ACADEMIC STAFF ASSEMBLY MEETING MINUTES
272 Bascom Hall
Monday, December 12, 2022
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Provost Karl Scholz called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m.
Guests: Patrick Sheehan, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer; and Karen Massetti-Moran, Director of Total Rewards, Office of Human Resources
With the implementation of the Title and Total Compensation Project on November 7, 2021, the institution is now able to compare academic staff titles to other organizations in higher education and the private sector for the first time. As a result, we have consistent job titles and salary structures, though OHR continues to navigate through issues in these areas. There is also increased transparency of salary ranges. All job titles, descriptions, and salary ranges are listed in the Standard Job Description Library, which makes it easier for employees to find this information. OHR and University leadership made the decision centrally to increase base pay across the institution to salary grade minima. Data from the project also informed the administration of the central compensation fund over the past year. More than $28 million was allocated to reward, attract, and retain employees. This was the largest allocation in nearly a decade. Data made available through TTC enabled us to prioritize lowest-paid employees by increasing campus minimum wage to $17 per hour and to address salary compression for our lowest-paid employees.
As part of the compensation exercise, there were 3,855 base-building adjustments for academic staff totaling almost $19 million. Over half of those base-building adjustments were issued due to performance, with the rest for market competition, retention, and parity. With the upcoming 2% increase from the state pay plan, on average we have seen a 4.7% wage increase for academic staff employees. Over $14 million in lump sum bonuses were issued across all employment categories, with an average award amount of almost $2,400 per person for academic staff who received them.
In looking at the employment categories by salary quartiles from December 2021, academic staff had 0.41% below salary minima, 33.84% in the first quartile, 33.08% in the second, 19.85% in the third, and 8.66% in the fourth, with 4.17% over the max. As of November 2022, we have seen improvements, with 25.02% in the first quartile, 38.6% in the second, 24.46% in the third, and 9.68% in the fourth, with 2.24% over the max. Improvements to staff salaries are intended to be similar to the improvements in faculty salaries we have made over the last ten years. OHR will continue to develop long-range strategies to ensure titles and salary ranges remain market informed, address compensation challenges like compression, and conduct reviews to ensure equitable pay practices.
OHR initiatives include the Talent Pathways program, in which OHR is working on a cohesive strategy to develop specific partnerships with internal/external job candidates and the institutions they come from. There is also a focus on well-being, as well as employee development to increase engagement, retention, and positive impacts to workplace culture. The Talent Pathways program will help expand applicant pools. One example of this is the Job Rotation Program. Career counseling is also now located within Learning and Talent Development in OHR, and OHR is in the process of hiring a second career counselor. Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-being is a new unit that provides high-level consultation and support to schools/colleges/divisions to create healthy, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. As part of this office, OHR is in the process of hiring a LGBTQ+ Employee Relations Specialist, which is a new position responsible for helping to support the needs of LGBTQ+ employees and their families.
Guests: Bruno Browning and Gloria Hawkins, Ombuds Office
The Ombuds Office provides a safe and confidential setting for UW-Madison employees to discuss problems in the workplace. Ombuds offer resources, options, and strategies to address workplace concerns and empower employees. The Ombuds Office is comprised of six former academic staff, faculty, and university staff employees hired at 25% time for 3-year terms, and these six individuals bring a combined 150 years of broad UW-Madison experience. In addition to discussing work-related problems with their visitors, the Ombuds are also attentive to potential systemic problems that need to be addressed by University administration. There continues to be a steady rise in visitors, with over 300 in the last year, with just over half of those being academic staff. The largest group of cases that the Ombuds see involve issues around evaluative relationships (e.g. supervisor/supervisee).
Automatic Consent Business
The Academic Staff Assembly minutes of Monday, November 14, 2022, were approved.
ASEC Chair Mallory Musolf presented the ASEC report. The deadline for Academic Staff Excellence Awards nominations is January 30. The Academic Staff Chat schedule is now available on the academic staff website. Sessions will be held in person and virtually. This year’s Academic Staff Institute will be held on April 4. ASEC met with campus leadership to discuss activities around this year’s biennial budget process and priorities for campus. The Staff Climate Survey data dashboard and report were released on December 9. Mallory encouraged attendees to look at the findings and share them with their districts, and ASEC will be looking more closely at these in the spring semester and wants to hear impressions of Assembly members.
Jenny Dahlberg presented the ASPRO report. Various committees are being put together related to the biennial budget. The budget process will be starting in February. There were numerous retirements in the legislature, and we are waiting to see what membership and leadership looks like in these committees. The projected state surplus is currently reported at $6.6 billion.
Standing Committees of the Assembly presented their annual reports. Megan Ackerman-Yost reported that the Districting and Representation Committee has been reevaluating how district logic works after titles were changed due to the TTC implementation. Kelly Krein and Alison Rice presented the Nominating Committee report. Over 90 candidates were forwarded to serve on academic staff committees, and the Nominating Committee worked to increase communication and diversity of participation in shared governance committees. Diane Farsetta reported that the Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee dealt with questions related to the TTC appeals process as well as the remote work policy. The committee also continued its ongoing review of Academic Staff Policies and Procedures with a focus on Chapter 2. Angela Kita reported on the Professional Development and Recognition Committee’s activities over the past year, including Professional Development Grants, Executive Education Grants, and Academic Staff Excellence Awards. The PD Grant program has seen an increase to near pre-pandemic application levels, and the committee is reviewing its awards rubric for ways to strengthen the review process.
Hannah Silber presented the annual report of the Committee for Women in the University. In fall 2020 and spring 2021, the committee fielded a series of parallel surveys to academic staff, faculty, university staff, and postdocs to help prioritize the work of the committee. Top priorities include gender and racial climate, childcare and family-friendly workplace policies, and equitable compensation and promotion. The committee has discussed several potential actions, including developing climate checklists for chairs based on survey findings and working to increase transparency in HIB reporting processes. The committee will also be surveying existing lactation spaces, researching best practices and guidelines for those spaces, and considering what other organizations are doing so that we can improve those spaces at our institution.
ASPP Ch. 2 Change (ASA #801)
Albert Muniz, ASEC Member, moved the approval of ASA Document #801, which adds language to Academic Staff Policies and Procedures 2.04.F. about termination of employment during the evaluation period for not meeting performance expectations. Seconded. Approved.
Provost Scholz discussed recent updates in addressing COVID. After December 26, on-demand PCR tests will no longer be offered on campus. We will continue to provide free antigen tests and N95 masks for all students and employees. COVID booster shots will continue to be available at University Health Services. Provost Scholz discussed the Staff Climate Survey results, and he noted the continuing challenges with hostile and intimidating behavior. More work will be occurring in the spring and beyond on this issue. The formal investiture ceremony for Chancellor Mnookin will be held on Friday, April 14. This will be a week of special events and community celebrations focused on the University’s education, research, and outreach missions. Provost Scholz encouraged people to attend the “Sifting and Reckoning” exhibit before it closes on December 23.
Meeting adjourned at 4:54 pm.
Minutes submitted by Jake Smith, Secretary of the Academic Staff