The benefits and drawbacks of REACH-UM

The University’s new on-line posting and hiring system, REACH-UM, was implemented over a month ago and most CUPE 3909 members have had some experience using it.  New and returning members have had to create accounts in order to apply for courses; positions are offered and accepted through REACH-UM; and once hired, new members must go through a “new hire checklist” to ensure that they have access to IDs, library cards, and emails, and that the Payroll office has all relevant information.

As a job search engine, REACH-UM is still difficult to manage.  A first search will bring up all CUPE positions at the U of M, student and sessional, as well as all support staff and managerial positions.  If you click on “quick job search” and click on either “Instructor” or “Teaching Assistant/Grader Markers”, you will find CUPE positions but sessional librarians and counsellors do not have a similar category.  The “advanced job search” allows for you to focus on a particular faculty and on one of 3 CUPE categories: “Instructor, Distance Ed Instructor, or TA/GM”.  The Local has spent several hours in consultation with Human Resources staff working on REACH-UM and will continue to work with the University to help refine searches in order to make REACH-UM a useful tool for users.

A positive result of the implementation of REACH-UM has been that postings have been much more consistent and there have been fewer mistakes.  In previous years, the Local routinely found postings that excluded important information such as number of credit hours, time slot, and days of work, making it difficult for applicants to confidently accept positions.  The new posting procedure for all departments has a series of required fields and these lapses are no longer a serious concern.  However, the Local has had to inform the University that qualifications for Instructor and Lecturer positions have mistakenly included a Master’s degree as a minimum requirement.  This may sometimes be true, but most teaching positions have a Master’s or PhD as a preferred qualification, not as a requirement.  Also, we occasionally need to report a mistake in the rate of pay.  When a serious change of this last type has to be made, the position must be reposted.  Another improvement over the previous posting procedures is that revised or reposted positions retain the same job posting number and are therefore easy to track.

Another positive change is that the University now posts awards on the Human Resources website under Results of Competitions.  Click on REACH-UM Support Managerial Results of Competitions to see Sessional/Unit 2 awards.  Student Academic positions have always been posted but this practice is new for Sessional positions.  These awards are posted according to the job posting number.  Click here to decipher REACH-UM’s CUPE job categories.

Please be sure to follow-up with your department during this whole process and phone the Human Resources Help Line 204 474 9400.  If you are concerned that you did not receive a position due to difficulties with REACH-UM, contact us immediately.