CLASS STUDY AGR

CLASS STUDY WSDA Grain Program

4/16/18 UPDATE

Agriculture Grain Program Class Study - WSDA has done quite a bit of work on this and they are proceeding soon with the class study in grain. Teresa Parsons has been working with WSDA on process and we held our first meeting with the Employer on 2/21. The team for this meeting was Bob Adams, Tom Baxter and Rick Randall (The WSDA supplemental bargaining team). An initial communication to all grain members was sent out and on site work with the members to evaluate their duties is in progress. 

12/19/17 UPDATE 

WSDA has done quite a bit of work on this and they are proceeding soon with the class study in grain. Teresa Parsons has been working with WSDA on process and we held our first meeting with the Employer on 2/21/2018. The team for this meeting was Bob Adams, Tom Baxter and Rick Randall (The WSDA supplemental bargaining team). An initial communication to all grain members was sent out and on-site work with the members to evaluate their duties is in progress

How did we get here?

Following supplemental bargaining discussions between WFSE and WSDA in early 2016, WSDA committed to initiate a classification study for job classifications within the Grain Program. The goal of the study is to determine if existing job titles and pay fit the work being done at every level within the program.

What is happening now?

Following WFSE’s first meeting with WSDA on this study, all members within the Grain program should have received a memo on February 24, 2017 outlining the purpose of the study. Read or download the memo below. WSDA HR is visiting grain inspection sites throughout the state to collect information from members about the duties and responsibilities you perform. It is very important your voice is heard in this process; if you are not scheduled to work the day of the visit you can still provide input to the WSDA HR Classification and Compensation office.

I may be impacted, what should I do?

While this is in the very early stages, it is never too early to get educated and get involved! There are many resources available to you on the WFSE website. You can learn more about class studies, your contractual rights, and get updates on what is happening with the WSDA Grain Program classification study right here.

What are the next steps?

WFSE’s member team will continue to work with resource staff and the employer as this study progresses. Ultimately, if changes are proposed as a result of this study, formal notice of the intent to implement must be sent, which WFSE will respond to by filing a “demand to bargain.” This will ensure our Union has a say in the impacts of this study throughout the process. In addition, state agencies have their own process for submitting contract proposals to State Human Resources/OFM, which may result in bargaining over these issues during the next round of general government contract negotiations.

2/24/17

GRAIN PROGRAM CLASS STUDY MEMO

Grain Inspection Program employees:

In an effort to ensure all Grain Inspection Program employees are equally informed, I want to share with you the status of an agency collaboration with the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE). As you know, WFSE represents the classified positions in our program. Based on discussions at bargaining last year, the union and a few representative Grain employees asked the agency to commit to conducting a study on the work performed by our program employees. The goal of this review, commonly known as a "class study", is to determine if the existing Job titles and pay flt the work being done at every level.

The Grain employees working with WFSE specifically requested a comparison of our grain inspector pay structure to that of the USDA's grain inspectors. There was also concern about the loss of the unique classification identity ("Grain Inspectors" were abolished a few years ago) because the use of administrative Job classes renders our grain inspection job functions invisible In the state's salary survey.

Here are the job classifications within Grain that will be reviewed during the class study:

  • Program Assistant
  • Program Specialist 2, 3, 4, and 5
  • Agricultural Inspector 4

We will not review Program Coordinator positions as those duties appear to be truly administrative in nature and do not fall within the scope of this study.

The agency has agreed to conduct a class study this year and WFSE has agreed to assist us with some of the research related to the comparable pay structures in other states that serve as USDA Designated and Delegated partners. Here are some of the questions our Classification/Compensation team expect to have answered from this class study:

  • Is Grain's current pay structure appropriate? New information on the current grain labor market may help us determine this.
  • Is the current job classification structure efficiently structured or effective? Do we need new job classes? Do we need to resurrect some of our old job class titles? Or do we need to create a merger of existing classes to more appropriately describe the work performed?

Class studies cannot predict outcomes. What does this mean? It means that we may end up bringing back our old Grain Inspector Job titles or creating a new job class to best describe our work. The study may show that we're paid too much, paid appropriately, or paid less than others who do similar work. It's too soon to tell, and any impacts on pay will need to be vetted by State Human Resources and the agency, and then negotiated with WFSE.

Our agency Human Resources staff, specifically the team of Jennifer Wagner and Jen Graf, will conduct the class study. So If you're scheduled to participate in an interview on your job duties and to show them what you do and how you get it done, don't be alarmed as these meetings are informal. I've also attached the questions that our HR staff wiUbe asking you to answer. They will be gathering information for the class study from each of our locations throughout the next three months.

If you have any questions regarding the class study or the necessity of onslte visits, you can contact Jennifer Wagner at 360-902-2164 or [email protected] or your union representative.