New Personnel Initiatives

by Kathleen Phillips Satz

Beginning this month, the campus will get its first look at a set of broad human-resource initiatives that could mean substantial changes in personnel programs. Office of the President has asked for preliminary responses by Oct. 24 (Phase I); however, extensive campus discussion will take place after that time (Phase II).

The initiatives apply to non-academic staff employees who are not covered by collective-bargaining agreements--in other words, to employees currently covered by Staff Personnel Policy, the Administrative and Professional Staff (A&PS) Program, the Management and Professional (MAP) program, and members of the Executive Program (except those for whom a collective- bargaining election is pending).

What Are The Human-Resource Initiatives?

For several years university committees and work groups have been talking about ways to respond to decreasing resources, a changing work force, and the increasing use of computer technology. Some changes are already taking place, including Project HIRE, to redesign the hiring process; the Pilot Partnership Program, to develop a model of distributed authority; and a new payroll/personnel system coming next year.

The human-resources directors of all the campuses, building on the work of the previous committees, developed a set of concepts to help bring about further changes. These broad concepts, called the Human Resource Initiatives, will be discussed on each campus before specific proposals are developed.

The three major concepts in the initiatives are:

1. The university should develop a philosophy of human-resources management based on principles and values that are consistent with the high quality of the university's academic achievements.

2. The university needs to redesign the four-tier personnel system for employees who are not exclusively represented. In a new system, personnel policies should be simpler to understand and to administer. Many issues and questions would have to be resolved. (For example, the four programs have different complaint-resolution procedures, vacation accruals, and degrees of job security.)

3. The university should develop simpler classification systems as well as compensation systems that motivate and reward creativity, initiative, and teamwork, while recognizing market realities.

How Employees Can Participate In Human-Resources Initiatives

In Phase I of the consultation process, a letter will go to deans, directors, department chairs, and administrative officers outlining the initiatives and inviting comments on the concepts.

Phase II will include more extensive meetings organized by control unit, focus-group sessions, and a variety of communication methods. During this phase, representatives from the campus Personnel Office will give details of the initiatives and provide written materials that explain the general ideas included in the initiatives.

In addition to the information sessions, employees will also be able to respond in writing.

Letters can be sent to Director of Human Resources Alice Gregory at 207 University Hall, # 3540. The deadline for early responses (Phase I) is Oct. 18; however, employees will probably want to provide more in-depth comments after that date, during Phase II of the consultation process.

Employees can read the initiatives as well as two of the major studies that provided a foundation for the changes described in the initiatives. Copies of these documents are available for review at the Reference Desk of Doe and Moffitt libraries and at the campus Personnel Office, 207 University Hall, during business hours.


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