| 03.24.2018

The next pay grade


UI Faculty Senate examines classification system for employee progression

Clarification and classification will be the main objectives for University of Idaho’s Faculty Senate Tuesday.

Faculty Senate will examine documents and attempt to eliminate discrepancies between the Faculty Staff Handbook and the Administrative Procedures Manual, said Don Crowley, faculty secretary. The focus will be on employee reclassification.

Crowley said as of April 14, all changes had yet to be approved by Human Resources, but he would work to have its approval by Tuesday.

The job classification system determines the pay grade for each position. The determination is made at the creation of the position, but can also be appealed by employees — classified or exempt staff — or their supervisors.

The reclassification policy states decisions are made through assessing job value factors in relation to higher and lower classifications.  A “significant” change must be demonstrated.

Reclassification requests occur when there have been changes to workplace

Crowley said the main issue is the policy doesn’t contain information about how a change will be deemed significant. He proposed a committee be formed to observe and help refine the reclassification system.

Crowley said he does not know how feasible having a committee attend reclassification hearings would be when HR said they hold about 20 a week.

Greg Fizzell, Staff Affairs vice chair, said the committee has been told there is no quantifiable way to measure the criteria.

“We keep being told it’s impossible,” Fizzell said. “I can’t get my mind around that.”

He said employees and supervisors should be able to know what constitutes a significant change prior to even requesting a review.

He said this would let employees understand the reason for which requests are approved.

“My gut feeling tells me it would be huge. It’s not clear at all how the determination was reached,” Fizzell said of reclassification decisions.

Crowley said articulating what HR is looking for when it comes to classification should be possible.

“This is a good idea … even if this committee takes a phenomenal amount of work to get going,” said Liz Brandt, Faculty Senate member from the College of Law.

Brandt said deciding classification should not stand in the way of filling positions.

Katelyn Hilsenbeck can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @Katelyn_mh

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