Great Place continuous enrollment for Classified employees
The new HR plan addresses what employees asked for in the Great Place Initiative surveys and town halls. The plan focuses on you — our most valuable resource. It aligns the work you do with the mission and vision of the university, improves the quality of service provided to quality service students and patients and modernizes outdated HR practices. Read the full Working@VCU: Great Place HR policy. Current employees can log into InsideHR for guidelines and details about processes and procedures.
Keeping the great things
With the design of the new HR plan, we were able to keep the things we love about state employment while modernizing outdated HR policies and procedures. There are some things that remain unchanged in the new HR Plan:
- Status as a state employee earning state service
- Virginia Retirement System benefits, and Optional Retirement Plan for eligible employees
- COVA health benefits and flexible spending accounts
- University holidays
- Work-life benefits and discounts
- Tuition waiver and reimbursement
Some highlights of the new plan:
- Inclusive employee group, University and Academic Professionals, that encompasses entry level positions through executive and senior administrators
- New job family structure
- Market and merit-based pay
- Career path advancement
- Dispute resolution, including mediation and panel hearings
- Generous and flexible leave package (combining the former annual, sick, and personal and family categories)
- Paid parental leave and caregiving leave
- Enhanced community service leave
- Expanded flexible work arrangements
Have a question? Take a look at a list of FAQs.
In 2005, the Commonwealth of Virginia adopted the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act designed to support continued excellence in higher education in Virginia. Referred to as “restructuring,” the act gives Virginia’s public colleges and universities greater flexibility and internal control of administrative operations such as finance, facilities, information technology and human resources. It created three tiers, or levels, of autonomy. Tier III refers to the institutions granted the highest level of autonomy. The Tier III institutions are Virginia Tech, the College of William & Mary, the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2006, three of the institutions — Virginia Tech, William & Mary and UVA — created HR plans to meet their needs. VCU launched the Great Place: HR Redesign project in 2016 to design its own HR plan. Other administrative areas, such as finance and procurement, are also taking advantage of the Tier III status to improve operational effectiveness.
Why now? It’s time for the university to modernize its human resource practices to be more responsive to the university’s and employees’ needs. The state classified system is not the type of “best in class” HR program that today’s — and tomorrow’s — higher education workforce is expecting and deserves. VCU employees told the university what you wanted in the Great Place Initiative survey. The kinds of programs you asked for — career development and advancement, market and merit-based pay — are the kinds of programs that can be adopted under the restructuring authority. As can be seen by the other three universities (UVA, Virginia Tech and William & Mary) that underwent HR restructuring in 2006, it is possible to implement new HR programs that reflect more updated HR practices while still retaining the strengths that public employment is known for (typically excellent retirement and health benefits and fair process of progressive discipline). In short, Tier III authority is an opportunity to keep what we like and change what we don’t like.
Other advantages of a new HR plan include the opportunity to better support growth in research, reduce legal liabilities and invest in effective management through increased training and accountability.
When did the new plan go into effect? The new HR plan became effective on January 1, 2018. However, this date is the beginning of the new plan, not the end of this work. The current HR structure didn’t happen overnight and it will take time for the advantages of the new HR plan to be realized.
- You have a choice to enroll in the new HR plan.
- Under VCU’s new HR plan, there is a university-wide job structure of “job families,” which group jobs by function and reflects the specific kinds of work done at VCU. Each job family consists of various job titles. Most titles have six levels (e.g. Accountant 1, 2, and 3; Senior Accountant 1, 2, and 3) and each level has a market range. Your placement in the new job family structure, along with the corresponding market range, as well as a detailed side-by-side comparison of your current plan and the new HR plan is available for review at myVCU portal.
- If you are in a position that provides VCU Optional Retirement Plan eligibility upon conversion, this information will be noted along with your job family information in myVCU portal.
- As of January 1, 2019, you may elect to enroll in the new HR plan at any time. Effective dates in the University and Academic Professionals group occur quarterly, based on when you enroll.
If you choose to enroll:
- Your employee group changes from Classified staff to “University and Academic Professional.” You remain a state employee with the same service date. If you choose to move to another state agency, your time at VCU as a University and Academic Professional counts towards your total years of service of state employment.
- If you are in a position that is is eligible for the VCU Optional Retirement Plan under the new HR plan, you have 60 days from your effective date to elect the VCU Optional Retirement Plan instead of continuing to participate in the Virginia Retirement System.
- Converting to a University and Academic Professional does not result in a pay raise, even if the market range for your job in the VCU structure is higher than your current Classified salary, but it does make you eligible for the new compensation plan that provides opportunities for career advancement and merit-based salary increases.
- The new compensation plan provides for salary increases based on merit. The expectation is that, over time, higher performance results in higher salary increases rewarding contributions to VCU’s mission and goals.
- The compensation plan also allows for salary increases as part of career development, when specific milestones in your career development plan are reached.
- Starting with the 2018-19 performance cycle, a career development plan is part of the performance management process and is updated annually.
- Career paths provide opportunities for employees to advance across the market range (from emerging through expert) and/or up through the job title levels. Salary increases can be tied to career advancement as you move across or upward through your career path, even as you remain in the same job title.
- You will have access to the new career development resources, as they emerge throughout 2019, inlcuding career communities as well as new mentoring programs.
- University leave accruals are provided in advance. However, there is a reconciliation “behind the scenes” tracking on a per pay period basis. If you separate employment with VCU during the year and have “overspent” the accrued leave balance, you could owe the university for the balance. Likewise, you are paid out at 100 percent for any accrued yet unused leave.
- The full year's leave balance is available on January 10 of each year.
- Leave balances over the carry-over limit are forfeited beginning on January 9, 2020 and each January 9 thereafter.
- The university paid leave plan provides short-term disability income replacement at 100 percent for approved claims.
- Additional leave benefits like parental leave and caregiving leave are available for use upon your effective date.
- Your leave plan provides enhanced Community Service Leave over and above the 16 hours currently granted by the state. Enhanced Community Service Leave is used for participating in volunteer service activities sponsored by VCU and/or VCU Health.
The side-by-side comparisons detail the changes you can expect in VCU's new HR plan. Click on the link that corresponds with your current employee type to see what is changing and what is staying the same. If you have any questions, please contact the HR Professional in your area.
Exempt Classified employees in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program: https://hr.vcu.edu/side-by-sides/classified-exempt-vsdp/
Nonexempt Classified employees in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program: https://hr.vcu.edu/side-by-sides/classified-nonexempt-vsdp/
Exempt Classified employees in the Traditional Sick Leave Plan: https://hr.vcu.edu/side-by-sides/classified-exempt-traditional/
Nonexempt Classified employees in the Traditional Sick Leave Plan: https://hr.vcu.edu/side-by-sides/classified-nonexempt-traditional/
- Enroll by February 28, 2019 - effective on April 10, 2019
- Enroll between March 1 and June 15, 2019 - effective on July 10, 2019
- Enroll between June 16 and September 15, 2019 - effective on October 10, 2019
- Enroll between September 16 and December 15, 2019 - effective on January 10, 2020