January 16, 2015
President Coltrane and acting Senior Vice President and Provost Frances Bronet sent the following e-mail to faculty and staff.
The University of Oregon is committed to providing a work environment in which all employees receive regular, honest performance evaluations. Timely evaluations not only assist employees in meeting their professional goals, but also contribute to building a workforce which provides the best possible service to our students and community. Therefore, we are writing to let all supervisors know about our efforts to ensure that classified employees are being provided regular feedback and annual performance reviews.
Article 54 of the SEIU contract requires that all SEIU employees receive a performance evaluation by their immediate supervisor on an annual basis, and that the supervisor and employee review the employee's position description on an annual basis:
- Article 54(1) - "Individual position descriptions shall be reduced to writing and delineate the duties currently assigned to an employee's position...The individual position description shall be subject to at least an annual review with the employee."
- Article 54(2) - "Every employee shall receive a performance evaluation annually by the employee's eligibility date. The employee's performance shall be evaluated by the immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall discuss the performance evaluation with the employee."
For some time, we have failed to live up to our responsibilities under the contract, as a significant percentage of UO SEIU employees have not been evaluated on an annual basis or had their position description reviewed. While the UO is not the only university in Oregon facing this issue, it is unacceptable that we are failing to meet this basic requirement.
The evaluation of employees is not just important because it is a contractual requirement. Open and honest annual evaluations provide regular, formal feedback to employees about their performance, and are a critical tool for supervisors to improve the quality of the UO's workforce and the services we provide to our students and community. Annual review of position descriptions helps to ensure that employees are aware of their job duties and responsibilities. Timely performance evaluations and position description reviews with employees by immediate supervisors is a baseline expectation for UO leaders going forward.
To help OAs/supervisors meet this requirement, UO will establish a system to communicate monthly reminders to departments alerting them to classified performance evaluation/position description reviews due in the following month, and will track completion rates in each department. This system should be in operation by the end of January 2015. By the conclusion of winter quarter 2015, timely completion of employee performance evaluations/position description reviews will be made a measurable part of each OA's performance review. The university will continue to evaluate rates of completion and make any necessary adjustments to our efforts. While this system will be specific to classified employees, the university expects supervisors of all other employee groups to provide regular performance reviews as well.
The UO is dedicated to taking a leadership position on this issue and significantly increasing compliance with this contractual and managerial requirement. As the new year progresses, you will receive further communication on this subject and greater details on our compliance efforts.
If you have questions about this information, please contact Wes Fowler, director of Employee and Labor Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-346-2965.