Easy Steps to Writing Reclass Documents
Collect the following resources to help you: your campus position description form, your latest official position description (if you don’t have one, ask HR), the classification standards for your current classification and the one to which you aspire to campus job postings, the position description of another employee in the classification you are aiming for, the Know Your Rights flyer on Reclassification and In Class Progression, verb lists and other practical aids for reclassification.
Write down everything that you do in no particular order, over a few weeks’ time.
Think of about 3-4 broad categories into which all the details can be divided such as budget, academic personnel, student services, chair support, special events, etc. Assign percentages of time to the large categories, not to individual duties.
The verbs you use are critical. They describe the level at which you work as well as your actual duties. Use action verbs like coordinate, organize, manage, advise, interpret, research, analyze, initiate, oversee, decide, recommend, create, design, edit, program, etc. Write in complete sentences and be consistent with your verb tenses and persons.
Express your overall responsibilities at their highest level. Then describe what you do to carry out those responsibilities, what tools you use, and state the end result desired. If you type travel claim forms it is probably because you are responsible for reporting all travel in your office, and you are also interpreting and enforcing campus and department travel policies, and tracking expenditures. The following is an example: Incumbent is responsible for the reporting of all travel in the History Department for 15 faculty. Incumbent completes all travel claim forms electronically and submits them to accounting with the appropriate backup, monitors and tracks the expenditures in PeopleSoft for accuracy, and interprets and applies department and university travel policies and procedures, in order to ensure compliance with all regulations, and to make sure that the Department stays within budget.
Write a draft and show it to a friend. Better yet, form a small group of people with the same classification and meet regularly, setting specific goals and deadlines until you are finished. Always ask someone to proof your work. Your position description becomes official after it is signed by your supervisor and dean/director, and filed in Human Resources.
Skills, Knowledge and Ability
The following are some examples of possible SKA’s, but by no means exhaust the many different skills, knowledge and abilities that employees use. Be very specific to your own work, citing specific situations in which you use them.
SKILLS = learned technical expertise
KNOWLEGE = learned information
ABILITY = present competence
Words that are used to denote the amount or level of SKA:
At an advanced level
Comprehensive and detailed knowledge
Knowledge of federal/state, university/college/department regulations, policies, procedures, codes, practices, laws with the ability to independently interpret, communicate and apply. (Give specific examples.)
Ability to establish multiple priorities and conceive and manage own projects.
Skill in identifying, investigating and analyzing problems.
Ability to make independent decisions and exercise sound judgment.
Ability to analyze data and make accurate projections.
Ability to effectively adapt to changing policies, procedures and technology.
Knowledge of fiscal management principles and basic bookkeeping skills.
Ability to maintain confidentiality.
Supervisory skills: ability to recruit, hire, train, evaluate, establish priorities and motivate.
Ability to plan, organize, and coordinate day-to-day and long range activities.
Skill in investigating and analyzing problems, and in the collection and evaluation of data to develop valid conclusions and recommendations.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
Ability to present ideas and concepts effectively in written or presentation format and use persuasion and facilitation skills to gain consensus.
Ability to use negotiation and persuasion skills to achieve results and expedite projects.
Ability to research, write and present reports.
Ability to communicate effectively, orally, in writing and electronically with faculty, staff, students and the general public.
Ability to develop and maintain productive relationships with a diverse faculty, staff, and student population, and to respond appropriately, especially to conflicts or problems.
Ability to self motivate to continue to improve knowledge and skills by attending workshops and classes.
Ability to effectively handle interpersonal interactions at all levels and to respond appropriately in sensitive interpersonal situations.
State all specific SKA’s regarding computer software and hardware and systems, mechanical tools, directories, handbooks, manuals, etc. that you use in your job.
Classification vs. ICP
The Administrative Support Example
The Administrative Support Series contains two distinct classifications with two skill levels each.
1. Administrative Support Assistant
Administrative Support Assistant I
Administrative Support Assistant II
2. Administrative Support Coordinator
Administrative Coordinator I
Administrative Coordinator II
RECLASSIFICATION - To move from an Assistant to a Coordinator is a Reclassification.
IN CLASS PROGRESSION - To move from an Assistant I (Coordinator I) to an Assistant II (Coordinator II) is an In Class Progression.
A SEPARATE CLASSIFICATION-Analyst/Specialist is a distinct classification not part of the Admin. Support series. It has three skill levels of its own.
Skill level I - non exempt
Skill level II – exempt I
Skill level III – exempt II
Every CSU bargaining unit employee has the right to a Position Description. Under the CSEA contract, new employees should be given a position description within one week of hire and current employees must receive a copy within forty-five days of their request.
Position Description forms may vary from campus to campus, but all contain basic information about your work:
Your name and classification, time base and working title.
Your immediate supervisor.
The purpose of the position in the department.
Your supervision of others (if applicable).
The major responsibilities, usually with some percentage of time for each duty.
Any specialized requirements, such as licenses, certificates, etc.
Your Position Description is important for several reasons:
It defines your normal duties and is the basis for your classification (or later reclassification).
It is the basis for performance evaluation (including probationary reviews).
It defines your reporting relationships (who can and cannot give you orders).
It can affect any disciplinary action on failure to perform normal and reasonable duties.
The CSEA contract requires that your Position Description be an accurate reflection of your assigned duties. Article 17 of the contract covers Position Descriptions and other aspects of assignment (such as the requirement that there be a single appropriate administrator to give you instructions).
Normally, the Position Description includes signature lines for you and your supervisor. You must make sure that the Position Description is accurate to protect your job interests. Here are some common problems associated with Position Descriptions:
Duties: Not all duties are listed (sometimes allowing out-of-class work to go unnoticed). Sometimes duties are listed that are not really being performed, which can be a problem later when the supervisor (or a new one) expects them to be performed. The sum total of the duties should be able to fit in a normal work day (eight hours for FLSA non-exempt, less defined but reasonable for FLSA exempt).
Supervision: The person listed is not the actual supervisor because someone further down the line is giving direction. In academic settings, the Dean may be listed while work comes from the Department Chair (or even directly from faculty). If supervision is not clear, then conflicting and overwhelming work demands can be made.
Employees may be reassigned from their original position. This may be on a temporary or permanent basis. In either case, management is required to provide notice and record the change in duties. You should receive a new Position Description for either reassignment (although typically management only provides it for permanent reassignment).
It is important to keep your Position Description up-to-date. Duties can shift over time and changes in department staffing can increase job responsibilities and workload. Without an accurate Position Description, you can lose out on opportunities for reclassification, out-of-class pay or protect yourself against unreasonable work expectations.
Tips for Employees
Make sure you have a copy of your Position Description.
Review it to make sure it is accurate.
If your duties change, ask your supervisor to update your Position Description.
If you are refused a Position Description or an update, talk to a CSEA steward about requiring compliance with the CSEA contract.
CSEA Contract Provisions
17.1 Written notice of permanent reassignment seven days prior to change.
17.2 President may reassign employee for a limited period of time.
17.3 Employees are paid for out-of-class reassignments.
17.4 Reassignments are recorded.
17.5 Employees have a right to return to their permanent assignment.
17.6 Employees have a right to know who is the supervisor and to get written clarifications of instructions.
17.7 Employees have a right to a Position Description and it must be accurate.
17.8 Employees have right to meet with the supervisor to discuss the Position Description and duties.