The following information is intended for convenient reference only for individuals and departments wishing to review occupied Merit positions for a possible career shift into a P&S classification. The Merit to P&S classification review process is governed by the University of Iowa Operations Manual. There are multiple factors to consider when initiating this type of request including but not limited to: hours worked; salary; vacation accruals; and FLSA exemption status.
When the duties and responsibilities of a position substantially differ from those established in the Board of Regents general position description for the current classification, the position may be considered for a career shift to a P&S classification.
“Career shift” is the process initiated by a regular employee, supervisor or department representative requesting review of the classification of the employee's position.
“Classification appeal” is the act of contesting the classification or reclassification of a position as determined by the college/org. The decision made by University Human Resources is not subject to appeal.
A staff member, supervisor, or department/administrative unit initiates a Merit to P&S classification change request by preparing the required Career Development Form (docx). The form must specify:
- the employee’s name
- the employee’s current classification
- the appropriate target classification
- specific duties and responsibilities of the position
In addition, for a career shift request into either an Administrative Services Coordinator (PAA1) or Support Services Specialist (PVD1) classification, an FLSA Administrative Exemption Test will need to be completed if the department would like to designate the position as exempt from FLSA.
Additional comments may be submitted on a department memo (optional). All documentation will be attached to a Change of Status – P&S Classification Change (Career Shift). The effective date of a Merit to P&S classification change shall be effective on the 1st day of the month following University Human Resources approval.
In order to help determine the proper classification, you may review the key areas of responsibility for each P&S classification.
A Merit to P&S classification change request should be reviewed at three stages before advancing to Compensation and Classification:
- The employee/position's supervisor
- The departmental representative
- The employee's org/college senior HR representative
In the course of reviewing the classification change reclassification request, Compensation and Classification may refer the information to a review committee or request additional information through a desk audit (personal interview of employee and/or supervisor).
The Merit to P&S classification change request then advances to the Board of Regents for final approval.
Salary adjustments upon reclassification are governed by the P&S Career Shift policies and procedures.
Pay plans for Merit and P&S can be viewed within the Pay Plans Directory.
The impact on an individual’s benefits is an important consideration when considering a move from Merit to P&S. Please note that each individual’s situation is different and you are encouraged to contact a Benefits Specialist for specific information. You are also encouraged to visit the Benefits website for more general information. A benefits calculator is also offered by the Benefits Office which is used to help determine the cost of a P&S benefits package.
Specific benefits considerations include:
- Vacation accruals
- 16 hours per month (24 days per year) for a full-time P&S employee
- Merit accruals vary based on years of service as follows:
- 0-4 years = 6.67 hours per month (10 days per year)
- 5-11 years = 10 hours per month (15 days per year)
- 12-19 years = 13.33 hours per month (20 days per year)
- 20-24 years = 14.67 hours per month (22 days per year)
- 25+ years = 16.67 hours per month (25 days per year)
- Sick leave accruals
- 12 hours per month (18 days per year) for full-time Merit and P&S employees
- Accrued Comp Time
- When moving from a Merit position to a P&S exempt position, all unused Regular and Holiday comp time will be paid during the next Payroll cycle.
- When moving from a Merit position to an SEIU exempt/nonexempt position, all unused Regular and Holiday comp time will be paid during the next Payroll cycle.
- When moving from a Merit position to a P&S nonexempt position in a different department, all unused Regular comp time will be paid during the next Payroll cycle.
- When moving from a Merit position to a P&S nonexempt position within the same department, comp time will not be impacted.
- The maximum number of comp time hours accrued for Merit and P&S nonexempt employees is 160 hours. Any unused comp time is paid out following the end of the fiscal year.
- There is no maximum number of comp time hours accrued for SEIU staff. Compensatory time accrued but not used will be posted for payment four months after the month in which it was earned.
- Banked Time
- In the event the employee moves into a position with a maximum vacation accrual that is less than their current available vacation hours, the additional hours will be placed into a banked time account. These hours can only be used after the vacation balance is zero or they will be paid out if the employee leaves the University.
- Retirement benefits
- University Retirement Plan: cannot be changed once selected at time of hire
- Benefits when retiring as a Merit vs. P&S employee should be discussed with a Benefits Specialist
Hours Worked, FLSA Status and Position Expectations
An employee in a professional position is generally considered exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Professional staff will consistently exercise independent judgment, make decisions on matters of significance, operate independently and perform tasks above and beyond those described in Merit classifications.
The University of Iowa reviews classifications and individual positions in regards to FLSA status. Exempt positions are not eligible for overtime benefits and the number of hours worked in a week may fluctuate but this does not impact the employee’s pay. The University of Iowa Human Resource department reserves the right to conduct desk audits in order to remain compliant with FLSA designations. A position moving from Merit to P&S will usually be considered exempt from FLSA.
If a merit employee with permanent status and at least four years of service is moved to a P&S position that is eligible for career status, the employee will serve one year in probationary status before becoming eligible for career status, except as provided in III-3.1 b(3) and c(2) in the Operations Manual. If a merit employee with less than four years of service is moved to a P&S position that is eligible for career status, the employee will be required to serve the full probationary period.
In the event of a reduction in force, there are different rights and processes in Merit and P&S.
- Reduction in force and reassignment process for AFSCME covered staff
- Furlough program information for P&S staff
For more information on Merit to P&S Classification Reviews, contact Compensation and Classification.