The PSC encourages all of its members – full-time and part-time teaching and non-teaching faculty, Higher Education Officers and College Lab Technicians – to review their personal personnel file at least once a year. To encourage making this review a regular practice, the union is organizing its second annual “Review Your Personnel File Week” this year, from April 20-24, 2015.
When it comes to your career and your professional rights, accurate, complete and up-to-date information contained in your personnel personal file is crucial.
Article 19 of the contract states that you have two personnel files at the college: the “personal personnel” file and the “administration” file. Under the union contract, you have the right to review your personal personnel file, not the administration file. (The administration file is available only to those involved in decisions such as an employee’s reappointment, promotion, certification or tenure.)
Your personal personnel file should include your academic and professional accomplishments at the college. Observation reports, annual evaluations, materials related to professional performance and documents submitted at your request are all included in the personal file.
Decisions about things like reappointment, promotion, certification and tenure are made, in part, based on the contents of your personal personnel file – so this file plays an important part in your career. You can request copies of materials that are in your personal file, and it’s a good idea to request a copy of any document that you don’t already have for your own records.
“If there is a problem with your file, it’s usually obvious,” says Renée Lasher, a PSC contract enforcement coordinator. “For example, it should contain all your evaluations. If you find an error or see that something is missing, it’s usually not hard to get it corrected.” What’s in your personal personnel file should come as no surprise, since management is required by the contract to let you review and initial materials before they are placed in your file. You have the right to rebut any document placed in your file. It’s important that you’ve previously seen all the documents in your file, and that any notes that you made to those documents have been included. If any document has been included in the file without your knowledge, ask for a copy. Note on the copy that this is the first time you’re seeing it and record the date, and contact your chapter grievance counselor. (More details on reviewing your personal personnel file are on the PSC website.)
Finding Your File
How to find and arrange to review your personal personnel file varies depending on your title and your campus. Some college offices may require you to make an appointment; others may allow you immediate access. Some may have someone present while you look at your file – which is permissible as long as it doesn’t interfere with your review in any way.
Specifics on how to find your personal personnel file at your college will be listed in the “Our Rights” section of the PSC website in early April. If you have any questions about the process, or any concerns about your file, you can contact your PSC chapter chair or chapter grievance counselor, or call the PSC office at 212-354-1252.
While Review your Personnel File Week is a good reminder to check your file each year, you can request to review your file at any time.