FAQ – Job Classification Study

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):

  1. Job family assignment – groupings of similar types of jobs
  2. Job level assignment for your position
  3. This information is tied to your Employee ID
  4. Appeal form
  5. 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.

  1. We can translate the HR jargon in the leveling guide, since we’ve hashed it over at length in meetings!
  2. 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):
    1. Employee ID
    2. Department
    3. Title
    4. Job family assignment
    5. Job level assignment
  3. You can email usofcc@yahoo.com and a volunteer union member will try to answer your questions.
  4. 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!

Advertisements

Letter from the VP: Job Study

Hello bargaining unit members—

Surprise! The 2015 Job Classification Study is now moving ahead. Yes! Really! We know it has been awhile, but your union reps have been working behind the scenes on your behalf. And now, let the implementation phase begin!

For those of you who were not here for the joy of JDQ (Job Description Questionnaire) or simply don’t remember much about it at this point, the Job Classification Study was a project originally instigated by the union to streamline and structure the hierarchy of job positions and provide a system of pay grades, or as HR calls it, job levels. The idea was to make our job titles and hierarchies more in line with other institutions, to make the whole system more transparent and understandable (making it easier to negotiate), as well as to provide up-to-date job descriptions for all staff. In the next phase of the project, we’ll be able to bargain the salary ranges for those pay grades.

Laurie Video

For now, whether you were part of the original JDQ process or not, your position will have had a job family and job level assigned to it, by the consultant and/or by HR. HR will continue to use the rubric developed by the consultant in the project, called the Leveling Guide, to assign pay grades to new positions. USofCC reps and HR staff have hammered out the number of levels and the language in the rubric, as well as the communications and appeal process details. Your union volunteers worked long and hard to make the Leveling Guide and the communications emails clear, and to advocate for your rights in this process.

HR plans to send email announcements and to officially release the data about your job family and job level assignments on June 1st on the IRIS platform.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: After the release date, you will only have 30 days to appeal your job family or job level assignment.

Confused already? Never fear, USofCC is here! We want our members to know where they stand and to fully understand the new system and the steps in the process. We will be involved every step of the way, from providing information and answering questions, to offering support during the appeals window, and beyond.

First, please come to one of the three informational sessions over the next couple of weeks—they are at different times and places to make it easy for as many people as possible to attend. Members and officers will be on hand to answer questions. We’ll show you how to determine whether your assigned job family and job level fits your position, or whether you might have a good case to appeal it. We know that a lot has changed since 2015! We can also make suggestions about how to build a strong appeal.

Remember to check the USofCC website https://usofcc.org/ for updates and further information. You can always email the union directly and we will do our best to answer your questions. Watch your email and read the union newsletter too!

logo

Be a smartie! Join us at one of the following Q&A sessions (candy will be provided):

Friday, May 18
11:00 am to 11:45 am
Ferguson Theater
600 S. Michigan Ave., Room 101

Tuesday, May 22
12:00 pm to 12:45 pm
1104 S. Wabash, Room 310

Thursday, May 31
1:00 pm to 1:45 pm
Hokin Hall
623 S. Wabash, Room 109

See you there!

Laurie Lee Moses, VP

Letter from the President: Overtime, 40-hour work week and exempt status for Union members.

1. Saturday Work
The Union has been in discussions with the College’s Labor Management team regarding possible changes by the College in how it compensates staff for overtime hours (time worked beyond the 40-hour work week).

Until recently, the College has paid Union staff overtime, (time and a half), for all hours worked beyond a member’s normal 40-hour work week, including Saturdays.

In the past year, the College implemented Preview Days that required many staff to work Saturdays. In order to avoid paying overtime pay, departments informed staff members that they would have to shift their schedules and take an alternate day off during the week to avoid exceeding 40 hours.

This approach would put students and departments at a disadvantage by leaving less staffing during the regular work week. Additionally, working Saturdays can be a hardship for many members with families, 2nd jobs, or other responsibilities. Finally, it would deprive those staff who did work Saturday from receiving overtime pay.

We are pleased to say that our Union was successful last month in getting the Admissions Office agreement to cover the overtime cost of members who worked weekends. While the Union supported the College’s efforts to attract and retain students, Union staff should be properly compensated for their time.

