addition, the team recommends that hiring managers have flexibility in establishing the initial pay of newly hired employees consistent with the value of their experience and qualifications. Overall, the compensation approach underscores the importance of “total compensation” which considers the combined value of pay and employee benefits/services.
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The Competencies work team defines competencies as knowledge, skills, abilities, and mindsets which contribute to the success of the organization and individual employees. The Competencies work team recommends that the university define a campus-wide core set of competencies that are common across all jobs and certain critical roles (for example, leadership competencies). Individual units could supplement these core competencies with competencies critical to their missions and unique to individual jobs. Competencies would be used to define jobs, assess job candidates, focus employee development efforts, support performance management, and support core values (for example, diversity and inclusion). Competencies should be clearly articulated and training should be provided to all employees to enable them to understand — and develop — existing and new competencies.
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Diverse Workforce

The Diverse Workforce team has the responsibility to make recommendations that will enhance workforce diversity, and to also review the recommendations of the other work teams to assess their impact on the goal of enhancing diversity. As a result, this team will continue to meet after all teams have submitted their final recommendations. At this time, the team highlighted workplace climate as one key to achieving and maintaining diversity. The Diverse Workforce group stressed that the responsibility for a welcoming work climate rests with each individual employee and the team also proposes that employees who direct the work of others be held accountable for maintaining positive climates in their work places. To ensure this occurs, the work team recommends adopting guidelines from the 2009 UW–Madison Reaccreditation report and expanding and promoting campus diversity- and equity-related training programs.
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Employee Categories

One of the key issues the Employee Categories work team focused on was the perception that the existing employee categories have created a caste system across campus. The team recommends defining six employee categories: Academic Staff, Executive-at-Will (replacing the current “Limited” employee category), Faculty, Post-Degree Training (replacing the current employee-in-training category), Student Hourly and Student Assistants. Under this proposal, Academic Staff would be redefined to include all non-faculty employees whose primary purpose is to support the mission of the university by providing professional and operational services. The redefined category would include both the current Academic and Classified Staff and would allow for both salaried and hourly positions. The team recognizes that this change would have significant impact on governance and collective bargaining but also has the potential to have a very positive impact on campus climate.
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Recruitment and Assessment

The Recruitment and Assessment team proposed that UW–Madison adopt common processes and systems for generating position descriptions and announcements. The university should also develop, but not require, a comprehensive process for internal recruitment that would allow units to consider employees for movements such as promotions, laterals and demotions without external competition. The team also recommends a unified direct hire process that is an evolution of the current waiver process, but would be applied campus-wide. For applicant assessment, the team proposes eliminating the establishment of registers and the ranking and certification of applicants to fill classified vacancies. The team also believes the University should develop a central assessment toolkit that provides work units the flexibility to use a variety of applicant assessment tools. The team emphasizes the importance of employee diversity, and recommends policies that consider diversity in evaluating recruitment waivers and advertising for vacancies. The team also recommends the creation of an integrated, online application and applicant-tracking system.
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The Titles team recommends that the university adopt a consistent approach to defining titles and levels across current employee categories, with particular focus on Academic and Classified Staff. In the new system, titles should be defined broadly enough to facilitate employee movement and progression. The team emphasized that titles represent sets of responsibilities, competencies, and qualifications, and should be meaningful both within the campus and to external job candidates. The team recommends simplification and consolidation of titles where jobs are substantially similar, even if they cut across units and employee categories. To develop the new system, the work team proposes a campus-wide job classification study to evaluate jobs and potential career paths within different functions at the university.
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