What’s the Job Classification Study? I’ve never heard about it before.
At the instigation of the Union, this was a project launched in 2015 to rationalize job descriptions and pay grades at Columbia College Chicago. A consultant, Mercer, was hired, and they reviewed questionnaires that employees filled out about their job responsibilities, duties, and requirements. It was quite extensive!
Mercer also included market data in their analysis, and came up with a proposed pay grade structure. Union volunteers, the original Steering Committee made up of staff and faculty, and HR have worked to revise the structure and to clarify and refine the forms and processes involved.
How does it affect me?
In this first phase of implementation, your position will be assigned to a job level, aka pay grade, based on your job duties and responsibilities. Your position will also be grouped into a Job Family.
In the next phase of the project, the USof CC will negotiate pay scales for those grades. There are 8 levels, and there will be a range of pay for each level, with some overlap. The higher the job level, generally, the higher the pay range will be. The immediate effect on you will depend on where your current salary falls within those pay ranges now. If your pay is within the range for your level, there may not be an immediate effect.
Will I have an opportunity to find out more about how my job was positioned?
Yes! HR will send email announcements to employees and managers, and will officially release the following information on IRIS (planned for June 1st):
- Job family assignment – groupings of similar types of jobs
- Job level assignment for your position
- This information is tied to your Employee ID
- Appeal form
- Leveling Guide
The rubric developed by the consultant, called the Leveling Guide, used to assign positions to job levels, was discussed and revised by HR and the union in committee. HR now uses the Leveling Guide to assign new positions, and positions that weren’t included in the original study.
Wait—I don’t know my Employee ID!
Don’t worry—a union rep created a visual step-by-step guide to finding your employee ID, and that will be posted on IRIS as well.
How will I be able to tell if I’m in the right slot or not?
Ah—this is where your Union comes in. Once you’ve reviewed the “Leveling Guide” or rubric, you may still have many questions about your slot. Understandable!
Volunteers from the Union can help you determine if your position is in the right slot in several ways, which also should inform your decision about submitting an appeal.
- We can translate the HR jargon in the leveling guide, since we’ve hashed it over at length in meetings!
- The USofCC will post its own spreadsheet of data related to job levels. With this additional information, you will be able to compare the job level assignments of coworkers (whose duties you are familiar with) and of other staff with similar job titles. This way you can determine if the assignments seem equitable or if there are any inconsistencies. Here is what you will see on the Union’s website (it will be behind a login):
- Employee ID
- Job family assignment
- Job level assignment
- You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and a volunteer union member will try to answer your questions.
- Attend Union informational sessions on making an appeal, and read the Union newsletter!
Who can help me?
Volunteer representatives from Union leadership and membership will be on hand to answer questions and help guide you through considering an appeal and the appeal process. See above. Also, check the Union website for updates.
What’s all this about an appeal? How does that work?
After you’ve reviewed the information from HR and the Union about your position and pay grade/family, you will have an opportunity to gather evidence and submit an appeal to have your job level upgraded.
IMPORTANT: you will have 30 days after the information is released to submit your appeal.
See above for resources available to you to help you determine whether you have a good case for an appeal, and what sorts of evidence you need. The email announcement and the appeal form include detailed instructions as well.
What does the Classification Study NOT do?
It does not increase my pay. There is a different process for working with HR on issues of temporary work duties, workloads, upgrades, stipends, and pay increases.
How can I get my compensation changed? I am doing way more work now!
First, you may be able to appeal your job classification level based in part on this factor. Once you feel you have been assigned to the right level, compensation changes will depend on the negotiations process for the second implementation phase of the Job Study and on bargaining for our new contract and raises.
For now, there is a process already in place to work with your supervisor and HR to request an upgrade, stipend, or salary increase. Ask us for more information!
What is the timeline for this part of the implementation phase?
First there is a 30-day window after the information is released to file an appeal. HR staff reviews appeals as they are filed, and will send a written determination to you. They have not made any promises about how quickly they can review them, citing reductions in their staff. (We can relate!)
Once you have your appeal determination, within 15 days you will have the option to request a personal meeting with HR to clarify and/or supplement your appeal basis to try to affect their decision. A Union representative will attend that meeting with you. The Job Classification and Appeal phase will last 45 days plus time for appeal reviews and determinations, and any additional meetings scheduled with HR post-determinations.
What happens next?
If your appeal determination result is still not satisfactory, your issues and concerns will be addressed in the usual process for grievances. The grievance committee can assist you in that process if needed.
In the next phase of the project, the Union will begin bargaining the pay ranges and levels for the pay grades in the pay structure. Note that the negotiated pay band for your job level may or may not result in a raise for you depending on where your salary falls within the pay scale. There will probably be overlap here with negotiations for the new contract.
Join the Negotiations Committee or Contract Support Team to add your energy to the next push to benefit our whole membership!