2. Paid Lunch Hours and Overtime

Along with the attempt to change staff’s work schedule, there was some push back from the College about overtime. They suggested our hour lunch should not be considered as “hours or time worked” toward the 40 hour week, thus requiring staff to work an additional five hours before becoming eligible for overtime. Historically, the College has treated our one-hour paid lunch as time worked. A College spokesperson suggested members were misrepresenting their time worked when they filled out their digital time-sheets marking our time worked as 8 hours. The Union strongly objected to this characterization. In fact, the current time-sheet system has NO FUNCTION to record lunch as a subset of time and all staff members were instructed through an in-person training session to put in 8 hours for time worked. This was mandated by the College. This practice further supports our assertion that our hour lunch has and must continue to be considered “time worked.”

3. Classifying staff as Exempt

Lastly, there is the issue of the College classifying some Union members as “exempt.” Doing so would prevent staff from being paid overtime due to the nature of their work and responsibilities. This status is mostly applied to those members who are highly compensated and exercise a significant amount independent judgement in their roles as professional employees. The standards for this are established by the Department of Labor. Human Resources has assured us that they will “only evaluate future positions that became vacated through attrition or as a new position or in response to a complaint.” However, should there be an issue presented regarding exempt status, we will need to confirm that the designated of the position is properly classified.

Also, we requested that employees be told they are being hired as an “exempt” employee or being reassigned as an “exempt” employee. “Exempt” status can greatly affect compensation. In upcoming negotiations, the Union will propose that exempt employees be provided with compensatory time, which is allowed for under the law.

Do you have questions?

Schedule a Meeting in Your Department

Have you been denied overtime? Has your department claimed their budget will not support overtime? These issues and other important concerns will be part of our Contract negotiations this Summer. Would you like a Union representative to explain these issue in person? You can organize a meeting for your department, unit or building floor’s Union members, and we will bring food and discuss these issues with you. We want to learn from YOU what is going on in your area, and we want to help and explain how to protect your rights. Please contact Craig Sigele at csigele@colum.edu.

Join the Contract Action Team (CAT).
Protect your rights, get involved! We are here to help and want and need you to be engaged!  We can only be effective if we have active participation from everyone. We need you to stand up with all of us and get involved. Contact Oscar Valdez ovaldez@colum.edu Flor Calabrez fcalabrez@colum.edu or Kayla Jutzi kjutzi@colum.edu and tell them you want to participate in protecting your rights and the rights of the Union.

 

Sincerely,

Craig Sigele

USofCC President

 

Letter from the President

stained-glass-colorful-glass-stained-glass-window-161043.jpegDear Colleagues,

I write with a few updates and information about our first General Membership meeting of 2018.
The Board had a very successful meeting with Dr. Kim at the end of last semester. We discussed some concerns we had regarding a recent shift, from paying overtime, to changing staff member schedules to accommodate special college programming. While the Union supports new recruiting initiatives such as multiple Admitted Student Days, some departments were requiring staff to shift their schedules which would have required staff members to work on Saturdays avoiding overtime compensation. Working with Human Resources, the Grievance Chairs fought to protect our right to overtime. However, attempts to alter our schedules will, I fear, become more common and we will need to be vigilant to protect scheduled work hours.

Currently, the Grievance Chairs continue to work to protect staff members from taking on additional work without additional compensation. The Union understands the pressures caused by the continued decline in enrollment and we support all new systems and programs the Administration develops to improve the College’s standing But, additional work needs to be recognized and valued with additional applicable compensation. Added duties, shifting schedules and the dissection of our 40-hour work week are issues we are confronting as college resources become tighter.

On March 12, we will host our first General Membership meeting of 2018. Please mark this date on your calendar so you can join your colleagues at noon on the 1st floor of the 623 building. We will be serving lunch and discuss the activities of your Union. I urge you to participate – we welcome and need your voice. To prepare for the meeting, we need you to complete a survey using this LINK (to come). This survey will collect information about your Columbia working experience in an effort to understand your needs and concerns as we prepare to negotiate a new contract. The standard items are on the top of the list, salaries and health care, but we know you have many other concerns and we need to hear from you, so please take five minutes and complete the survey. At the Membership meeting, we will discuss some of your findings.
In other news – some informational items I hope you will find helpful: When you go to HR, let the union know. HR is here to protect you, but they also represent our employer, Columbia College Chicago. The Union represents staff and considers your needs first. We need to hear from you, if you have issues or concerns about practices in your department. We encourage you to visit HR , but please keep the union informed. Had we not heard from our membership about the push to avoid overtime, we would not have been informed to fulfil our mission to protect you. Admitted Days affects many departments and staff.

