New SEIU classification system awaits negotiations

The vice presidents of finance and administration at each of Oregon’s public universities have decided to wait until negotiations on a contract reopener are held in late 2017 before taking the next steps in finalizing a new job classification system for SEIU-represented classified employees.  

Completing the new system requires reaching an agreement on a compensation structure. SEIU prefers to address the compensation structure during negotiations for the next bargaining agreement, and university representatives want to respect SEIU’s preference.

Allocating positions and defining compensation are the two key components in completing the new structure. One cannot be completed without the other. 

Therefore, the decision to include discussion of the compensation structure in the next round of negotiations rather than before means that allocation of positions must await the results of those negotiations. Further action on the new SEIU classification system will take place when negotiations begin next year.

SEIU leadership and its members were notified of the decision last week in a letter to SEIU employees from Oregon universities’ vice presidents for finance. The letter, along with other project information, is available on the UO’s SEIU Classification Project Web page.

The project to redesign the classification system for classified employees represented by SEIU Local 503 began four years ago under the direction of the chancellor’s office of the Oregon University System, and it has continued under the oversight of University Shared Services. 

The Classification Compensation Advisory Committee, comprised of university and SEIU representatives, leads the project with the assistance of an outside classification and compensation consultant. The purpose of the project is to support the recruitment, retention and advancement of a well-qualified workforce.