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Staff Senate hears details of performance-evaluation process

By Chris Pugh

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 01 - August 27, 1998

The 1998 performance-evaluation process was the topic for discussion when Dennis Eavey, one of the Human Resources' managers in Personnel, was the guest speaker at the Staff Senate meeting Thursday, Aug. 20. Eavey reminded the senators present that the process must be completed by October 1. (Please see accompanying memo.)
Eavey said that the wage rate will increase 3.67 percent across the board while the minimum and maximum of the salaried pay scale will increase 2.25 percent. Eavey said the scale will actually slide up. An employee at step 4 may stay at step 4 and actually receive a 2.25 percent increase, he said.
No increases will be given except when based on performance. To get a one-step increase an employee must meet expectations, which means he or she would stay at the same step but his or her earnings would go up 2.25 percent.
Ratings of 1 or 2 (consistently exceeds or often exceeds expectations) would get a two-step increase or actually go up 4.55 percent, Eavey said, adding that only one actual step would be taken on the scale. He gave the example of someone at step 4 going to step 5 but earning 4.55 percent more. Bonuses will be paid to the 40 some people who are currently at the top of the scale if they get a rating of 1 or 2.
Probationary increases are re-instated, Eavey said. After about seven months anyone hired between April 25 and November 24 is eligible for a one-step increase. Anyone hired on or after November 24 will have to wait to see what the General Assembly does next year, Eavey said, adding that all increases for performance (not probationary) will be effective November 25 (paid out December 16).
The Appropriations Act defines that neither the Department of Planning and Budget nor the Department of Training and Personnel shall constrain scores or payouts, Eavey said. They cannot "rank" people with high ratings to trim the number of increases given.
While the state appropriated amounts to provide an overall 3.67-percent increase for classified salaried employees state wide, the budget received by each agency will be based on actual performance-evaluation ratings. The 3.67 percent was a projection based on previous years' ratings. If many agencies rate higher, then some agencies will have to fund the difference between the amount provided by the state and the total salary increases. "The advice we are giving the departments is `Do an honest rating,'" he said.
In other business, the senate elected Kathryn Young to serve on the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies and Marge Dellers to serve on the Commission on Classified Staff Affairs.
The senate confirmed "Partners in Shared Governance" as a motto and began the process to have the phrase recognized as a trademark by using a TM designation whenever the phrase is used. The senate also plans to register the phrase with the state.
A survey to be mailed directly to state employee's homes from Governor James Gilmore was also discussed. Senator Cindy Harrison, who is a member of the board of the Virginia Government Employees Association (VGEA), said the VGEA board was involved in the planning stages of the survey.
Harrison said her contacts in Richmond indicated that the governor was "absolutely in earnest" in wanting to know state employees' feelings. She also said the surveys must be returned to Richmond by whatever due date is indicated. Surveys returning late "will not be counted."
The senate again discussed a letter of support for Staff Senate from President Paul Torgersen. That letter is scheduled to be sent out around September 1, said Senate Secretary Joy Thorn.