College Review Panel


Appeals Process Regarding Promotions and Salary Increases

The College Review Panel is comprised of no less than five and no more than seven UUP members elected to that position by members of the bargaining unit. The current members of the Panel are:

Andy Koenig

Fred Covelli

Frank Schimpfhauser

Cassandra Walker-Whiteside

Cindy Konovitz

Elizabeth Haremza

Katherine Ohms

The College Review Panel was established during collective bargaining by UUP and the State as a peer-review panel to hear appeals and make advisory recommendations to the campus President in cases where a supervisor in the professional employee’s chain-of command below the level of the campus President refuses or fails to grant the employee’s request for a promotion and/or salary increase. The College Review Panel is authorized to consider evidence brought to it by the employee, investigate the employee’s claim and make a recommendation directly to the campus President regarding the employee’s petition.

The College Review Panel is established under the terms of Appendix A-28 of the UUP-State Contract, in the Memorandum of Understanding Relating to a System of Promotion and Certain Salary Increases for Professional Employees (found at pp. 102-105 of the 2011-2016 UUP-State of NY contract book). Anyone considering applying for a promotion and/or salary increase is best advised to read this Memorandum of Understanding, and contact your UUP Chapter Office if you have any questions.

“Promotion” for purposes of a College Review Panel review means an increase in a professional employee’s basic annual salary accompanied by movement to a higher salary level with a change in title resulting from a permanent significant increase in the employee’s duties and responsibilities as a consequence of a permanent increase in the scope and complexity of function of the employee’s position. Think of this type of promotion as an “upgrade” from your current title to recognize that you are performing a matrix of duties that are appropriate to a title in a higher salary level.

An employee may apply for a salary increase without applying for a promotion. According to the Memorandum of Understanding, an employee who has been assigned a permanent and significant increase in duties and responsibilities, as demonstrated by the employee’s performance program, may apply for a salary increase provided that the employee first has first submitted a request for such a salary increase to the employee’s immediate supervisor and been denied at an organizational level below that of the campus President.

Before appealing to the College Review Panel for an “upgrade” promotion to a new SL rank and/or a salary increase, the employee must formally apply to his or her supervisor for a promotion or a salary increase.

Process:

There is NO timeline which specifies when applications for an “upgrade” promotion or a salary increase can be made. An employee can apply for an “upgrade” promotion or salary increase AT ANY TIME. Professional employees must furnish supporting documents or other information as part of the application. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Before applying for promotion or salary increase, be sure that your Performance Program is current and on file. The College Review Panel will also, at a minimum, need to see your next-most-recent Performance Program.
  2. It is your responsibility as the applicant to set forth the reasons for your application in a cover Memo to your supervisor, and include any supporting documentation. It is recommended that you label any supporting documents as “Appendix A,” “Appendix B,” etc. and that you reference those Appendices by their specific letter in your cover Memo when you set forth your reasons in support of your application. In other words, try to make it clear and easy for anyone reading your cover Memo to correlate your arguments with the supporting documents.
  3. Your cover Memo should note such factors as the specific changes in duties and responsibilities that you have incurred, the increase in scope and complexity of function (i.e., if you’re applying for an “upgrade” promotion), the level of autonomy in your position, and your level of supervisory responsibilities, if applicable. While the number of people that you supervise is not the sole criterion upon which management decides the merit of a request for promotion, it can be a significant factor. The general criteria for consideration for promotion are set forth in Appendix A-28 Memorandum of Understanding at page 103 (Effectiveness in performance; Mastery of specialization; Professional ability; Effectiveness in University service; and Continuing growth). However, those criteria are extremely broad, so you should also look to other sources when composing your arguments in support of your request. For example, in cases of an application for promotion to a title in a higher salary-level, you should also reference SUNY’s official job descriptions, local job postings and/or any other documentation that may be helpful in demonstrating how the matrix of duties you are currently performing have “outgrown” your current SL=level title, and are a more-appropriate “fit” in a higher title.
  4. If you are applying for a salary increase without a change in title, you will need to specify how you have been assigned a permanent and significant increase in duties and responsibilities, with specific reference to your performance programs.
  5. Supporting documentation must include at least your two most recent Performance Programs or as many as you feel are needed to demonstrate how your responsibilities have changed. It would also be helpful to list the general percentages of effort for each item within your most recent program.
  6. Supporting documentation can include items such as: evaluations written by the immediate or next level supervisor, letters of recommendation from colleagues, letters of commendation, organizational chart, or other items related to your request.

Your supervisor has 45 days in which to respond to your request. If the supervisor denies your request, or if the supervisor fails to respond within 45 days, the matter is considered ripe for appeal, and you may appeal to the College Review Panel. Moreover, an employee’s request for promotion or salary increase shall be regarded as “denied” at any organizational level below that of the campus President if the employee’s request is not acted upon within 45 calendar days of receipt by that organizational level. So , for example, if your supervisor supports your request, but your supervisor’s supervisor sits on the request and does not respond for 45 days after s/he receives your immediate supervisor’s positive recommendation, you can then appeal to the College Review Panel.

WHERE TO FILE AN APPEAL:
If your application has been denied, you can appeal to the College Review Panel to review your application. You should send a written request for review to HR.

Your request should state the reason(s) for your request, and should include your original application that you sent to your supervisor, the supervisor’s response (or supervisors’ responses) – if any – and your rebuttal arguments if you received any negative responses from any of your supervisors.

The College Review Panel will thoroughly review your request, and may meet with you if they so choose, before deciding upon a recommendation to the campus President. The Panel usually will not find it necessary to call witnesses, and may instead base its recommendation upon a review of the documentation submitted to it. If, for some reason, the Panel does not support the employee’s request, the Panel will advise the employee directly. Further appeal from a negative finding by the College Review Panel is not permitted.

If the Panel supports the employee’s request, it will send a letter to the campus President advising him of its recommendation and the reasons for its recommendation. It will provide additional documentation to the President, if requested. A copy of the Panel’s recommendation will also be sent to the employee. Under the terms of the Appendix A-28 Memorandum of Understanding, the campus President may promote or recommend for promotion, as the campus President’s scope of authority permits, any professional employee on the campus, and make upward adjustments in the salary of individual employees.

The campus President’s decision is due within 90 calendar days of his receipt of the Panel’s recommendation, and he must send his response to the employee and the College Review Panel. In the case of a request for promotion, the President’s decision is final, unless the employee claims that the President’s denial was arbitrary or capricious, in which case the employee may appeal from the President’s decision to an entity known as the University Review Board. The University Review Board consists of three SUNY managerial officials in Albany. If you are considering whether to appeal to the University Review Board from a negative determination by the campus President, please contact the UUP Chapter office at 829-2505 for guidance.

In the case of a request for a salary increase, the campus President’s decision is final; if the President denies the request, there is no appeal route available.

If the College Review Panel fails to support a request for promotion, or if it is turned down by the President, the petitioner may re-apply for consideration in 18 months, or sooner IF the employee’s Performance Program has been changed. There is no time limit on when an employee can re-apply for a salary increase after it has been denied.

If you have any questions, please contact your UUP Chapter office at 829-2505.