Inside Iowa State
May 21, 1999
P&S staff urged to speak up
by Anne Dolan
Professional and scientific employees should "stop sighing and walking away" when they believe classification or compensation guidelines put them at a disadvantage, said Carla Espinoza, assistant vice president for human resource services, during the May P&S Council meeting. She encouraged council members to talk to her about situations as they arise.
"It's going to take a little activism. Right now, P&S have no voice," she said. "Ask questions, make grievances. Don't throw it on the table and expect someone will take care of it."
But Espinoza also told the council that there's a lot of misunderstanding on campus of how the P&S classification/compensation system works. Some of the perceptions that the system is "unfair" are due to misunderstanding. She said she plans to organize education sessions in the next year to help employees better understand the system.
Espinoza acknowledged that there are some weaknesses in the P&S classification system -- such as requiring a degree for all P&S positions or ISU's preference for setting salary ranges based on market value versus the Board of Regents' mandate to consider only comparable worth (which ignores market variables such as gender). Some of the salary issues won't stabilize until the classification system is revised, she said.
Employee teams have studied and written reports on the P&S classification system -- and another specifically on P&S research positions -- and those reports currently are being reviewed by ISU administrators.
During the open forum portion of the meeting, four teams that received student recruitment and retention grants this year presented summaries of their programs. They included:
- Career Trek, an early recruitment strategy for ninth and 10th grade students in northwest Iowa that promotes ISU Extension as a source for college information, particularly through its "Workforce Preparation" initiative.
- Each One Reach One, a mentoring program between minority students in the colleges of Education and Family and Consumer Sciences and minority junior high and high school students in Des Moines and Sioux City.
- An outreach project, coordinated by the College of Engineering and the Admissions Office, that delivered, to 10 high schools via the Iowa Communications Network, experiments that apply math and science principles to real- world situations. The project also included a series of ICN- delivered sessions about Iowa State for prospective students and their parents.
- Wallace Cup, a community-building competition among the houses of Wallace Residence Hall aimed at improving student satisfaction with their residence hall.
In other business:
- Council president Rob Bowers reported council representatives have shared their plans with interim provost Richard Seagrave for a survey of P&S employees to gauge what issues are important and on what the council should be spending its time in the next few years. Bowers said Seagrave was supportive of the project and will look into options for funding the survey.
- The council elected officers for the 1999-2000 year. They are president Danette Kenne, economics department (Ag); vice president Kerry Dixon, facilities management; secretary-treasurer Kevin Brown, news service; and at-large executive committee members Jody Sanders, contracts and grants administration; and Josie Six, Ag Experiment Station administration.
The next council meeting begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 3, in 244 Memorial Union.
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