Wednesday, May 22

Hiring freeze increases workload for employees


The campus-wide hiring freeze implemented two years ago by
Chancellor Albert Carnesale has since had a considerable impact on
the working environment for many employees at UCLA.

Change has become more apparent as the hiring freeze has caused
departments to keep vacant job positions available longer.

“It appears to us that departments are keeping positions
open for a longer period of time than in the past when they
recruit, perhaps to help generate temporary salary savings,”
said Lubbe Levin, assistant vice chancellor of campus human
resources.

Because of decisions to keep positions open, increased workloads
have ensued.

“People are noticing that positions that were open by
people retiring and people leaving are not being filled, resulting
in an increased workload,” said Claudia Horning, local
recording secretary for the Charles E. Young Research Library and
president of the Coalition of University Employees.

Some departments, however, see the hiring freeze as an
opportunity to promote current workers instead of recruiting
outside work.

“Departments are giving strong consideration to promoting
and expanding the responsibilities of existing staff where
qualified people are already on board for job vacancies that
occur,” Levin said.

“We are encouraging departments to support the development
and promotion of qualified internal candidates,” she
said.

Students have been affected by the hiring freeze as well.

Horning said students, who work extensively at the university,
are not being hired as assistants, which also contributes to the
increased workload.

The effects of the hiring freeze were not immediately felt.

“For the first year, departments would have to get
exceptions before they could post job openings. In the first year,
those exceptions were routinely given,” Horning said.

UCLA implemented a partial hiring freeze in November 2001
because of two executive orders made by Gov. Gray Davis stemming
from California’s economic downturn.

A letter issued by Carnesale at that time stated career
positions, UCLA Health Systems positions and consultants fell in
the category of positions targeted by the hiring freeze.

The partial hiring freeze does not directly affect teaching and
academic administration positions.

Posts critical to patient care, jobs paid by work-study funds
and positions that help professors with their research have also
not been affected.

“Hiring new people requires the agreement of the deans and
vice-chancellors of individual departments … only if it’s
necessary,” said Steve Olsen, vice chancellor of budget and
finance.

Though Davis’ orders called for the statewide hiring
freeze to be in effect until June 2003, the hiring freeze at UCLA
will continue beyond June.

“There is no plan to lift the freeze, although exceptions
to the freeze based on the clear business necessity will be
possible,” Levin said.

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