The PSC encourages all of its members – full-time and part-time teaching and non-teaching faculty, Higher Education Officers and College Lab Technicians series – to review their personal personnel file at least once a year. To help make this review an annual practice, the union launched Review Your Personnel File Week this year in the first full week of May.
When it comes to your career and your professional rights, accurate, complete and up-to-date information 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 on your 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 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.
Douglas Medina, associate director of Baruch College’s honors program, checked his personal personnel file a few years ago and found some problems. “I discovered that previous evaluations were not in my file,” Medina told Clarion. “Also, there was a form in my file folder that belonged to someone else.”
This May, because of the union’s reminder, Medina decided to check his file again. “The HR representative responded right away and managed to get me an appointment within a few days. I was happy to see that my file had been updated as I’d requested. It’s now complete, with all my evaluations and with different actions that have been taken related to my title,” said Medina. “I’m glad I checked, and I am encouraging colleagues at Baruch to do the same.”
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. Also contact your chapter grievance counselor. (More details on reviewing your personal personnel file are on the PSC website.
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.
Finding Your File
Specifics on how to find your personal personnel file at your college are listed on the union website at psc-cuny.org/our-rights/time-review-your-personnel-file. If you come across any concerns or problems 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.