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May 10, 2004

Team offers preview of online payroll system

By Louise Donahue

Paper timesheets are on the way out, and an online time and attendance system is on the way in, an Executive Budget Committee team explained to staff members at a May 5 Staff Advisory Board forum.

The presentation made at the forum is available on the Staff Advisory Board web site at http://sab.ucsc.edu/events.html

A vendor to handle the paperless system will probably be selected by the end of May, with a pilot program to test the new system planned for September, said time and attendance project manager Peter McMillan, computing manager for the Office of Planning and Analysis.

The time and attendance team is one of many campuswide project teams addressing business functions, information technology, resource management, and academic issues as part of UCSC’s budget-driven “transformation” efforts.

Staff members at the forum were eager to know which firm had been selected, but that decision is now up to the Business Transformation Steering Committee, and also must undergo a financial analysis, McMillan explained.

Three finalists have given daylong demonstrations at UCSC. “Through this process, we’ve found we have a single vendor in mind,” said McMillan.

While UCSC’s pay system must cover everyone from campus firefighters to researchers in Antarctica—and work with Linux, Macintosh, and PCs—“we firmly believe our manual processes can be automated,” said team member Doug Carlson, assistant dean of Social Sciences. “I don’t think our pay rules are uniquely complex,” he said, noting that the system the team favors is able to incorporate such features as winter closure. “It’s sufficiently flexible to serve the entire campus,” he said.

The online system will have several advantages, including the ability to check vacation accruals well in advance, get access to up-to-date student work-study balances, the elimination of shadow systems, and a streamlined system for those with multiple appointments.

Arrangements for those without computer access at work have been considered. These could include additional workstations, kiosks, or an interactive voice-response system, team members said.

A key question at the forum was how many clerical positions will be eliminated by the change. This is not within the team’s scope, McMillan said. While cost savings are expected, he predicted such savings would be likely only after the first year.

Several other questions, including what would happen if an employee failed to fill out an online pay record—or a supervisor failed to approve pay—were policy decisions that will have to be determined by the steering committee, said project team members.

McMillan noted that the new plan will be tried on a pilot group, possibly in Business and Administrative Services, then gradually phased in around campus. Feedback from others wanting to be the first to use the system, or having other comments, is welcome at peterm@ucsc.edu.

Related links:

Human Resources Transformation team offers update for staff

Program takes new approach to preventing injuries, easing employees' return to work

Staff Human Resources expands 'transition services' to assist budget-related job changes

Newsletter provides information on IT transformation project

Budget impact candidly discussed at Chancellor's Staff Forum

Effort under way to consolidate information technology on campus

Campus team tackles UCSC’s workers’ comp crisis

Currents article: Changes will streamline purchasing on campus

Currents article: Panel fields questions about efforts to streamline HR and payroll

Currents article: Staff forum focuses on HR transformation project; second forum to take place November 17

Currents article: Forum on budget process November 5

Currents article: Chancellor says budget planning will yield strategic cost cutting

Currents article: Campus 'transformation' begins with info technology consolidation

Executive Budget Committee

UCSC Budget Update site

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