All-Staff Forum Recap – Fall 2021

The fall 2021 SMPH All Staff Forum took place on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. Topics discussed included staff compensation and promotions, Title and Total Compensation (TTC), remote work and workplace flexibility, staff turnover and retention, and COVID-related policies. This event was co-hosted by the SMPH University Staff Issues Committee (USIC), SMPH Committee on Academic Staff Issues (CASI), and Hope Broadus, JD, Associate Dean for Human Resources.

If you missed the live forum, you can view the slides and watch the full recording. Some notes are provided below. You can jump to that section in the video by advancing to the indicated timestamp.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This section begins at 00:03:00 in the recording. Hope Broadus, JD, spoke on behalf of Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, MA, CDM, Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity Transformation.

Broadus spoke about a shared vision and approach for the office’s future (see graphic in slides). More information will be shared by Shiva at a later date.

Why should we have an integrated DEI office between UWSMPH and UW Health?

  1. Breaking down siloed work and connecting across the system will allow us to develop more strategic and transformative approaches
  2. Fewer, targeted strategies that are integrated/aligned will allow us to be more intentional and have deeper impact
  3. Strategic alignment and leveraging of resources rather than recreating the wheel

Budget Updates

This section begins at 00:06:12 in the recording. Ken Mount, Senior Associate Dean for Finance, presented. 

  • UW–Madison finances: 
    • Chancellor quotes: “We have entirely absorbed losses of the past year and a half…” & “We are in a much better place than we were last fall.” 
    • Not anticipating any additional reductions from campus as of now. We should be holding steady. 
  • UW Health finances: 
    • Clinical activity has returned to pre-pandemic level, generally 
    • FY 21 Operating Margin returned near target levels 
    • FY 22 Operation Margin are in line with budget 
    • Moving ahead with east campus construction 
  • Grants harder to compare year to year but appears to be doing well
  • SMPH fiscal priorities:
    • DEI, climate, Building Community
    • Research: clinical trials and health disparities 
    • Fundraising: scholarships and research

COVID-19 Policies

This section begins at 00:16:55 in the recording. Anne Mekschun, Employment Relations Manager, presented. 

  • Workplace Safety policy:
  • Review periodically to remain up-to-date with current university information
  • Includes:
    • Working on site
    • Physical distancing
    • Current testing requirements
  • Visit for updated daily data dashboard
  • UHS has booster shots available by appointment, not a requirement
  • Sick leave policy addendum added to change the policy about not using sick leave before all of your other leave is exhausted; awaiting campus update

Remote Work & Workplace Flexibility

This section begins at 00:24:00 in the recording. Broadus presented. 

Retaining and Attracting Staff

This section begins at 00:30:58 in the recording. Broadus presented. 

  • SMPH and UW–Madison has not seen a great COVID-migration, only slight uptick in turnover rates
  • SMPH is focused on building new strategies for attracting and retaining staff
  • Strategies and tools:
    • Market-competitive job titles and salaries (TTC)
    • Robust central funds programs and pay plan
    • Staff professional development opportunities
    • Remote work and workplace flexibility
    • Creative talent acquisition, partnering with DEI team to ensure most diverse group of people
    • Increased communication with employees (shared governance engagement)

Compensation and Promotions

This section begins at 00:36:38 in the recording. Kristen Seguin, MBA, PHR, Director of Talent Management, presented. 

  • FY 22 Central Funds are available: 
    • Performance and retention based 
    • Must complete sexual harassment and violence prevention training and cybersecurity training. Supervisors must be current on their employee evaluations. 
    • Timing of increase or bonus depends on exact program that funds come from
    • Departments must submit recommendations to Dean’s Office by Tuesday, Nov. 30
  • Different programs:
    • Discretionary Compensation Fund: University Staff (US), Academic Staff (AS), limited appointees with 101 funding 
    • Performance Bonus Fund: Lump sum increases for US, AS, limited appointees
    • Faculty Block Grant: Base building increase for faculty on 101 funds 
    • Post Tenure Review Increments: Base building increase for faculty on 101 funds

Title and Total Compensation (TTC)

This section begins at 00:44:58 in the recording. Seguin presented. 

  • As a reminder, showed visualization about what is changing vs. what is staying the same
  • Key Dates:
    • November 1: Employees receive notification of new title
    • November 7: System-wide TTC implementation of new titles and salary structure goes into effect
    • November 22: Appeals process begins
    • December 31: Deadline for TTC appeals to be submitted by employee
  • Market Pricing:
    • Market data informs the salary structure
    • Higher Education (CUPA-HR), General Industry (Willis Towers Watson), Healthcare (Willis Towers Watson)
  • Walkthrough of steps to appeal TTC standard job description
  • Summary about pay increases today and in the future (performance, parity, equity, market, change in unique duties, pay plan, and lump sum)
  • Explanation of progression and promotion after TTC implementation

New resources coming soon to TTC website:

Q&A Session

This section begins at 00:57:36 in the recording.

