managing staff workload in the california state university
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Managing staff workload in the California State University. WORKLOAD WORKSHOP. A presentation of the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU). Why care about workload?.

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Presentation Transcript
why care about workload
Why care about workload?
  • CSU non-academic staffing has remained flat over the past several years while enrollment and even campuses have increased
  • Furloughs have increased the pressure on staff to “do more with less”
  • Furloughs may be replaced with layoffs next year, increasing the pressure on remaining staff
  • Workload can effect everything from evaluations to promotion to discipline
symptoms of workload stress
Symptoms of workload stress
  • Difficulty with deadlines
  • Repeatedly reviewing priorities
  • Work out of classification
  • Irritability at work and home
  • Giving up on doing a good job
  • Poor relationships with boss and coworkers
  • Getting complaints
keys to controlling workload
Keys to controlling workload
  • Position Description
  • Classification
  • Assignment
  • Schedule
  • Evaluation
  • The union contract requires that every employee has a position description (Article 17)
    • Consistent with classification
    • Regular duties of the position
  • Elements of the position description (HREO)
    • Description of regularly assigned duties
    • Percentages of time on each responsibility
    • Requirements (skills, certification, equipment)
    • Supervision
    • Physical and mental effort
how does the position description limit workload
How does the position description limit workload?
  • All duties must be included
    • “Other duties as assigned” legally means duties which are related in kind to the specific duties listed in the sections above
  • Percentages of time are listed
    • This establishes priorities
    • For non-exempt employees, this also translates into expected hours for each responsibility
  • Requirements are listed
    • If the job requires a new skill or certification, it is probably out-of-class work
    • Only one person is listed as the administrator, which means work must be assigned through that person
    • If you are a lead (even of students) the position description will list who reports to you
  • Effort
    • Physical and mental effort is listed
  • Changes must be listed (Article 17)
    • New duties must be reflected in a new position description at least seven days in advance
employee do s and don ts
Employee do’s and don’ts



Ignore whether or not you have a position description

Let duties accumulate without being added

Work outside of the classification or the hours (non-exempt)

  • Request a position description when you are hired
  • Request a position description change when your duties change
  • Work within your position description
how does classification limit workload
How does classification limit workload?
  • Classification Qualifications and Standards (CQS) are systemwide definitions
    • Types of duties
    • Skills, certification, and other requirements
    • Distinguishing characteristics from other classifications and skill levels
  • Position descriptions must be consistent with classification
working out of class
Working out-of-class
  • Assignment/reassignment (Article 17)
    • You must be paid when you temporarily work at a higher classification or skill level
    • Reassignments are documented in the personnel file
  • Reclassification (Article 9)
    • You must be reclassified when you permanently work at a higher classification or skill level
    • Management may remove duties to prevent reclassification (but the previous work must be paid under reassignment)
employee do s and don ts1
Employee do’s and don’ts



Think that your position description is all that matters

Perform work out-of-class without documentation or pay

  • Get a copy of your CQS from Human Resources or Chancellor’s Office website
  • Make sure your position description is consistent with the CQS
  • Make sure out-of-class work results in pay
assignment reassignment
  • The union contract allows an employee to request work instructions in writing (Article 17)
    • This can be used to document an assignment through management directions
  • CSUEU encourages employees to maintain a work log of their regular and special duties
    • This is can be used to document an assignment through a daily employee record
What if the supervisor does not document new duties or special assignments?
    • Send your own email or memo to the supervisor memorializing the assignment (“This is to verify that I will be doing _____ per your request”)
    • You can ask for confirmation at the same time
    • Track the task in your work log anyway
work log
Work Log
  • Date
  • Supervisor
  • Task
  • Time elapsed
  • Special requirements
  • Comments

Work logs can be used to track workload, out-of-class assignments, overtime, etc. This documentation can be important for evaluations, reclasses, grievances, etc.

employee do s and don ts2
Employee do’s and don’ts



Lose track of what you are doing, adding new duties or doing special projects without any record

Expect your administrator to remember what you’ve done in the past or expect a reward (reclass, IRP, bonus) when there is no documentation

  • Keep track of your assignments and document them regularly
  • Make sure assignments are given by the administrator (in your position description or written direction)
employee status
Employee Status



