University Staff Job Security Policy

  • Initiator:
  • Robin Van Harpen, Vice Chancellor, Finance & Administrative Affairs
  • Responsible Party:
  • Department of Human Resources

1. Purpose

To establish a general reference for job security provisions pertaining to University Staff.

2. Policy Background

Wis. Stat. § 36.115(2) requires the Board of Regents to develop personnel systems that are separate and distinct from the personnel system under Wis. Stat. Chapter 230. Effective July 1, 2015, the rules and practices from the State of Wisconsin personnel system regarding job security are no longer applicable to UW System University Staff. This operational policy provides the framework for job security for University Staff at UWM.

3. Policy

Any individual appointed to a University Staff position shall be required to serve a probationary period of at least six months in duration. The employer may designate a 12-month probationary period for Supervisors, Power Plant operations, Public Safety positions, and positions with work of a cyclical nature where the full range of duties would only be experienced over a full year.

The length of the probationary period must be identified upon hire. A probationary period may be reduced by as much as half the established duration if the employee is performing satisfactorily.

Probationary periods may be extended for up to six months upon approval of the UWM Department of Human Resources for the following reasons:

  1. If there was an extended, excused absence during the period, the probation may be extended by the length of the absence;
  2. If performance is improving but has not yet met expectations at or near the end of the probationary period;
  3. If the employee requests a disability accommodation at or near the end of the probationary period for a reason that was previously unknown but which may affect the employee’s ability to perform the duties.

There will be at least one performance evaluation with an employee while on a probationary period and one during any period of extension.

During the probationary period the work of the employee should be closely observed to determine if the employee is able to effectively carry out the assigned duties and responsibilities on a continuing basis. Any employee may be released from probation without the right of appeal during the probationary period. Such releases shall not be made on a discriminatory basis.

Once an employee successfully completes a probationary period, from that point forward the appointment will have an expectation of continued employment as long as there is sufficient need and funding for the position and as long as the employee’s performance remains acceptable. Discipline and dismissal of a University Staff member who has an expectation of continued employment may be imposed only for just cause. See the UWM University Staff Grievance Policy and Procedure for information about the grievance process.

For employees moving between jobs in the UW System, there is no guarantee of return to the original position for an individual who does not pass probation. However, on a permissive basis, the appointing authority may allow for an employee to return to a former position at the employer’s option. Candidates should be clearly informed of the terms and conditions of the probationary period at the time of offer.

University Staff appointments may also be made on a temporary or project basis. Please see UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1256, and UWM University Staff Temporary and Project Appointments Policy for further guidance on temporary and project appointments.

4. Contact Information

For information about the operation of this policy, contact the Human Resources Business Partner for your respective School, College, Division or Department, or the Department of Human Resources.

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