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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the UCAP Project?

UCAP represents a complete re-design of the current job and compensation system for classified staff and appointed professionals.

Why is the University conducting UCAP?

Several important goals are guiding our efforts. One is to create a clear job structure, or “architecture,” that will help employees envision their possible paths to career advancement. Another is to benchmark UA salaries against those at our peer universities or other organizations with which we compete for talent. Additionally, we will implement an annualized practice to re-benchmark jobs, assess market movement and adjust salary ranges when necessary to ensure our compensation programs remain current.

What is the expected project timeline?

The project is expected to take approximately 24 months.  Our anticipated implementation is July 1, 2019.

Where can I learn more about the terminology being used in the project?

A full glossary of terms is available on the Project website.

Where can I submit questions or provide feedback regarding the project?

Employees can provide feedback directly via the project website or through the dedicated project email address, As engagement strategies roll out, plenty of opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback will be available. Additionally, employees can direct their questions to Advisory Council members, Project Team members, shared governance members, and/or their organizational consultants.

How will my current job classification or category be impacted?

UCAP will replace current classified staff and appointed professional job categories with market-based job functions and families reflective of the vast array of non-faculty professions we have at the University.  Employees who are currently classified will have the option to remain in their current job. However, pay structures for existing classified jobs will remain unchanged and classified staff would be required to move out of classified staff and into the new functions and families for promotions or job changes.

Does this really mean all in-scope employees become “at-will” under the University Staff ABOR category?

While ABOR does permit at-will employment under University Staff, the project team is considering how to best implement this for our community. Reasonable policies and practices will be in place to ensure employees receive adequate feedback, coaching, and expectations for performance improvement.

Regarding layoffs, mandatory notification periods will remain in effect, similar to our current policies.

Career Architecture

Are functions and job families consistent across units? Does that suggest that a person in my unit could qualify for a job with a similar job function/job-family across campus?

Job functions and families are consistent across the University and are determined by the primary function of the job.  For example, a job that has a primary duty of Communications & Marketing will be mapped to the Communications & Marketing job function, not to a job family specific to the employee’s unit.

How will my job be mapped to the new career framework?

Position mapping to the new career framework will include using current job content, supervisor feedback and in some cases reviewing job duties and minimum qualifications according to current position descriptions or job postings.  Effort will be taken to map positions with similar minimum education and experience requirements, as well as job level.

Will my job title change?

You may keep your current title.

UCAP will involve creating a defined architecture of jobs that will have a unique job codes and job code descriptions.  Each employee in scope will be mapped to one of those jobs and carry the associated job code descriptor as a title. However, working titles will still be able to be utilized at the unique position/employee level within new guidelines established. Working titles will also be maintained in the system and can be used in the UA phone directory, business cards and signature lines.

If my job changes, will I experience a promotion, or a demotion? Will I need to wait a certain length of time before my job can change again?

Even if the new job has different minimum qualifications or a modified title description, job changes as part of the implementation are not considered promotions or demotions or even reclassifications.  Positions are being mapped to an entirely different career architecture, therefore, changes are part of project implementation.  Following implementation, positions can be reclassified at any time as appropriate, if duties have changed significantly enough to reflect a different title.

I have two employees who have similar jobs but one takes on much more responsibility than the other and has more years of service. Both are good employees. Why are they at the same level?

Positions are mapped to the structure based on the job itself, which includes the impact, scope and responsibility of the job as well as typical minimum requirements.  This job mapping is not a reflection of individual employee performance.

How will the project team collect information about how each department operates and the unique requirements for jobs being performed across the University in order to create the newly designed career framework?

There are several steps throughout the project where we will gather input from subject matter experts in order to capture the uniqueness of the various jobs across the University.   The project team will establish occupational panels comprised of campus representatives to help us understand and draft language reflective of the work being done in all units.

Pay & Benefits

Will my rate of pay change?

Pay will not be reduced as a result of the UCAP project. 

In order to bring salaries within range, some people may receive increases; however, no pay reductions will occur. UCAP will establish pay ranges for many jobs that have never been based on relevant market data. The project incorporates jobs previously included in the classified structure as well as appointed titles that have never had set pay ranges.

What about employees who have a salary above the new pay grade maximum - will their pay be reduced?

Employees who have a base salary above the pay range maximum will not receive a pay reduction; however, they will not be eligible for a base salary increase until the pay structure is adjusted to encompass the salary or until they receive a promotion to a job with a higher pay grade. 

Will the implementation of UCAP change my sick or vacation leave?

No, upon implementation, existing vacation and sick accrual rates and balances will not be reduced.

Will the implementation of UCAP change my retirement plan?

Retirement plan elections for existing employees will not change as a result of the UCAP project. 

Employees will be able to keep their existing retirement plan election (either Arizona State Retirement System or Optional Retirement System).

Will the implementation of UCAP change my other benefits?

No, other benefits are not expected to change as a result of UCAP.