Employees work by task rather than schedule

Employees are paid on a salary (monthly) basis

Employees do not receive overtime for work over 40 hours in a week

  • Employees receive a fixed work schedule
  • Employees are paid on an hourly basis
  • Employees receive overtime for work over 40 hours in a week
typical non exempt schedule
Typical Non-Exempt Schedule
  • Monday – Friday
  • 8 hours per day
  • Set hours for start, stop, breaks, lunch
  • Overtime for hours over 40 in a week
  • Overtime payment in cash or CTO
  • Call back (overtime rate) if brought back to work on a different schedule or day

(Articles 18 and 19)

non exempt do s and don ts
Non-Exempt do’s and don’ts



Work through breaks or lunch without pay

Come in early or stay late without pay

Take jobs home and work without pay

Make “informal” overtime arrangements

Flex your days to work a different schedule than authorized to avoid overtime

All of these are illegal!

  • Know your work schedule
  • Work the set hours – start and stop as indicated, take your breaks and lunch
  • Get paid for extra hours
    • Longer days get paid overtime if they are over 40 in a week
    • Called in at different hours not consecutive with your schedule guarantees you at least 3 hours of paid call-back time (even if under 40 hours/week)
typical exempt schedule
Typical Exempt Schedule
  • Focused on tasks rather than hours
    • Example – “Maintain lab” or “Provide IT support”
  • Most time is flexible although there may be some fixed times for meetings or essential tasks
  • Employee may start and stop at different times under own discretion to meet task deadlines
exempt time balancing
Exempt time balancing
  • Exempt employees are not paid for hours over 40 in a week
    • Employees must balance their time by taking time off after having worked extra hours
    • Employees are not charged leave for partial day absences
  • During a furlough week, Exempt employees become Non-Exempt
  • In non-furlough weeks, Exempt employees are not supposed to have workload increases to make up for lost time during the furlough week
exempt employee do s and don ts
Exempt employee do’s and don’ts



Report on the basis of a fixed work schedule

Take time off if you haven’t met the deadlines

Work extra hours in furlough weeks without pay

Work extra hours in non-furlough weeks to make up for deferred work earlier

  • Keep track of task assignments and deadlines
  • Balance work peaks with time off later (and let your supervisor know)
  • Attend fixed meeting dates and times
how do evaluations limit workload
How do evaluations limit workload?
  • Evaluations are based on position descriptions
    • Must reflect assigned duties
    • Changes in duties are listed
  • Evaluation are a dialogue between the employee and the supervisor
    • Workload expectations
    • Performance peaks and valleys
  • Evaluations may include rebuttals
    • Significant workload issues can be documented
employee do s and don ts3
Employee do’s and don’ts



Count on your evaluation always being good or fair or accurate

Rely on the administrator to remember your successes

Hope your administrator forgets the problems

  • Keep track of your successes over the year in your work log
  • If you have a problem during the year, record it and the reasons why and mitigating factors
  • Insist that all duties are reflected in the evaluation
workload and layoffs
Workload and Layoffs
  • All of the above can influence layoffs, even though they are based on seniority
    • Tie-Breaking
      • When two or more employees are tied for layoff, management must consider only specialized skills, competency, and meritorious services
    • Presidential Exemption
      • The President may exempt an employee from layoff if the employee possesses documentable specialized skills which are necessary for the program and notpossessed by other employees
Workload influences the decision of management to start layoff
    • Work speed-ups may precede layoff as a way of reorganizing the work for fewer employees
  • Workload influences the decision of management to call back employees from layoff
    • Work shortages may require hiring and jobs go to employees on the layoff list first
what is the best protection for employees on workload and layoff
What is the best protection for employees on workload and layoff?


  • Our union contract regulates hiring, firing, layoff, assignment, etc.
  • We have the right to negotiate on the impact of budget cuts
  • We have stewards and union staff to advise and protect employees
  • Working together, employees can organize to influence legislators, presidents, and the public
please join
Please join!
  • Employees are not automatically members of the Union
    • If you have not signed a membership card, you are paying fees – you are a fee payer and not a member
    • Signing a card gives you the right to vote on contracts, get representation in discipline, and enjoy group benefits and insurance
    • Union membership is less than 25 cents/month