Job Reclassification

People and jobs are not static. They change constantly; sometimes gradually and sometimes rapidly. In order to keep up with these changes, job descriptions should be reviewed periodically and revised to reflect current responsibilities. Whenever there have been substantive, measurable changes in a job’s content and responsibilities, which cause the job to appear inappropriately classified, a reclassification review should be initiated. These job reviews may be requested by a union member, a supervisor, or an HR officer at anytime. HUCTW representatives can also be available to help or advise a union member at any stage of the process.

Local Reclassification Process

As a part of the job review process, a union member will typically fill out a Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ), which asks the member to describe his/her job duties in detail. During this process, union members sometimes find it useful to review the generic job descriptions for their job family, available on Harvie. Once union member has completed the form, the PDQ is usually signed by the member’s supervisor in order to indicate that the supervisor has read it. The PDQ is then submitted to the local HR office for review.

Ordinarily, the reclassification decision should take no longer than four weeks from the time it is submitted to a local HR office. In cases where an employee has made the request, the personnel officer or supervisor should keep her or him informed of the review’s status, including a general sense of when a decision can be expected.

Normally, a salary increase should be granted when a person is promoted or reclassified to a higher grade. The amount of the increase should reflect the employee’s skills and experience in relation to those required for the position, and in relation to those of others who work in the unit. It should also reflect the difference in salary level of the old and new job. Most often, changes in classification status and/or compensation are retroactive to the date of PDQ submission.

Joint Reclassification Process

If at the end of the local process, a union member still doesn’t feel that their job is appropriately classified, he/she may request the assistance of the University Joint Reclassification Committee (UJRC). The UJRC is composed of equal numbers of union and management representatives from across Harvard. Requests for UJRC involvement can be made through the HUCTW office.

Two representatives from the UJRC, one union and one management, will be assigned to the union’s member’s case. Together this pair will interview the relevant parties as well as review the PDQ and any other pertinent documents. Once they have concluded their review, the pair will present their findings to the UJRC and Committee will come to a consensus about the reclassification request. The UJRC’s decision is binding on all parties.

Job Reclassification Workshops

Workshops on the job reclassification process are offered several times a year (typically nine times a year, alternating between the Cambridge and Longwood campuses). These workshops are useful for anyone interested in thinking about a job reclassification or upgrade. Workshop attendees will learn directly from union leaders who participate on the UJRC; topics covered include the University’s classification system, tips/strategies for navigating your reclassification effort and likely outcomes. Each participant will receive a customized packet of information. If you are interested in attending a reclassification workshop, please write to and you will invited to the next session.

Please reach out to the HUCTW Office if you have any questions about the job reclassification process (Tel: 617-661-8289, Email:

Job Reclassification Forms and Resources