USA members requesting a Classification Appeal to a higher graded position can receive one-on-one assistance from the USA Classification Committee, who generously volunteer their time and talents to help navigate the position appeal process.

Out of Title Work – OTW –  Temporary Work Assignment compensation requests are increasingly common for employees who have taken on significantly altered duties; notably, in areas struggling to fill higher-graded USA and/or PSU positions.

Classification Appeal – Position Appeal – Upgrades” title=”APPENDIX D_REV 2023

Dozens of members remain at a standstill in the classification appeal process; many others have been working with HR colleagues within their departments and colleges. A disproportionate number of department-initiated upgrades result in transfers *out* of the USA unit, rather than utilizing state titles in higher grades that should be available in Amherst as they are on other campuses. The backlog in HR/Talent Compensation continues well into the Spring semester. USA, PSU and UUU leaders have been diligent in demanding action and compensatory relief.

The Classification Appeal form should be completed as the first step to begin a formal request for a position appeal. Contact the USA office or Classification Chair, Christine Langlois <> for information and resources.

A USA  rep who will work with you to prepare the appeal form and once submitted to the Talent Compensation team, help members  prepare for their “desk audit” interview.

HR contact info and resources – updated March 2023

Classification and Compensation Services insures the integrity and fairness of the university’s classification and compensation structure. The team is responsible for working with units to support pay equity for UMass employees. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Offering guidance on writing position descriptions
  • Participating in various compensation surveys
  • Auditing systems for competitive and fair compensation practices
  • Overseeing salary program administration
  • Maintaining the university’s classification structures
  • Reviewing minimum qualifications before posting to attract diverse candidate and broaden the candidate pool
  • Approving starting salaries for new hires
  • Approving temporary pay adjustments for employees providing vacancy coverage

More detailed information can be found in the menu. Please submit your questions and requests for service from Compensation through Salesforce.

View our staff in the HR Directory.

State Titles in Effect 2021

When you’re ready to move forward, submit the Classification Appeal Forms to the team of compensation analysts:  Please remember to cc the union when you submit the initial form.

List of Interview Questions

Form 30 Preparation Guidance

Supervisory Descriptions

Note:  If the new duties you perform are temporary, then you should be filing for out-of-title work, especially if you’ve been assigned work that is normally done by someone in a higher classification. 

The process of reclassifying your position is driven by state law.  This means it’s your right as a employee of the State of Massachusetts. For this reason, members should file the appeal themselves rather than have the department send in the appeal.  When your department asks for the upgrade, the state law does not apply and you may not even be asked for a desk audit.  When you request the upgrade, the process is the same for the department.

It is possible for a group of members who have the exact same job to appeal as a group.  One or two of you should act as spokesperson for the group with all forms filed together.


  • Make a list of the duties you perform, listing them from the most important to the least important and concentrating on the complexity of your position. Assess what percent of your time is spent performing the particular duties.  Find/request a copy of the current Form 30 for your position and make notes about any changes and those items that are not accurately reflected in your current position.
  • Select an authorized job title that you’d like to appeal to. If your duties don’t fit into any of the job specifications, members may be assigned a rep from our Classification Committee. You cannot ask for a title that is not authorized for use at UMass Amherst. For instance, you cannot ask for a title that you have seen at UMass Medical or another UMass campus/center. If your job is unique and fits with a title that is in use  at another school, please contact the USA office.  
  • Fill out the appeal form. Please send a copy to the USA Office (120 Hampshire House)
  • Talent Acquisition is located on the 3rd floor of Bartlett Hall 
  • Open Monday – Friday, Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
  • e-mail
  • Talent Acquistion Consultant Assignments

Some questions to ponder as you prepare:

How much autonomy do you have in performing your job?
Who supervises you or reviews your work?
Are there unique characteristics of your job?  Specialized training?
How many people do you directly supervise?
Do you participate in planning or policy setting as part of your job?
Do you work closely with other people or independently?
Do you make decisions all day without supervisor consent?
Are you responsible for certain things from beginning to end?
What are your IT responsibilities?
Do you create, revise or implement office procedures?

  • Once your appeal is received, a classification analyst will call to schedule an interview.  The interview will last approximately one hour. It is an interview about your job and the duties you perform.  This is not about you as an employee, nor is it an evaluation.  The interviewer does not sit at your desk and watch you work; but will ask questions about the work you do.  You may invite someone to accompany you.
  • You will receive a list of questions from the classification analyst that will help you to prepare yourself for the interview.  You will also be asked to think about your job duties in percentages and to describe your job in one sentence.
  • If you are not ready for the interview, be honest with them about this.  They will accommodate you and do the interview at a later date.
  • After the interview, an interview guide will be sent to you. This is an abbreviated written summary of what was discussed during the interview.  You will be sent a copy to review and sign.
  • You should review the guide very carefully when you receive it. Important details can be omitted.  If you disagree with what was written, make your comments on the guide. Sign it after you are finished, keep a copy for your records and return the original to classification analyst.
  • After a review is completed, you will receive a copy of a Non-Management Audit Form from Human Resources. This is a form which indicates whether the University supports your appeal.
  • If your appeal is approved, your department will initiate the paperwork and you will receive the pay increase. You will remain at the same step on the salary schedule.  Any retroactive pay goes back to the Sunday preceding receipt of the appeal form in the Human Resources Office. Contact the USA Office immediately if you do not receive your increase.


If your appeal is approved and you did NOT get the title you asked for, it is possible to appeal this decision.  Appealing this decision does not reject the title that Human Resources approved for your position, but it will delay the upgrade until your appeal is finished.

For state funded:  If your appeal is NOT approved, you may appeal this to the next level in Human Resources on campus, and then to the Human Resources Division for the state.  You may then appeal to the Civil Services Commission of the other appeals are not in your favor.  The MTA will pay the filing fee for this and will assign someone to help you with your appeal.  The CSC now holds appeals in Springfield.

For trust-funded:  If your appeal is NOT approved, you may request a hearing to argue your case.  You may not appeal to the Human Resources Division or to the CSC if you’re trust-funded.


  • You must carefully prepare your case. It is important to express the scope of responsibility of your job. This means stressing the amount of autonomy/authority you have in your job, as well as any supervisory components.   Volume of work is not compensable by classification – just the type and complexity of work you do.
  • Keep in mind that you should try to prove that +50% of your duties fall into the higher graded specification.
  • Your supervisor will be asked for an organizational chart, a current Form 30, and a letter stating whether or not they support the reclassification and why.  This is your supervisor’s only part in this.
  • The Form 30 is a management tool.  The interviewer will request your current Form 30 from management but will collect additional information about your job directly from you during the interview.  It is NOT necessary for you to prepare a new Form 30 unless you are asked by your supervisor and you should request to be part of writing your Form 30.  Remember, it’s the job you’re doing and you know it best.
  • Good organization is extremely important when preparing your case. It is a good idea to write down your job duties and how you perform them.  Leaving them to memory may result in leaving out important information.
  • If you know someone is doing similar work, you may request a copy of their Form 30 to assist you with your appeal.  Please be reasonable with the amount of Form 30s that you request.