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About Civil Service

Definition of Civil Service Heading link

In the broadest sense of the phrase, Civil Service is a type of personnel management system used to manage an organization’s workforce. Under Civil Service guidelines, public-sector employees are individuals employed on the basis of professional merit. Often, such merit is identified through competitive examination, which includes credential assessment. Among the stated purposes of Civil Service in Illinois is “to provide equal opportunity for all, equal pay for equal work, and career opportunities comparable to those in business and industry, which will attract outstanding personnel to the State university service.”

UIC non-academic employees fall under the jurisdiction of the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS). The Civil Service System provides requirements for human resources practices to all Illinois campuses. The System Office creates procedures focused on keeping the employment process fair, legal and ethical for all candidates.

Established in Illinois in 1952, the Civil Service system is empowered to prescribe the range of compensation, qualifications and duties for positions under its jurisdiction. Additionally, the System Office may establish other conditions of employment which an employer and employee representatives have agreed upon as fair and equitable. Civil Service positions may be in clerical, crafts and trades, managerial, paraprofessional, professional service, and technical areas. Civil Service titles include, but are not limited to:

  • Accountant
  • Building Custodian
  • Business Manager
  • Carpenter
  • Computer Programmer
  • Driver
  • Electrician
  • Food Service Worker
  • Hospital Service Worker
  • Police Officer
  • Registered Nurse
  • Veterinary Technician

Individuals interested in Civil Service employment must:

  • Be a resident of the state of Illinois.
  • Have a current electronic application of file with the University.
  • Qualify for and pass appropriate Civil Service examinations.

Within UIC Human Resources the Compensation unit is responsible for the development and maintenance of job descriptions, salary structure development, and statutory compliance. Subject Matter Experts and staff members within Compensation are tasked with conducting job analysis to make the proper classification determination. Compensation works to maintain compliance with the Civil Service Classification Plan for positions determined to be civil service.

Job Review Process Heading link

Civil Service jobs are typically reviewed in the following manner:

An employee or department manager can request a face-to-face job review by submitting an email request to, placing “Desk Audit” in the subject line. A copy of the employee’s job description and a current organization chart will be required. Prior to the actual job review, a preliminary review of the case will be conducted with the requestor to outline the process and potential outcome.

If an employee has been functioning in an expanded capacity, department managers can request to reclassify (promotion) or reallocate (lateral) an employee at any time as long as the employee is not on probation and the position is not classified as a craft or trade role. For these roles, the System Office requires that a vacancy be established and that applicants compete for the vacant position by examination.

The following guidelines pertain to the actual process:

  1. Job Descriptions are prepared by department supervisors and identify the currently assigned duties and responsibilities reflecting the majority of the position’s work time. Please note that the Class Spec is not the job description; it is a job document that describes typical duties of a given title.
  2. Job Descriptions are to be completed using the official UIC Job Description template.
  3. Job descriptions shall be prepared, signed and dated by the position’s incumbent. The incumbent’s supervisor should subsequently review, sign, and date the document indicating agreement as to the assigned duties.
  4. Once the employee is aware of the department’s intention to change the classification, the employee should make sure that their online application is updated. To do this, click on the following link: When the application is updated, the employee should talk with someone from the UIC Staffing Office to discuss the minimum qualification required for taking the appropriate exam.
  5. Once the employee has taken the exam, passes the test and is placed on the register, the department can proceed with the reclassification process. An approved Position Authorization can be submitted along with an updated Job Description via Hire Touch. UIC Compensation will review the reclassification request to ensure that it meets Civil Service System standards and that the job description accurately reflects the new duties.
  6. If the job description does not match the classification chosen, UIC Compensation will recommend a different title to the department and recommend that the employee contact the Staffing Office regarding a different exam.
  7. When submitting the request, departments can choose to provide a salary increase for each reclassification. The amount to be given is based upon Civil Service policies and rules, which require a minimum of 4% and as much as 9.9% or whatever is mandated by bargaining contracts. In special cases employees are allowed to receive more with proper Administration approval. In these cases, departments should obtain approval through UIC Compensation.
  8. If the change is lateral no salary change is expected. In special cases where external market conditions warrant an increase additional approval may be obtained through UIC Compensation.