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Staff Senate current issues

Current Issues

Here are some recent issues Staff Senate is addressing. If you have concerns or questions that are not addressed here, we encourage you to email us at staffsen@uwyo.edu.

Current Resolutions

View current and past Staff Senate Resolutions. 

Staff Newsletter

Read the Staff Newsletter.

View the answers to previously published staff questions.

View previous editions of Policy Corner.

Employee Wellness Resources

Staff Senate has received questions about wellness resources available to UW employees. We've found the following resources:

Employee Handbook

At the September 2016 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved review by UW Administration of UW’s current regulatory structure, to include the following:

  • Phasing out presidential directives;

  • Defining regulation versus policy/procedure;

  • Creating a new “look” and format for the regulations; and

  • Updating the substance of the regulations, policies, and procedures as needed, including determining whether there are any substantive gaps.

This regulatory review policy is currently underway. As each regulation or policy is revised, Staff Senate receives a copy of the proposed revisions and has an opportunity to provide feedback before the document is finalized. Staff Senators do their best to solicit staff feedback and present it in a constructive way during each revision process.

In the coming months, the Employee Handbook will undergo this same revision process. As the Handbook is revised, we will continue to address staff concerns and keep you posted on the outcome.

In addition, numerous current regulations and presidential directives included policies that are more appropriate content for the Handbook. As these policies and regulations are reviewed, Human Resources personnel will work to bring them into the Handbook. During each stage of revision, Staff Senate will receive the redlined version of the documents so that we can provide feedback and communicate the final changes to all UW staff.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Employee Handbook or the current policies regarding staff employees, please let us know at staffsen@uwyo.edu or submit them through our anonymous form

Staff Compensation and Professional Development

In June 2017 Staff Senate once again began a conversation with the administration regarding staff compensation. We proposed an updated plan for approaching compensation as well as updating the salary matrix and our staff classification practices. This proposed plan would work in conjunction with the new budgeting process and with the new University strategic plan. 

In September 2017, President Nichols convened a Salary Policy Task Force to address this issue, including two Staff Senate representatives on that Task Force. The recommendations of the Task Force were sent to President Nichols on November 1, 2017, and presented as an information item in the November meeting of the Board of Trustees. In the March 2018 Board of Trustees meeting, the board voted in support of the finalized salary policy. In June 2018, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the proposed FY19 University budget, which included an increase to be allocated according to the salary policy.

The FY20 University budget also included an allocation for salary increases, mandated by the governor and legislature. This increase was an across-the-board increase of around 2% and was implemented on July 1, 2019, for fiscal-year employees who were employed in their current position as of June 30, 2018.

In 2017, Staff Senate prepared a proposal to address staff professional development, which was sent to President Nichols in November 2017. While the University's executive committee declined the proposal presented by Staff Senate, there was widespread interest among staff on campus to continue a push for improved opportunities for professional development. In October 2018, Staff Senate conducted a survey on professional development, generating an in-depth report on employees' concerns. In 2019, President Nichols convened the UW Strategic Improvement Working Group to address issues that came out of the Great Colleges to Work For survey. This working group named staff professional development as a priority and is working to form a plan to address the issue. 

UW Parking Study

During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, UW contracted Walker Consultants to conduct a parking and transportation study. The release of the draft report generated concerned feedback from many staff members across campus. Staff Senate Executive Committee wrote a letter to address these concerns and received a response from VP Neil Theobald and Chair of the Board of Trustees Dave True. 

FCAC Committee and Strategic Planning Council

Staff Senate elected two senators to represent UW staff on the Financial Crisis Advisory Committee. The committee has wrapped up its work, and the committee's recommendations were brought before the Board of Trustees in the November 2016 meeting for approval.

Staff Senate also nominated two senators to serve on the UW Strategic Planning Council. As the Strategic Planning Council continues to meet in the coming months we'll keep you posted in the newsletter and by email updates.

Employee Performance Evaluations

Staff Senate has received numerous questions and complaints from staff concerning the Performance Evaluation system. In November 2014 we conducted a staff survey to better inform our conversations with Human Resources. Administrative turnover and scheduling constraints made it difficult for us to address the issues in the timeframe we had hoped. However, with the rollout of the new fiscal and human resources system, Staff Senate hopes to revisit this topic. We have brought the question once again to HR, and we are hoping to work with them to address the issues in the survey as the new HCM system - and a new performance evaluation module - is developed and implemented. 

Leave Time Taskforce

In 2015 Staff Senate convened a task force, including a representative from Human Resources to address the issues identified in the Leave Time Survey. The task force issued several policy bulletins. While this task force is no longer meeting, Staff Senate will continue to work to clarify UW policy and labor law at the request of UW staff. To ask a question or share your feedback with us, send an email to staffsen@uwyo.edu or complete our anonymous survey by clicking here.  

Retaliation, Employee Grievances, and Mediation

The Staff Relations Committee has initiated conversations with Human Resources on the topics of the UW Grievance Procedure and the Anti-Retaliation Policy. As of May 2016, an Anti-Retaliation policy has been added to the UW Regulations and to the Employee Handbook, Section D, Paragraph 5 (p 9).  As we continue to make progress clarifying the policies and working to improve the options available to staff members, we'll keep you updated here and in the newsletter.

It has been brought to our attention that HR no longer offers mediation services, and is generally not available to attend staff meetings. We realize that this is problematic for some staff members who are experiencing conflict, as HR also cannot take action on issues that are brought to them unless there is written documentation. We continue to engage in conversations with the Administration to address these concerns. In the meantime, employees who are concerned about changes to their PDQs, changes in their status as Essential Employees or to their on-call rotations, or any other updates to the terms of their employment can obtain documentation of conversations that do not take place in writing in several ways:

  1. An employee is always free to take notes on what is said in a meeting and bring those notes (or any other documentation they feel is relevant) to HR for inclusion in their personnel file.

  2. An employee may request a peer witness to attend the meeting and take notes. The employee can then provide this documentation to HR for inclusion in their file. Contact Staff Senate for more information.

  3. The conversation can be recorded and the recording can be provided to HR in lieu of written documentation. For more information, see the Wyoming State Statutes and U.S. Code, title 18.

  4. If an employee is experiencing workplace bullying or retaliation or is being informed of significant changes to the terms of their employment, they cannot be prevented from bringing legal representation to meetings.

  5. Following an in-person meeting or telephone conversation with a supervisor, the employee can write an email to the supervisor confirming what was discussed in the meeting. We've put together a helpful template.

Policy Questions

Staff Senate receives numerous questions about labor law and UW policy. We've created Policy Corner to share some resources and information with you that may be of help. 

Other Recent Issues

Employee Handbook Update, August 2016

University Communications SAP

View a list of the benefits and policy updates that Staff Senate has advocated for on behalf of US staff.

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UW Administrative Information

UW Regulations and Presidential Directives  

University of Wyoming President's Office 

CREG Report    



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