Have a question about the University Personnel System?  Review the online questions and answers by clicking on the topics on the left side of the screen.  If you can’t find an answer, send your questions to ups@uwsa.edu.

General Questions

Section 36.115(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes requires that the new personnel systems include a (1) civil service system, (2) a grievance procedure that addresses employee terminations, (3) and provisions that address employee discipline and workplace safety.

The budget bill (Act 32 of 2011) created s. 36.115, Wisconsin Statutes, that  directs the UW System Board of Regents to develop a new UW System personnel system and also directs the UW-Madison chancellor to develop a new personnel system for UW-Madison employees.  These two parallel UW systems will be “separate and distinct” from the Chapter 230 of the Wisconsin Statutes system.The development of these personnel systems is one of the flexibilities from State of Wisconsin oversight that the UW System requested in budget bill deliberations.  

A personnel system is a structure of activities and methods of doing things that enable the attraction, development, and retention of talent focused on the mission of the University.  Included in the personnel system are human resource strategies and planning for staffing, compensation, training, performance management, diversity, and legal compliance.

A civil service system generally means employment in government with such positions filled on merit as a result of competitive examinations or screening.  Employment in civil service brings with it certain rights regarding job security; namely, that in most civil service appointments discipline or termination can only occur where there is just cause and after due process has been provided.

One thing that will change is that the new personnel systems will not be administered in any way by the State of Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations (OSER). Other things that will change are those processes that the UW can control and that have been reported as a problem or limitation in the current personnel system. As those changes are identified they will be communicated with stakeholders through this website and other appropriate means.

There will be several ways to provide input in the process. The first step in this process was the current state assessment that each institution completed. Each UW institution will be asked to formalize a communication plan to ensure an adequate means to make opinions known. There will be an opportunity on this website to provide input and ask questions (send questions or ideas to ups@uwsa.edu). Working groups and teams are being formed around various topics, and each UW institution was asked to provide nominations of employees from all stakeholder groups to participate in working groups. There will be ongoing opportunities for all university employees to be heard.

Section 36.115(5), Wisconsin Statutes, specifies that the new personnel systems shall be implemented on July 1, 2013.

The Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) must approve both new personnel systems before they are implemented.

Yes. The real and perceived differences in treatment of classified and unclassified employees within the UW System was one of the issues raised most often in the current state assessment of the personnel system in place now and the issue will be closely reviewed.

No. There may be budgetary considerations independent of the personnel system development that will need to be considered, but the implementation of the personnel systems will not require layoffs.


No. Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) pension benefits, and other benefits administered by Employee Trust Funds (ETF), will not change as a result of new personnel system provisions.

There are 2 separate sick leave conversion programs: the Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credit (ASLCC) program and the Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion Credit (SHICC) program.

  1. The ASLCC program is provided for in sections 40.05(4)(b) & (bc), Wisconsin Statutes, and administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (DETF).  There is no intent to change this program as a result of the implementation of a new personnel system.
  2. The SHICC program is also administered by the DETF, but it is not authorized by state statute.  Rather, it is provided for in the compensation plan.  There is no intent to change this program as a result of the implementation of a new personnel system.

Yes. Currently the eligibility and accrual of leave benefits, as well as carryover and banking provisions, are inconsistent between the classified and unclassified staff.  As part of the analysis of our current policies, this will be reviewed.

No.  As part of the mandated Health Insurance Options Feasibility Study, this topic was addressed in the October, 2011 report.  Study topic #2 beginning on page 10 provides a good and clear explanation of the issue.  The conclusion is "the actuary found that the cost factor for employee+spouse contracts to be 3.8% higher than those for all other family groupings combined, including employee+spouse+dependents."  In other words, if the employee+spouse coverage level were available, the monthly premium for this coverage level would likely be higher than the monthly premium for family coverage.

Collective Bargaining and Shared Governance

Yes. Under the applicable law, UW System classified employees who currently have the right to form unions, and who have the right to bargain over wages, will continue to have those rights.  Classified employees in bargaining units that did not seek recertification will not engage in collective bargaining unless their union becomes recertified.

No.  The Faculty and Academic Staff Labor Relations Act (FASLRA) was repealed and, therefore, faculty and academic staff are not currently allowed to form unions that have the ability to collectively bargain with the university. Employees can still form associations or unions, but those groups will not have the right or ability to collectively bargain.


Yes. UW System has different compensation tools for different types of employment categories. These tools range from methods that provide pay flexibility for managers to more rigid structures that do not allow managers to negotiate starting pay or make needed adjustments. Work teams developing the new personnel systems will review compensation practices (internally and externally) and recommend options that will ensure the new personnel system implements pay approaches that are competitive and meet the needs of each institution.

Yes. The current state assessment pointed out that career progression in the current personnel system is inadequate.  It is an issue that will need to be addressed, but how the new personnel systems will allow for more career development opportunities is unknown at this time.

Employment Environment

All UW System employees have been and will continue to be State of Wisconsin employees with the State benefit package. The current personnel system for unclassified employees is administered by the UW System, but the personnel system for classified employees is administered by the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER). Effective July 1, 2013, all UW employees will have their personnel system administered by the UW System, and the State (OSER) will no longer have administrative purview over UW employees.

No. Due process protections will still be in place for all university employees.

Yes. Job security considerations for academic staff are outlined in UPG 3.05 and are defined in each institution's academic staff personnel policies and procedures. The statute directing that new personnel systems be developed does not change existing authority.

Hiring Process

Yes. Many have voiced dissatisfaction with the current exam process for classified recruitments, and it will be examined as the new personnel systems are developed.  It is important to note that civil service protections – such as merit-based hiring practices – will not be discarded.  Whether current policy and practices regarding examinations should be changed has not yet been determined. 

Yes. Many have expressed dissatisfaction with the current hiring process for classified staff.  It is viewed as an unnecessarily arduous process and will be closely analyzed as the new personnel structures are developed.  Exactly how classified recruitment processes will change is unknown at this time but, some change is likely.  

Yes. As with the classified staff recruitment process, many have voiced dissatisfaction with the unclassified recruitment process.  It is important to note that the unclassified staff recruitment process is defined by each institution per UWS 3.02 for faculty and UWS 10.01 for academic staff.  Institutions should take this opportunity to review its own unclassified staff recruitment processes and procedures.

Titling and Classification

Yes. Current titles and classifications will be reviewed to ensure they accurately reflect the duties being performed.

Maybe. All titles and classifications will be reviewed to ensure that the title as accurately as possible describes the work being performed.