UC seeks employee comment on proposed policy amendments

Several amendments to a University of California employee policy were proposed by the UC Office of the President and effectively released Monday, calling for consideration of performance when making decisions regarding layoffs and time reduction.

The proposed policy changes will allow employers throughout the UC to consider employees’ work performance instead of looking primarily at their seniority before making layoff decisions and will apply to non-union-represented professional and support staff, managers and supervisors, according to UC spokesperson Dianne Klein.

UCOP is seeking comments from employees regarding the proposed changes until Aug. 31. Though the policy only applies to nonrepresented employees, union members are encouraged to comment as well through their union representatives, according to Klein.

“Before, supervisors did not take performance into account in plans for layoff … Now, we’re taking seniority and performance into account,” Klein said.

The previous version of the policy used seniority as the principal determinant for layoffs, with the exception of cases involving additional skills and abilities between employees of the same classification and salary, the policy states.

“Criteria for consideration when determining order of layoff must include relevant skills, knowledge and abilities, documented performance, and length of service,” the revised policy states.

Systemwide, the policy applies to approximately 71,900 employees, including around 62,600 professional and support staff and around 9,300 managers and supervisors, according to Klein.

According to Klein, the proposal was prompted by the current budget crisis in California and the impact it is having on the state’s public higher education institutions.

However, Klein added that no decisions have currently been made regarding actual layoffs and what the timing of layoffs would be.

“There have been no solid plans for layoffs, no numbers,” Klein said. “We’re just getting everything in order in case this becomes necessary, considering the university has financial problems.”

According to Klein, in response to budget cuts to the university and the possible layoffs that may be required in order to offset cuts, UC Human Resources and Benefits, in conjunction with UC leadership, identified the policy adjustments as a potential step that could be taken.

“This policy provides direction and authority to effectuate indefinite and temporary layoffs and indefinite and temporary reductions in time when layoffs or reductions in time are necessary to support the University’s business needs,” the revised policy states.

According to Klein, the proposal is still under review. For any significant policy change, the law requires that revised policies be open to public commentary for 30 days, Klein said.

She added that all the responses are then looked over and may possibly be incorporated. Once further adjustments have been made during the internal review process, the final policy is ultimately approved or disapproved by UC President Mark Yudof.

Klein said if the policy is approved, she would expect it to be implemented within the next few months, adding that the policy changes were not likely  be met with much debate or concern.

“Clearly, we want this to take place,” she said. “It’s common sense. If you’re talking about getting the most efficient workforce, you’d want this tool at your disposal.”

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  • Bronwen Rowlands

    We haven’t planned any layoffs, and we won’t tell you when they’ll happen!  We have a layoff vision, a timeline, an implementation team, a core mission, and powerpoint presentations up the wazoo.  But you don’t get to see any of them (oh darn!) because our Strategic Communications people tell us to be vague and ambiguous and only pretend to impart information.

    Wait.  We have failed.  We have imparted the information that we are vacant and we have no moral center.

    Never mind.

  • Bronwen Rowlands

    We haven’t planned any layoffs, and we won’t tell you when they’ll happen!  We have a layoff vision, a timeline, an implementation team, a core mission, and powerpoint presentations up the wazoo.  But you don’t get to see any of them (oh darn!) because our Strategic Communications people tell us to be vague and ambiguous and only pretend to impart information.

    Wait.  We have failed.  We have imparted the information that we are vacant and we have no moral center.

    Never mind.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Tiffany Chaio.  

    Usually a news article has a balanced report that represents all points of view relevant to the topic.  This article reads like you had a nice chat with Dianne  Klein and then based your article on a talking points memo she provided.  Plus you title buries the real content of the article.  How about an honest title that indicates the true nature of this proposed policy.Also, where are the quotes from staff who will be affected by this policy change.  How about contacting UPTE 9119 , a union that is trying to organized a union to represent many of the employees who will be covered by this new policy.From what I can find via google, Dianne Klein is a Media Specialist at University of California Office of the President and Owner of Dream School Essays, a private consultant who helps students with their college essays.She has nothing to do with Human Resources. This is bad journalism.

  • Anonymous

    “Clearly, we want this to take place,” she said. “It’s common sense. If you’re talking about getting the most efficient workforce, you’d want this tool at your disposal.”

    Okay, folks.  Let me redirect your to the UPTE-CWA 9119  Web site.  You’re really going to need a union.

    “UC has suddenly decided to change the policy regarding layoffs of administrative professionals and other non-union-represented employees. The university issued this proposed revision that virtually decimates existing seniority protections and makes “performance” one of the elements a manager must consider when making layoff decisions. As we all know, however, “performance” is highly subjective. The truth is, some APs haven’t received written performance evaluations in years, a fact UC acknowledges in its new Q&A on the policy.  The 90,000 UC employees who are represented by unions, including UPTE, have strong protections against layoffs being carried out arbitrarily, without negotiation, or at the whim of management. It’s time we APs had the same protections and representation. Without it, you’ll see more pronouncements from UC like this one, which give you the usual 30 days to comment before the changes become a done deal.”

    • Guest

      “virtually decimates”
      Unfortunately, this is understatement.  Decimation is reduction by 10%.