University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Questions and Answers about the P&A Classification Study

Will classification decisions be based on a position or a person?

In general, classifications follow a position and are determined by:

  • major accountabilities
  • qualification requirements; and
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt/nonexempt status.

However, current policy states that “No individual shall be moved to the P&A employee group from another employee group (e.g., faculty or civil service), no individual shall be moved from the P&A employee group into another employee group, and no individual shall be moved within the P&A employee group unless the individual requests or consents to do so and the change is approved by the appropriate responsible administrator(s). Exception is made when compliance with legal determinations and requirements is at issue.” It should be noted that FLSA exemption status is a legal determination and would be excluded from this policy.

Will there be movement of P&As to Civil Service positions? If so, how will it affect those currently in P&A positions?
A major goal of the workgroup is to determine whether exempt professional work of a similar nature could exist simultaneously within both the P&A and Civil Service employee groups. Another goal of this project is to better define the P&A employee group and clarify the distinctions between the P&A group and other employee groups. If the answer to the first question is “no”, then this could mean that some Civil Service positions become P&A positions, or that some P&A positions become Civil Service positions. There are no plans at this time to do any “blanket” reclassifications for current employees. Any individual job impact would be administered according to current policy as detailed above.
Will the Professionals be split from the Administrators?
This question falls outside the scope of the P&A Classification Study. For the purposes of this study, the workgroup is using the existing P&A employee group parameters as defined in the Board of Regents Policy: Employee Group Definitions. Any changes to this existing policy would require approval by the Board of Regents.
Will the degree requirement remain for the P&A employee group? If not, can there be an equivalent credentialing process?
One of the objectives of this study is to better define what it means to be a P&A employee. However, more work needs to be done in this area before a decision can be made about the degree requirement or credentialing process.
Will this impact my benefits package and/or compensation?
Currently, there are no plans to increase or decrease compensation as a result of this study. The goal of the workgroup is to recommend systems and processes that will provide greater consistency and fairness across the University. We hope that with a better structure in place, a variety of human resource processes will become more equitable and transparent to the University community. The focus of the workgroup is not on individual P&A employees, but on the overall structure and processes related to the classification of work.
Does this mean further decoupling from the faculty?
This is not a goal of the study. Again, the workgroup would like to better define what it means to be a P&A employee and provide a better structure for the compensation and classification process. The intent is to have all six employee groups remain distinct as defined in the Board of Regents Policy: Employee Group Definitions. Currently, P&A positions cover a large range of work, both faculty-like and non-faculty-like.
Will there be clear ways to move from Civil Service to P&A if the position calls for it?
Yes. As has always been the practice, there will continue to be a method for positions to be reclassified into the correct employee group based on the work being performed.
Who will decide if there will be grandparenting of employees in current positions after a reclassification process is set?
The workgroup has been charged with developing a set of recommendations to be forwarded to the Vice President for Human Resources, who would bring the recommendations forward for consideration and ultimate decision-making by the administration. The only area in which grandparenting will not be considered would be in those cases where the University must comply with legal regulations (e.g., FLSA compliance).
Who will write the job descriptions for reclassified positions?
It is the responsibility of individual managers to prepare and update the job descriptions for their employees with assistance and oversight from appropriate management within their units and, in some cases, OHR.
Who will determine how the final recommendations are implemented?
The working group subcommittees are reviewing the preliminary findings and will suggest strategies for their implementation.
How does this work impact ongoing classification and compensation work, as well as the Wave 1 colleges?
While this initiative is important, it is equally important that ongoing business needs are met. As a result, the workgroup's recommendations are not related to ongoing reclassifications, nonrenewals, or the position redesign that occurred in the Wave 1 colleges. The workgroup's activities relate to University-wide structure, systems, and processes.
What employee input was sought in this process?
The working group sought input from the Twin Cities and coordinate campuses in fall of 2006. You may e-mail the working group chairs at pacomp@umn.edu with any insights you might have.
When will the working group have final recommendations?
The P&A working group has developed preliminary findings and has formed into subcommittees to conduct further review of the findings. The subcommittees will issue final recommendations in the early part of 2008. We will continue to update employees on the progress.