May Layoffs need to stop. Columbia will not succeed if they continue to cut staff. Top administration need to share the burden of layoffs with all college members.
I am very encouraged by the dedication and energy of our Negotiation team. Their efforts need to be matched by a strong and creative Contract Support Team. This group will become the face and voice of our negotiations. We need spirited members to take our message to the community, so our demands will be heard. This group will help us to present a united and strong front in face to the administration. Please consider joining, lending your time and energy. Nothing is more rewarding than fighting for your rights and protecting your benefits.
Thank you for all you do for Columbia College, for our students, and for our union.

Sincerely,

Craig Sigele
President

Press Release- Pfac Strike

 

Chicago, IL — November 28, 2017  
The Part-Time Faculty Union (Pfac) has announced it is taking a strike vote this week and is planning a two-day strike on Wednesday, November 29th, and Thursday, November 30th.Individual members of United Staff of Columbia College (USofCC) are free to show support for the Pfac membership, as long as they comply under the staff contract that members are required to report to work and perform their jobs during a strike by another Union. USofCC will uphold Article 8 in the 2015-2018 contract with Columbia College Chicago, which states that  USofCC members cannot, under the risk of discipline, engage, encourage or sanction any strike, sympathy strike, sit-down, boycott, picketing or any other action that will interfere with regular operations at the institution.

If you have any questions regarding Pfacs announcement, please contacts us at usofcc@yahoo.com.

———–
USofCC

Things You Should Know: OFF Call-Mail List

Dear USofCC Member,

Thank you for contacting me about communications from the Union. If you wish to discontinue unwanted mail, please notify Nicole Gerberding of Membership Processing, in writing, to:

Illinois Education Association Attention, Nicole Gerberding

100 E. Edwards St.,

Springfield, IL 62704-1999

The levels which can be stopped are:

  1. All mail All Phone Calls All Mailings All Emails NEA Government Relations Communication
  2. Only NEA mail
  3. Only IEA mail
  4. Only NEA Member Benefits Mail (Ads and Promotions)

Please include your name and address, your local (United Staff of Columbia College) and indicate which levels of contact you want stopped.

You may also send this request to Nicole via email at Nicole.Gerberding@ieanea.org You can keep up with Union news via the USofCC’s website, https://usofcc.org/

Craig Sigele

USofCC President craigsigele@gmail.com

Things You Should Know: Over Time

It is our experience that education employees often work extra hours without being properly compensated. The fact is that many employees and their supervisors are not familiar with federal and state laws governing overtime.

  • An employer can require you to work overtime.
  • All overtime work must be compensated.
  • After 40 hours in a given workweek, you must receive 1.5 times the regular rate of compensation for each additional hour.
  • Paid lunches may count towards calculating a 40-hour week.
  • Compensatory time is provided at 1.5 times the hours worked after 40 hours.
  • Upon severance, you must be paid for all unused compensatory time.

Here are a few examples of situations that constitute approved overtime.

  • Your supervisor gives you formal approval to work overtime.
  • Your supervisor asks you to continue working after hours as a favor but says he/she does not have the authority to approve overtime.
  • Your supervisor knows that you are working and does not stop you.
  • Your supervisor is not available but you work extra hours due to a work-related situation that you are expected to handle.

When is extra work not compensated?

  • You are reprimanded, suspended or fired for insubordination because you refused to obey a direct order by your supervisor to stop working.
  • You are an exempt employee not covered by overtime. Examples are
    teachers, doctors, actors, entertainers, lawyers, independent contractors and certain professionals.

At Columbia College, virtually all of the staff that USofCC seeks to represent for collective bargaining are covered by these overtime rules and, therefore, should be compensated for all extra work.

Suggestions:

  • Keep an accurate daily record of all hours worked for a month. If you work more than 40 hours in any month without receiving overtime pay please contact us. You may be eligible for reimbursement for lost wages if you have reliable records for overtime worked in the past.

 

Contact USofCC if you have questions or concerns regarding the overtime policy.

Updates: Letter from the President

As of August 16th, I will be stepping down from the position of President. This move was not necessarily anticipated or planned, but it is that after 17 years at Columbia’s academic support center I have been promoted out of the union as the new Director of the Learning Studio. In many ways this is fortunate news, and I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead the department that I have been dedicated to for so long. But of course, in other ways, I am sorrowful to be shifting away from this post that I am honored to have been elected to by the membership.

There is much continued work to accomplish for our incredible union. We have only grown more organized and strong over time, and your voices and actions have made all the difference toward our gains. Please keep up this tremendous momentum with your contributions. Please consider stepping forward to assist in shaping the future of the United Staff of Columbia College. Your willingness to help lead is essential to our continued successes.

Thank you all for your support and friendship in this endeavor. We will be colleagues and friends going forward no less.

Go forth and conquer,

Tanya