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HR/Payroll Modernization Labor Discussions

Through the HR/Payroll Modernization project, the UW is replacing its 32-year-old payroll system with a single, comprehensive human resources/payroll ("HR/P") system called Workday. Workday will offer a more uniform, streamlined, and reliable experience for employees across the University, and is planned to launch in late-December 2015.

In anticipation of this transition, UW has invited all unions representing University employees to a series of meetings to discuss the features and potential implications of this new system.

Curtis Colvin
Director of Recruiting, UW Medicine Human Resources
Peter Denis
Assistant Vice President, Labor Relations
A.J. Hartman
Communications Specialist, Labor Relations
Joni Kirk
Communications Manager, HR/Payroll Modernization
Cheryl Scott
Assistant Vice President, HR/Payroll Modernization

Meeting Summary: July 22, 2014

Status of Project

UW provided an overview of the current status of the HR/P Modernization project. The project is currently in the middle of the design phase, which consists of three periods:

  1. Initial design (completed)
  2. Detail design sessions (currently in its third week)
  3. Design reviews (slated to begin in late-September)

The design phase will conclude on October 31.

Accruals – UW introduced potential future changes to how leave is accrued. UW explained that while employees currently accrue on a monthly basis, in an actual time reporting method, leave balances will accrue based on eligible hours (e.g., hours worked and other paid times off). Under this method, sick leave and vacation leave would be available sooner, at the end of each pay period, but the accrual would vary based on how much the employee worked/used paid time off.

Union Engagement

Informational Sessions: While this was the last of the scheduled informational sessions, the parties agreed on the need to schedule additional sessions to discuss how employees will accrue leave and what the University's official work week will be with Workday.

Notice and Demands to Bargain: UW announced its intent to initiate discussions and bargaining over issues specific to each of the unions in the near future.

Next Steps

Questions that have arisen throughout these discussions can be found in the HR/P Labor Relations Frequently Asked Questions, and full details on the project are located on the HR/Payroll Modernization website. The date of the next HR/P Labor Discussion is currently being determined. Union participation and input in these meetings is strongly encouraged, and the University is providing paid release time for designated employees to attend.


Meeting Summary: July 8, 2014

Introduction

UW performed a walk-through of the topics and documents discussed to date.

Transitioning Effectively

UW stressed that with the implementation date of Workday defined, it is crucial in the time leading up to it to identify and address all issues and concerns of the unions as well as the UW employees they represent. The implications of HR/P Modernization are different for each union, but some of the upcoming changes will certainly have tangible impacts on employees.

An overriding concern for UW is how these changes will affect the lives of individual employees, and it is a top priority to ensure an effective and thoughtful transition that is mindful of this.

Bargaining the Impacts

UW reaffirmed its commitment to engage each of the unions and uphold its bargaining obligations where applicable. UW confirmed that it will provide each union with a demand to bargain in the coming weeks.

Next Steps

Questions that have arisen throughout these discussions can be found in the HR/P Labor Relations Frequently Asked Questions, and full details on the project are located on the HR/Payroll Modernization website. The next HR/P Labor Discussion is scheduled for July 22. Union participation and input in these meetings is strongly encouraged, and the University is providing paid release time for designated employees to attend.


Meeting Summary: June 24, 2014

Biweekly Pay Cycle Demonstration

UW walked through draft visual calendars demonstrating the transition from the current semi-monthly pay cycle to a future biweekly pay cycle:

  • Transition: The Biweekly Pay Cycle at a Glance summarizes semi-monthly paydays in 2015, biweekly paydays in 2016, and a brief transition pay period between the two cycles in December of 2015.
  • Future State: The 2016-2017 Payroll Calendar details pertinent dates on a biweekly cycle in 2016 and 2017, including paydays, end of pay periods, and timesheet approval deadlines.

The Transition from Semi-monthly to Biweekly

UW emphasized the importance of ensuring a smooth transition from semi-monthly to biweekly pay cycles. UW outlined the following pertinent dates, noting that these dates may change depending on decisions made during the project design phase:

  • Last Semi-Monthly Payday: Employees will receive their standard semi-monthly paycheck on December 24, covering the pay period of December 1-15, 2015.
  • First Biweekly Payday: First pay date on the new cycle will be January 8, 2016, covering the period of December 20 through January 2.
  • Bridging the Gap: Employees in a pay status between December 16 and 19 will be paid for these days via a "short" check, likely on December 29, 2015.

Employee Impacts

Smaller Paychecks more Frequently – A biweekly pay cycle is comprised of 26 pay periods instead of the current 24. Employees will receive the same annual take-home pay, just divided across more paychecks. In other words, shorter pay periods mean smaller individual paychecks that arrive more frequently.

Maintained Predictability – A biweekly pay cycle brings added consistency, as each pay period contains 14 days. While the amount per paycheck will be less than on the semi-monthly cycle, there is still predictability for bills and automatic payments: the first paycheck of the month will never come later than the 14th of the month, and second will never come later than the 28th of the month.

Timely Premiums – Though pay periods will be shorter, HR/P Modernization will also result in a shorter lag time from the end of a pay period to the corresponding payday. This means that premiums earned during a pay period will actually be paid on the subsequent pay date.

Individualized Examples – UW provided a Pay Cycle Transition Plan, using specific union-represented UW job classes as examples to demonstrate what the transition could look like for individual employees.

Next Steps

Questions that have arisen throughout these discussions can be found in the HR/P Labor Relations Frequently Asked Questions, and full details on the project are located on the HR/Payroll Modernization website. The next HR/P Labor Discussion is scheduled for July 8. Union participation and input in these meetings is strongly encouraged, and the University is providing paid release time for designated employees to attend.


Helpful Resources

To ensure that all stakeholders are well-informed, the following materials will be maintained and continually updated:

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