In March we reported the problems with job placement of Department Research Administrators, and then in May we reported the positive outcome of the appeals.
While the appeals hearings were in the end successful, there were many significant procedural defects in the processes used by HR to determine the DRA's would be demoted in December 2016, and then again during the appeal process when PSU-AAUP and the DRA's challenged those decisions. If the appeal hearings had not been successful, PSU-AAUP would have filed a Division A grievance about the procedural defects.
PSU-AAUP submitted a Letter to Concern to administration formally requesting that deficiencies in HR around desk audits and job placement decisions be corrected. We requested that formal policies be established around desk audits to make them unbiased, inquiry based procedures that would require the formal reporting of findings to justify decisions. We also requested that the 5 Department Research Administrators who have been hired since December 2016 that were not subject to the appeal have their positions placed in the PA II job family as we know, from the appeals, that all DRA positions perform substantively the same duties, and that those duties reside in the PA II job family.
We are pleased that the Article 17 Section 4 process appeal process worked as intended. It needs, however, to work much better. PSU-AAUP, however, wants to see these changes before the next AAUP member needs to use Article 17 Section 4 to review the placement of their position.