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Departments take steps to implement chancellor's initiatives
By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs

04 OCTOBER 00 | Campus units are crafting policy changes to accommodate numerous new work-force initiatives, Chancellor Berdahl announced last week during a Berkeley Staff Assembly-sponsored chat with staff.

Berdahl pledged $1 million to address such issues as recruitment, retention, compensation and growing workloads.

The initiatives include a bonus program for employee referrals, removal of the 15 percent cap on reclassification and promotion salary increases and an increase in administrative assistant staff internships, among other steps. Many of the policy changes involve the Office of Human Resources.

"My staff are busy working out the details to implement the chancellor's initiatives," said Sandra Haire, assistant vice chancellor for human resources. "The senior managers met immediately after the chancellor's address to work out timelines for implementation and to make sure that staff are assigned to carry out each one."

Her office is moving fast, she said, to make sure implementation, "from start to finish" goes right.

"With notices to the unions, we expect that the outside date for implementation of all of these initiatives to be mid-November," said Haire. "The lifting of the caps is effective immediately for non-represented employees."

Though preparing and implementing these changes will take a few weeks, progress will be reported in future Berkeleyan stories as well as on the Human Resources' Web site (hrweb.berkeley.edu) and in HR Links and Supervision publications in the coming weeks.

Following are descriptions of steps that have been taken so far.

Retention

Effective immediately, the chancellor has removed the 15 percent cap on reclassification and promotion salary increases and is now allowing lateral transfer salary increases for staff employees. Department hiring authorities may approve a salary increase of up to 25 percent upon reclassification or promotion. Salary increases may also be provided to an employee upon lateral transfer, which is a move to an openly recruited position at the same salary range maximum.

An employee's total salary increase in a single fiscal year - including merit, promotion, and equity increases, but not including merit-bonus incentive rewards - may not exceed 25 percent of the employee's base salary as of June 30, unless an exception is granted by the chancellor. Employees represented by bargaining units must still abide by the contract language covering these situations. Human Resources has met with control unit administrators to develop guidelines and criteria to implement these changes. The vice chancellors will provide further internal division/unit implementation procedures and guidelines soon.

Criteria for determining an employee's new salary after receiving approval for a reclassification/promotion include external market salary comparisons, internal equity, department budget considerations, and the employee's performance.

Criteria for determining a lateral transfer salary increase for an employee include external market salary comparisons and internal equity, the skills the employee brings to the new position, and department budget considerations.

Recruitment

- Referral Bonus Program - Given the good economy and low unemployment rate, the campus must use a variety of tools to compete in this tight job market. One such tool is payment of up to $500 to staff members who refer a job applicant who is hired for a hard-to-fill career position. Another $500 will be awarded once the new employee has completed the probationary period.

Currently, the Administrative II through III categories, as well as technical positions, are harder jobs to fill.

Pending union approval, the bonus program should be in place by mid November. The bonus will not be retroactive, but will begin the day it is officially implemented and announced to all staff. Guidelines on how the bonus program will be administered are currently in development.

- Internet Postings and Berkeley Graduate Recruitment Program - To increase the visibility of the university as an employer, the campus will increase its use of the Internet for recruitment. This will help departments post their jobs for free and will give the campus the ability to search employment sites for resumes.

Over the next few months, Berkeley will sign contracts with leading online job sites. Passwords and access information will be provided by departmental employment analysts. Access should be ready by Nov. 15.

A more focused and proactive approach will be taken to cultivate student awareness of career opportunities at the university. This project is currently being developed with the Career Center. Through this partnership, advisers in the Career Center will encourage students to consider Berkeley upon graduation.

- Retiree Return Programs and Internships - Human Resources is collaborating with the UC Berkeley Retirement Center on a program to utilize skilled retirees with a good knowledge of the campus who can temporarily step in for employees participating in training opportunities or for supervisory positions.

"This gives retirees the opportunity to earn extra income while continuing to make a contribution to the university," said Betty Briggs-Marshall, employment and temporary assistance program manager. "We currently have a few retirees who work through our Post Retirement Employment Program, but we are working with the retirement center to increase the number of participants."

Retirees interested in working on campus should call 642-2348.

- Shared Applicant Pool - A pool of resumes from applicants who were not hired for positions for which they applied but who would be excellent candidates for other positions will be created by Human Resources and campus hiring departments as another source of potential employees. When department supervisors have applicants to share with another department, they should send the resume, labeled as a share pool applicant, to their employment analyst in Human Resources. The analyst will contact the applicant via telephone and explain that their application was recommended for another job.

"We'd like to encourage supervisors to send along any outstanding candidate that they've interviewed," said Briggs-Marshall.

- Staff Internships - Human Resources is developing a small number of new internships that will specifically target current staff in the Administrative Assistant series. In conjunction with the internship program advisory committee, Human Resources will identify campus mentors and define and create internship opportunities. To make candidates more competitive for campus jobs, these internships will provide training in BFS, personnel and payroll and other core competencies will be offered through the Employee Development and Training office.

- Parking and Transportation - Nad Permaul, director of Parking and Transportation, said the campus is committed to enhancing the use of public transportation for staff. He will soon be meeting with representatives from BART and AC Transit to discuss programs to make their services more cost effective for campus employees. Currently, employees can set up a $65 pre-tax payroll deduction for BART and AC Transit tickets, that, depending on usage, can save riders up to 33 percent a month on transportation costs. Other options will be explored during Permaul's meeting with BART officials later this month and during ongoing meetings with AC Transit. The outcome of these negotiations will be reported when confirmed Berkeley Financial System Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell said the BFS project team is currently talking to departments on ways to streamline BFS processing as a way to decrease workload, but any enhancements must wait until campus conversion to the new system is complete. Campus Controller Greg Brown said discussions with end users to prioritize the kinds of enhancements needed are currently under way. He anticipates formalization of these ideas within the next few months.

 


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