ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, December 13, 2021
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m.
Memorial Resolution for Ann Gordon-Walker (ASA #771)
Heather Daniels read the memorial resolution for Ann Gordon-Walker.
Guests: Mark Walters, Chief Human Resources Officer; Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources; and Meghan Owens, Compensation Admin Director, Office of Human Resources
Mark, Karen, and Meghan provided an update on the implementation of the Title and Total Compensation Project. The project was implemented approximately a month ago, and OHR is looking at issues that have surfaced as the implementation settles. OHR is currently focused on issues with the IT job group, as well as animal care and grants administration. In order to create the salary structures, there was analysis of the jobs and their duties, with subsequent evaluation compared to the market. We used benchmarks of public higher education, private education, and private sector positions, including healthcare. The goal was to achieve consistency in salary grades that provide competitive salaries. There are 21 unique salary grades. When looking at salary surveys, there are two organizations that we are utilizing: the College and University Professional Association-HR (CUPA-HR), which aggregates higher education salary data, and Willis Towers Watson, which provides data on healthcare and other private industries. Data from these organizations are used to help determine the market matches for our standard job descriptions. At this time, almost 67% of academic staff and limited appointees are either at the midpoint or below. We need to look at these data more closely and look at the long-term compensation strategy. The quartile data by job group was also presented. Salary survey data is only available on a yearly basis, and OHR will look at those refreshed data sets in the next year to see where we are and whether or not we need to make adjustments.
Since November, OHR has been receiving a great deal of feedback from various stakeholders about areas of concern with the structure. Currently, there are close to 200 issues on a log that OHR is keeping track of. The highest priority at present is the IT job group. OHR will also provide updates on the TTC website about these issues, and they are building a resolution process to communicate changes to those impacted. HR professionals have been collecting and will continue to collect feedback from employees, supervisors, and leadership. Employees who have concerns are encouraged to talk to their HR representative or to academic staff governance.
The TTC Appeals process is underway, and a webpage has been built out by OHR as a resource for employees that includes the policy, a description of what can and cannot be appealed, details of the 5 steps in the process, employee guides, and links to the automated system. There are currently 82 title changes resulting from informal resolution, with 61 of those being for academic staff or limited appointees. There are 122 formal appeals either in draft or pending review. Of these, 98 are academic staff appeals. The current deadline for formal appeals to be submitted is December 31, though this may change based on the outcome of the resolution from the Assembly.
Guest: Bruno Browning, Ombuds Office
Bruno Browning provided highlights from the annual report of the Ombuds Office. The Ombuds provide a confidential environment for all UW-Madison employees to explore workplace concerns and to offer resources, options, and strategies to address those concerns and empower employees. The Office collectively has over 150 years of UW-Madison experience in various roles. The Ombuds Office has seen an increasing number of visitors each year. There were 273 visitors in fiscal year 2021, and the Office is on track to see more than 300 this fiscal year. More than half of the visitors were academic staff. A majority of the issues that Ombuds deal with relate to evaluative relationships (i.e. employee-supervisor).
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, November 8, 2021, were approved.
ASEC Chair Tim Dalby reminded attendees that the deadline for Academic Staff Excellence Awards nominations is Monday, January 24. The Nominating Committee is working on slates for standing committee elections for next year, and Tim encouraged those who are interested in serving to put their interest forward via the Committee Interest Survey. The Academic Staff Institute will be held on April 13. Tim expressed appreciation for ASEC members, the Assembly, and administration for working together on a variety of issues. In particular, Tim recognized the service of Mark Walters, who will be retiring at the end of the month, and Leslie Petty, who is taking a new position and stepping down from ASEC.
Nathan Schulfer, academic staff appointee to the Budget Committee, presented the annual report of that committee (ASA #772). The committee is in its fifth year, and the committee met with a number of individuals to understand the impacts of COVID on the budget over the past year, as well as impacts in the areas of research and state relations. The committee has also formed a subcommittee to evaluate how the Budget Committee can be more effective in meeting its charge.
Nominating Committee Candidate (ASA #773)
The Assembly voted to elect Kelly Krein to the Academic Staff Nominating Committee.
Resolution Urging Extension of the Informal and Formal TTC Appeals Deadlines (ASA #774)
Andrew Turner, ASA District #455 Representative, moved approval of Academic Staff Document #774, Resolution Urging Extension of the Informal and Formal TTC Appeals Deadlines. Seconded. Approved.
Resolution on State Pay Plan Distribution (ASA #775)
Mallory Musolf, ASEC Vice Chair, moved approval of Academic Staff Document #775, Resolution on State Pay Plan Distribution. Seconded. Approved.
Provost Scholz reported that the semester has been both remarkable and challenging in a number of ways. We have made it through the semester with low infection rates, and the vaccination rates are at 95% or more for both students and staff/faculty. There was a federal executive order that was going to impose a vaccine mandate, but a court case in Georgia has stayed the implementation of this mandate. The campus mask mandate goes through mid-January at this point, and classes are planned to be largely in-person in the spring as they were in the fall. Commencement takes place on Sunday, December 19. Provost Scholz encouraged those who are able to take time for themselves and recharge, and he expressed his gratitude to everyone in their efforts to ensure that the semester went as well as it did.
Meeting adjourned at 5:09 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff