Montana University System Staff Association

Bonnie White, Chair
Student Health Service
Montana State University-Bozeman
Bozeman, MT 59717
406 994 2311

February 12, 2004

Dear Regents,

At the November Board of Regents’ Meeting, during the time scheduled for presentations from classified staff, you will remember Regents Hur and Semmens asking three questions regarding the MAP Program. At the time, the MSU-Bozeman Classified Employees Personnel Advisory Committee (CEPAC) representatives did not feel sufficiently prepared to give accurate answers. We afterwards approached Regent Semmens with the promise of a written response, once we had researched the issues more fully.

As we reported at the Regents’ meeting, the MSU-Bozeman CEPAC had already set a goal for 2003/04 of better understanding MAP and all that it entails, to facilitate communication between everyone involved in the Program (staff, supervisors, administrators, President Gamble and the Board of Regents) and to help bring about improvement in the procedure and rewards. A meeting was already slated, with Personnel and Payroll Services, with this goal in mind, and CEPAC was discussing ways in which to obtain employee feedback.

Hence, we undertook to combine researching your questions with our pre-existing goal, in the form of an on-line survey. We sought input from Personnel and Payroll Services in the compilation of the questionnaire, ensuring the accuracy of the Program details. We gave separate emphasis to each of the four major components of the MAP Program (Classification, Recruitment, Flexible Pay Options, and Performance Evaluation). The numerical data and all the textual responses were provided to the CEPAC membership and to Personnel and Payroll Services. Annotations were added later (as per the survey summary document now attached) with the unanimous agreement of the CEPAC membership and Personnel and Payroll Services that they are a fair representation of the numerical and textual data received. The full text of comments are available at

Having reviewed the survey outcomes with Personnel and Payroll, and with classified employees themselves, CEPAC now feels appropriately informed and able to address your questions:

Question One: Can the Regents assume that the noticeable reduction in e-mailed complaints about MAP is an indication of the staff’s acceptance of the Program?

CEPAC’s survey was administered during Finals Week and into the winter break. Demographical information offered by the respondents indicates that people from a good cross section of the potential MAP community participated. Comments were generally meaningful and constructive, offered in a well thought out manner. Thirty nine percent of the possible total responded to the survey. CEPAC feels that this quality of response speaks for itself: the staff feels strongly about the MAP Program. Based on the numbers responding to the survey and their responses, it would be our conclusion that employees still have a concern for MAP and/or its specific components and its application.

Question Two: Do employees view achievement pay as part of their negotiated salary?

We asked this question specifically. Seventy-five percent answered “no.” The survey outcomes send two strong messages, however. Firstly, that one half of one percent is an inadequate amount of achievement pay. Secondly, that achievement pay is not an acceptable substitute for a cost of living raise.

Question Three: Do employees generally feel that MAP is “OK”?

The survey demonstrates a good awareness, and a high degree of interest, in each of the four components of the MAP Program, although understanding of the Classification component is not correspondingly strong. There are supportive comments for MAP – either in part, or as a whole. However, the responses largely identify the Performance Evaluation component as the area in most need of change. Not a single respondent voiced resistance to the principle of being evaluated. Rather, employees requested change, to make the process meaningful to both themselves and their employer. Personnel and Payroll Services’ efforts to improve the Program to date are acknowledged, and some constructive feedback is offered with respect to further fine tuning.

Since administering the survey, CEPAC has met with Personnel and Payroll Services, and with President Gamble, and we are in agreement over how to proceed with this undertaking. From the outset, CEPAC has seen its role as that of collector and disseminator of information, forwarding the outcomes of the survey to those in a position to bring about appropriate change, but not to advocate for it. We are delighted at the cooperative and enthusiastic nature of our campus administration’s response to this project, and assure the Board of Regents that the issues raised in the survey as a whole will be pursued through the appropriate channels.

We appreciate the opportunity to assist the Board of Regents in this matter. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.


Bonnie White

Signed by Bonnie White, CEPAC Chair, on behalf of the Committee:

Eileen Baker Matthew Blazicevich
Ray Byerly Sara France, Secretary
Ellen Huber Daniel McGuire
Robert O’Driscoll, Vice Chair Richard Patera
Sharon Pielaet Clara Sprague

Enc: Numerical Data with Annotations

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