changes to new classified compensation plan
Labor Action Group, an independent advocacy organization claiming
to represent the University's classified employees, presented
the state's top human resources official with four proposals to
modify the state's new classified compensation plan, which is
to be implemented beginning Sept. 25.
proposals were presented to Sarah Redding Wilson, director of
the state's Department of Human Resource Management, at LAG's
Aug. 17 meeting in Newcomb Hall. She was accompanied by state
Del. Mitchell Van Yahres (D-Charlottesville).
Additional state funding to implement the new compensation plan's
bonuses, in-band adjustment payouts (additional raises given to
compensate for increased skills or correct for market conditions)
and other pay increases. According to U.Va.
Human Resources, no new funds were allocated for such increases,
but existing funds held in reserve for reallocations under the
former plan will be sufficient. LAG disagreed. "Pay-for-performance,
broadband plans cannot work without a substantial overall funding
increase," LAG's proposal charged. "Managers who offer
larger-than-average wage enhancements under this plan will merely
shift money from one employee to the other." Associate English
professor Susan Fraimen, a LAG member, added that she feared money
would be shifted from lower-income employees to those in technical
fields, where labor is in short supply.
An $8-per-hour minimum "living wage" for all employees.
The establishment of an independent peer-advocacy group for classified
staff to "monitor the implementation of the new compensation
plan, make substantive recommendations and hold managers accountable
for a fair and equitable administration of the plan." LAG
members claim the plan is too management-driven, and charged that
it will reward personality over performance.
A "vigorous and responsive" grievance procedure, to
include an advocate of the grieving employee's choice at all stages
of the process. If that advocate is also an employee, he or she
should be given "adequate release time" from his or
her job. The advocate is necessary, LAG's proposal states, "because
of the unprecedented flexibility and authority granted managers
under this plan, and because of the existing level of intimidation
and retaliation that now makes the existing grievance procedure
a dead letter."
Wilson nor Van Yahres responded directly to the proposals, explaining
that they attended merely to listen to employee concerns.