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   from the issue of October 13, 2005

NU Values program takes shape


NU Values program takes shape

A system that upgrades the UNL perspective on office/service and managerial/professional employee pay and performance is nearing completion.

According to Bruce Currin, assistant vice chancellor for Human Resources, the NU Values system will be 80 percent complete by November, with the final 20 percent implemented by winter of 2006.

"NU Values is a system of organizing our jobs that gives employees in those jobs a better defined wage range," Currin said. "This new system gives Human Resources and the users more flexibility. It is more understandable and open than the current system. And, it tunes itself into the market to make us more aware of how well our jobs pay when compared with those outside of the university."

The change emerged from a study completed in the mid 1990s. Currin said that study, compiled by Hewitt Associates, examined and compared employee relationships at all four NU campuses. The result determined that NU's employee classification system - which used an office/service system established in the late 1970s, and a managerial/professional system organized in late 1980s - was outdated.

"The result really wasn't a surprise," Currin said. "But it did give us the opportunity to take a look at something we could do better."

Through NU Values, positions at UNL are organized into job families. The families are groupings of jobs related by common vocations or professions. Listings in job families are similar in that they require similar knowledge; have a continuum of knowledge, skills and abilities that represent a potential career path from the lowest to the highest level job; display the core competencies in a similar way; and have similar market-competitive pay characteristics.

Currin said there are 15 job families that encompass all positions at UNL.

Individual job families outline a broad range of pay that provide room for employee growth. Besides recognizing incremental and significant changes in duties, pay will also be based on competency growth and contributions by the employee.

Under the previous system, jobs at UNL were organized into a series of pay grades based upon a single set of criteria.

Incumbent pay and pay grades were adjusted annually and positions were individually evaluated for reclassification when job duties changed.

Currin explained that job families are used widely in the private sector. He said the change allows the university to be more competitive by enabling Human Resources to align family pay scales with labor market pay rates.

"Employees will notice no immediate changes," Currin said. "Changes will be more evident in future actions for upgrades, performance, etc.

"Also, when we advertise for position openings, we will no longer list pay grades."

Currin cautioned that no employee's individual pay will be decreased and no one should expect a pay increase as an immediate result of the NU Values system.

"NU Values is a framework for career pathes, training and development and performance engagement," Currin said. "It is an open, flexible system that presents employees and supervisors with clear objectives and paths for career growth.

"It empowers our employees to increase their responsibility for job accomplishments."

For more information on the NU Values system, go to Human Resources online and look for NU Values under Salary/Pay Plan and Position Information.

NU Values info

Human Resources Brown Bag Lunch Series

"Transitioning to NU Values"

• Noon, Oct. 18, Nebraska Union
• Noon, Oct. 25, East Union



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NU Values program takes shape
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World-renowned mathematician to offer public lecture Oct. 21