CUPA-HR Public Policy Statement
Approved by the CUPA-HR Board of Directors on December 5, 2014
This document provides a framework for CUPA-HR’s public policy advocacy efforts. This framework helps the President and CEO and the Chief Government Relations Officer manage strategic and day-to-day activities and leverage collaborations and partnerships with other associations/ organizations, and it guides the work and considerations of the government relations team and the public policy committee.
- In General – Workforce policy should strive to:
- Protect employees from exploitation and discrimination and promote transparency and consistency in the workplace; provided that policy measures be narrowly tailored to address a specific and documented problem and designed to minimize compliance and administrative burdens, confusion, unintended consequences and unnecessary interference with an employer’s ability to manage its operations.
- Support and encourage employer efforts to provide benefits that enhance employees’ health and wellness, retirement security, job flexibility, skills development, and work-life balance.
- Facilitate, rather than impede, employer and employee adjustments to changes in the workplace as a result of technological developments, demographics, globalization, national security needs and other factors.
- Promote education and immigration policies that ensure the U.S. higher education system remains among the best in the world.
- Involve stakeholders in the legislative and regulatory process by providing meaningful opportunities to review proposals prior to Congressional or Regulatory action and creating opportunities for stakeholder participation via listening sessions, hearings, mark-ups, and public notice and comment periods.
- Ensure that the laws, regulations and guidance are clearly and narrowly drafted.
- Make compliance information publicly available through the Internet and other means.
- Support outreach efforts and regular communications by agencies to stakeholders.
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) – CUPA-HR is committed to diversity, inclusion and equitable practices as a means to achieving excellence in higher education. Human resource decisions should be based on merit, not factors unrelated to a person’s ability to perform his or her job. New workplace laws or regulations, however, necessarily create additional administrative and compliance burdens and, if not drafted carefully, can be difficult to implement, overly burdensome, and fraught with unintended consequences. As a result, CUPA-HR only supports initiatives that are narrowly tailored to remedy documented discrimination in the workplace and carefully drafted to minimize burdens, confusion and unintended consequences.
- Workplace Flexibility – Public policy should encourage employers to consider workplace flexibility with respect to work hours and work location and minimize any legal barriers to providing such flexibility, including mandates that may impose undue restrictions on hours worked and methods of compensation. Such arrangements can improve work-life balance, reduce lost time do to commuting, and promote employment opportunities for older workers, the disabled, and those with family or other obligations outside of work.
- Student Workers – Public policy should encourage colleges and universities to provide students with opportunities to work on campus, while also recognizing that the relationship between institutions and students is primarily academic. Students’ purpose for attending a college or university is to receive an education, and the funds that students receive for on-campus work provides students with financial support for the continuation of their degree progress and an avenue for developing skills.
- Unionized Workforce – Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees employees the right to organize and collectively bargain or to refrain from doing so. CUPA-HR supports policy that preserves Section 7 rights by permitting employees to vote privately and confidentially after both unions and employers have had a fair opportunity to inform employees about the possible advantages and disadvantages of union representation, provided the policy also places limits on coercion during the election process. CUPA-HR also believes that parties to a contract are in the best position to determine the terms and conditions that will result in long-term positive outcomes for the employer and it employees. Consequently, CUPA-HR supports policy that permits parties to negotiate a contract freely. Where collective bargaining exists, CUPA-HR supports policy that encourages recognition of cohesive rather than fragmented bargaining units that do not unnecessarily exclude similarly-situated employees, and that recognize the realities of managing a workplace.
- Contractor Relationships – Public policy should not impede colleges’ and universities’ use of outside subcontractors and vendors when doing so will increase value and improve experiences for students. To this end, federal law should consider colleges and universities “joint employers” under federal law with another organization or business only if both organizations share direct control over workers’ terms and conditions of employment.