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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Classified Staff set to receive new HR policy, change of title

Employees recognized as Classified Staff will be known as University Staff starting July 1 partly because human resource policies will soon be handled solely by UW-Madison, according to a UW-Madison release.

Previously, various “classified” policies were controlled by state law through Chapter 230, as positions are considered classified if they function similarly to other positions in the state government.

While members of Academic Staff, another grouping that covers higher education administration, already have their own grievance policies and procedures organized, Director of Workforce Relations for the Office of Human Resources Patrick Sheehan will now work with Classified Staff governance groups to establish their own new policies.

Part of the new structure involves changes to the grievance policy, including the creation of an unbiased four-person panel that will convene to settle debates among employees.

“The purpose of the grievance policy is to resolve workplace-related disputes and to ensure that policies and procedures are uniformly applied and adhered to on campus,” Sheehan said in the release. “This policy helps make sure that employees are treated fairly and equitably, and managers and supervisors are following UW-Madison policies and procedures.”

The hearing panel will include two members of University Staff and two members appointed by campus administration.

“If the hearing panel can agree to modify, deny or grant a grievance, the process ends there,” Sheehan said in the release. “If the panel reaches an impasse, the grievance may be sent to a campus hearing officer—an impartial arbitrator who is not a UW-Madison employee.”

Employees who started their job before July 1 can choose how to settle their disputes, either through the hearing panel or through the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, which falls outside university control, according to the release.

“Our goal is to have a new grievance review process in place for University Staff that both employees and managers trust to provide fair and consistent outcomes,” Sheehan said.

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