There were a lot of staff questions submitted in the chat box during the event. Below is a list of those asked and directly answered in the chat box. Scroll down for questions that were answered verbally during the Q&A portion of the forum.

Questions asked and answered in the chat box:

Q: How does the large increase in the investment portfolio factor into the budget?  As reported in the news?

A: from Ken Mount: The recent news mentioned strong investment returns by the UW Foundation.  The investment gains do not immediately translate into cash, but do raise the value of our endowments which generates more funding on an annual basis.  Many endowments are dedicated to a specific purpose, so that area will have more income available, such as scholarships, which are a large endowed area for SMPH.  In general each million dollars of endowment generates around $45,000 per year in added annual income available.

Q: Does UW Health have a budget plan in case a rise in COVID cases require suspension of elective surgeries again?

A: from Ken Mount: With the caveat that I can’t really speak for UW Health…  UW Health leadership has learned a lot about managing a surge in COVID patients.  At this time, they have contingent operating plans should the surge become severe, but I believe they are much better able to determine how much reaction will be needed.  The possibility of a major response still exists, but it will take a worse situation to reach the same level of reaction as the initial surge.  There are possible plans, but they are not expected to be needed.

Q What is 101?

A: from Ken Mount: Fund 101 is a specific source of funds in the UW Budget.  We frequently think of it as state funding, but it is actually a blend of state and tuition revenues.  Other sources of funds are grants, UW Health dollars that flow to SMPH and others.  As with pay plan, campus only provides funding for people on the 101 funds they allocate to units.  Funding for increases on other sources have to come from those sources.

Q: I’m not clear on how a vaccinated employee deals with the situation of being in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID. They don’t have to quarantine?

A: from Robyn Perrin: Information from UHS about quarantine and isolation guidelines:

FAQ on “I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Do I need to quarantine and for how long?”

Q: If you have to quarantine due to illness, but are able to functionally work from home

A: from Kaine Korzekwa: FAQ on “If an employee stays home to prevent the spread of illness but feels well enough to work, can they work remotely?”

Q: Is there a resource that defines terms used in TTC, i.e. what is “base pay”?

Q: What are the possible future benefits?

A: from Kristen Seguin: For base pay questions and benefits questions, please visit the TTC landing page:

Q: Could you please detail what role direct supervisors played in the TTC process? Did they have an opportunity to review multiple job titles and provide input on which title better reflects the duties performed?

A: from Brianna Quam: HR partnered with leaders and supervisors in the TTC mapping and position-description creation process at SMPH. They worked together to ensure that the most appropriate standard job description was selected and then the supervisor created their employee’s position description. If you have questions please talk to your supervisor or HR business partner. Thanks!

Q: In reviewing my learning script, I do not see both required trainings [for the pay plan raises] on record.  The one I am missing does not appear to be on a list of upcoming trainings.  If you have not been notified by your HR folks, how does one go about meeting these requirement(s)?

Q: Can you please share with all staff the links to the required trainings [for pay plan raises] so staff know if they have completed them or not?

A: from Kristen Seguin: We will be putting the detailed info on compliance in an upcoming In the Know [email newsletter].

Questions asked in the chat and answered verbally:

Q: Why is Hostile and Intimidating Behavior not included on the list of required training?

A: Hope Broadus responds verbally at 01:00:07.

Q: So what happens if with the new HR titles your new title has a different salary range and you are now compensated ABOVE the new pay plan. How can merit raises happen?

Q: I understand that if your current salary is below the new minimum range, you will automatically get an increase to be in that range.  But, if you are above the minimum, can/will you still get an increase to keep you at the same percentage above the new minimum?  For example, let’s say your salary range minimum was previously 35,000 and you make 45,000.  If TTC changed your salary minimum to 40,000, will your salary of 45,000 stay the same, or be increased to be the same “percentage” above the new minimum?  In other words, if your salary was determined not to be the minimum based on your experience etc, therefore you make a salary in the mid range, will that be honored with an increased minimum so that someone who was in the mid range stays in the mid range?

A: Kristen Seguin responds verbally at 01:08:00.

Q: I have a question regarding using sick leave to care for a family member with COVID or who has to quarantine.  I am hoping the panel can address if it is true that Academic Staff members have to use all vacation/personal time prior to being able to use sick time to care for a family member with COVID or who has to quarantine.  

A: Anne Mekschun responds verbally at 01:01:16.

Q: What about a student worker who is not getting vaccinated? How do you verify their testing?

A: Anne Mekschun responds verbally at 01:04:30. 

Q: How does the new job framework relate to PMDP 6-month checks in January?

A: Anne Mekschun responds verbally at 01:10:15.

Thank you!

Thank you all for your participation in the Staff Forum and great questions. We look forward to seeing you at the spring event which is planned to be in April 2022. If you have any feedback we can use in planning the next forum, please share in the CASI Suggestion Box.