Labor Relations

Meeting Summary: May 13, 2014

Introductory Presentation

Cheryl Scott delivered a presentation introducing Workday and explaining why and how it is being implemented at the UW.

Key Components:

Context – UW’s current payroll system was implemented in 1982, and since then, technology and the University have changed a great deal. Limited access to HR and payroll data has been a hindrance to UW’s strategic and organizational planning, making questions such as “which employees work at a given location?” and “what is the average turnover rate?” very difficult to answer.

Vision and Objectives – Workday will greatly improve support for an array of critical HR and payroll functions across the UW. Workday will allow UW to standardize its processes everywhere it makes sense to do so, eliminating redundancies and barriers between the disparate systems and practices that are currently utilized.

Timeline – Implementation officially began on March 3, 2014, which started a seven-week planning phase. The six-month design phase began in late April, which will consist of numerous planning sessions and workshops involving hundreds of representatives from across the University. The system will go live in late-December 2015 to support the first payroll of 2016.

Project Scope and Impacts – This project will impact the entire UW workforce:

  • Staff, faculty, and student employees will have a new interface to access earning statements, leave balances, and time off requests, to change direct deposits and W2 withholdings, and to change personal information such as benefits selections.
  • Managers and supervisors will be able to more easily review employee schedules, approve-time off requests, and track employee credentials.

For staff with HR/payroll processing responsibilities, some administrative work will likely shift and in some cases go away. Primarily, however, it is anticipated that Workday will relieve employees of certain administrative burdens and allow more time to focus on higher level duties.

Project Benefits – Workday will greatly increase the breadth of data available and the speed at which it can be accessed. Additionally, information will be more accurate and timely, as Workday tracks data in real-time. Workday operates on a powerful software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology platform that is upgraded regularly and holds data securely.

Added benefits that Workday can accommodate include:

  • Calculating pay premiums automatically as they are earned, and applying them to the subsequent paycheck.
  • Automating workflows, with built-in approvals and automatic notifications.
  • Online employee benefits enrollment.

Cost and Funding – The anticipated cost for this project is roughly $68 million. All costs will be paid by the Provost during the March 2014 – June 2016 implementation phase. A costing subcommittee is currently working on a plan for departments and units to take on some of these costs over a 10-year period beginning in June of 2016.

Next Steps

Questions that arose throughout this discussion can be found in the HR/P Labor Relations Frequently Asked Questions. The next HR/P Labor Discussion is scheduled for May 27. Union participation and input in these meetings is strongly encouraged, and the University is providing paid release time for designated employees to attend.