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June 8, 1995

Decision still pending on reduced contracts

A final decision on the University's much touted plan for a voluntary reduced staff work year of nine or 10 months is still pending.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Darlene Lewis said the policy continues to await the approval of senior administration and the signature of Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor.

The target date for putting the plan into effect is July 1. Lewis declined to speculate whether the policy will be approved by then. "I don't want to make a prediction," she said. "But it is still a viable option. I am very optimistic." If the policy is signed and goes into effect on July 1, staff who wish to take advantage of it will be able, after reaching agreement with their supervisor, to sign up for the program beginning July 1.

Once a date is set for a staff member to begin the reduced work year, his or her salary will be cut to reflect the change. Nobody, though, will be able to take off July and August of this year, and then return in September to a reduced work year and corresponding salary reduction.

"It will be a rolling forward plan," Lewis said. "The reduced pay would start when agreed upon, and then whenever a person's 10-month period or nine-month period is up, that is when the person would be eligible to take time off." For example, Lewis explained, if a staff member and his or her supervisor agree to time off in June, July and August of next year, the reduced pay period for that nine-month work year probably would begin Sept. 1, 1995.

The proposed policy effective date of July 1 has nothing to do when a staff member starts his or her reduced work year. That will be left to the staff member involved and his or her supervisor to determine.

"Let's say you wanted to take off another period, April, May and June, you might want to start your reduced salary period on July 1, so you could have your nine months in by April," Lewis said. "You would sort of have to back into the time. It is something that would have to be negotiated." Lewis added that all types of schedule variations could be worked out between a staff member and his or her supervisor, including time off at other times of the year beside the summer.

"But no one would get the time off before they've worked at least some time at a reduced salary," she said.

–Mike Sajna

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