Compensation and Classification

Campus Address
121-11 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 11
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Merit Supervisory Exempt and Confidential Staff in Relation to Other University Staff

University staff work in several categories that serve to define their specific relationship to the university. Each category has specific rules, policies, and benefits associated with it.

Merit System

Two Merit systems were established under the Iowa Code in 1971 for employees in state government and Board of Regents institutions. These Merit systems are civil service systems in that they were established to assure fair and nonpartisan practices with respect to employment throughout state government. Their structure includes a system of rules and policies established through formal administrative rules procedures which address employment practices, job classifications, compensation, and grievance and layoff procedures. All staff employed within the Regents Merit system are paid on an hourly basis for time worked, consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In 1974, Iowa passed the Public Employment Relations Act, which gave public employees the right to organize for purposes of collective bargaining. Beginning in 1976, groups of Merit employees certified AFSCME as their exclusive representative in collective bargaining. Currently, most blue collar, security, technical, and clerical employees of the university are covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the State of Iowa and AFSCME. This contract defines the specific terms and conditions of employment for such staff, and takes precedence over the terms established in the Merit rules. On those issues not addressed in collective bargaining, the Merit rules still apply.

Two groups of employees were exempted from collective bargaining under the 1974 PERA. One group is made up of "confidential" employees, for this purpose defined as those in classifications contained in the bargaining unit, who work in a human resources office or who have access to information that may be used in negotiations. Also included in this group by statutory definition are people who have a "close continuing working relationship" with people associated with negotiating on behalf of the University. Confidential staff receive the same salary and vacation as other staff in classifications covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The university has extended the eligibility for the Flexible Benefits Program to confidential staff.

The other group exempted from the 1974 PERA are supervisory employees. Merit system supervisory exempt staff have been defined by their job classification as supervisory under the PERA and are exempt from collective bargaining because their responsibilities typically require them to exercise supervisory responsibilities over other Merit staff. This determination is not made by individual positions and assignments, but rather, on the basis of the classification and the typical duties or responsibilities of that classification. Supervisory Merit staff are governed exclusively by the Merit system rules. Supervisory Merit staff accrue vacation and sick leave in the same fashion as other Merit system staff. The university has extended the eligibility for the Flexible Benefits Program to supervisory exempt staff.

Professional and Scientific

Regent Professional and Scientific employees are defined apart from the Regents Merit system based upon the professional, scientific, or administrative nature of their work. They have separate employee benefit programs and are not covered by Merit system rules. Each Regent institution maintains its own set of policies and practices in regard to their professional staff, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents. Such is reflected in the University of Iowa policy defining the relationship of Professional and Scientific staff with the university. This policy defines various types of professional appointments, including temporary, term, probationary, and career status, and at-will designations.

Issues that Regents Merit Rules Address

Below is a topical index of the Merit Rules:

SectionTopic Areas
3.25-3.26Classification including new classifications and revisions
3.37-3.39Compensation Plan including entrance salaries, merit increases, pay on promotion, special assignment, lead status, shift differential, on-call
3.50-3.56Applications and Examinations including certification, testing of applicants
3.67-3.70Certification and Selection including eligibility lists, selection of employees
3.81-3.90Appointments and Probation including temporary, emergency, trainee and permanent appointment definitions and probationary periods
3.101-3.104Promotions, Demotions, Transfers, and Terminations including reduction in force (layoff) procedures
3.115-3.116Disciplinary Actions including suspension and discharge
3.127-3.129Grievances and Appeals including review of position classification and grievance procedures
3.140-3.151Vacations & Leave of Absence -- including Holidays, Military, Emergency, and Funeral Leave