TO: Campus Community
FR: Cindy Doherty, Director, Academic Personnel
Cynthia Señeriz, Director, Human Resources
RE: President Drake begins consultation process on possible expanded curtailment program
UC President Drake has announced that consideration is underway to implement a new systemwide program to expand existing curtailment periods to a minimum of five curtailment days to achieve additional operational and salary savings. It was stated that no final decisions have been made yet, but consultation is underway. President Drake is seeking written feedback regarding the proposed program. The details of the proposed program are provided below. As part of the consultative process, you are invited to submit comments before November 9th as follows:
- Comments from academic employees may be submitted to Cindy Doherty, Academic Personnel Director at email@example.com
- Comments from staff employees may be submitted to Cynthia Seneriz, Human Resources Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will aggregate and transmit these comments to the Office of the President to assist the President in deciding on a course of action.
Proposed 2020-21 Curtailment Program
As is the case for the rest of the nation, the University is being impacted by the global pandemic. In addition to challenges in healthcare, education, and other UC operations, we have faced significant economic challenges.
In order to sustain our core mission and purpose, we must make difficult decisions to maintain financial solvency and position the University for future recovery.
This document outlines a proposal to reduce personnel costs through the curtailment of work hours across the University. Each year the University of California observes a minimum curtailment period during the winter break, generally between the holiday period and New Year’s. This year, we are contemplating an expanded minimum curtailment period in order to address our financial challenges, while minimizing impacts to employees.
As we evaluate options to address UC’s financial situation, we are keeping the following values in mind:
· We will take a measured approach. We will only move forward with a curtailment expansion after implementing other prudent financial savings measures.
· We intend to protect as many jobs as possible. By taking measured actions early, we hope to stave off the need for furloughs and temporary or permanent layoffs.
· Impacts will be progressive based on income level. Higher-compensated employees will carry a relatively larger percentage of the burden through a tiered plan that protects more vulnerable, lower-wage employees.
· This is a moment for shared action. The plan describes a systemwide application that impacts every campus and location in some way.
· We will maintain flexibility to minimize disruption. Essential services to campuses, medical centers and core employee customer service functions that must operate year round will continue during curtailments.
The proposed plan that follows is being shared as part of a consultation process with UC stakeholders to ensure we hear a range of perspectives. No decisions have been made. Rather, we are sharing these plans to hear from the UC community, including the Academic Senate, Regents and others as we contemplate a minimum five days of curtailment this year.
Curtailment Plan Details
The proposed curtailment program described below is intended for consideration and discussion. A final decision will come after a 30-day period of consultation with internal UC stakeholders.
Curtailment refers to a period of leave, typically unpaid, instituted in connection with the suspension of certain operations for defined periods of time, including but not limited to periods of time for energy/cost savings; transitional, seasonal, or holiday periods in the academic calendar; or the occurrence of emergency situations that adversely affect normal University operations.
References to “salary” and “pay” below are intended to refer to base pay and similar forms of regular pay and stipends unless otherwise exempted. For academic appointees, this would include the scale-based salary, any off-scale, and the above scale salary. For faculty in the Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP), it may include the X and X’components, but not the negotiated Y and Z components.
Implementation would be contingent upon making all necessary modifications to UCPath to avoid unexpected payroll disruptions.
Under the program, all campuses and the Office of the President would be expected to designate a minimum of five curtailment days (excluding holidays) in fiscal year 2020-21.
· Curtailment periods would be scheduled in a manner so as not to adversely affect instruction or clinical operations and may not necessarily be confined to the holiday period, based on the needs and preferences of our campuses or health centers.
· The program would be progressive in the amount of paid and unpaid time off used by a given employee during the minimum five days of curtailment, with higher paid employees shouldering more of the cost. Employees would be grouped into salary tiers, with a different combination of paid and unpaid time off applying to each tier.
· Employees in the lowest income tier would be permitted to use accrued vacation days for at least five days of the curtailment period. (Employees with insufficient vacation accrual balances would be permitted to use vacation credits prior to their actual accrual.) Higher-earning employees would be permitted to use accrued vacation or other leave for a portion of the curtailment period to varying degrees, based on their income level. Employees in the highest income tier would be required to take at least five curtailment days as unpaid time off and could not use accrued vacation or other paid time off.
· For employees without adequate paid time off, the University would grant a grace period to cover the time until paid time off is accrued.
· Campuses would identify essential workers who would be exempt from the program – e.g., medical/clinical staff, or staff deemed essential for the health and safety of students and employees, such as staff needed for COVID deep-cleaning of facilities.
· Unless otherwise exempted, all staff and fiscal-year academic personnel would participate in the program.
· For academic-year faculty, the program would be implemented as an equivalent reduction in salary (based on the salary tiers established under the program) but would not result in additional paid or unpaid time off.
· The University would seek changes to the University of California Retirement Plan or other policies, as needed, to avoid negatively impacting employee retirement benefits.
· It will be challenging for some employees to take full advantage of the curtailment days due to the nature of their work obligations. This is particularly true for those faculty whose obligations related to instruction, research, and public service do not conform to standard conventions of days “at work” or “off work.”
· Exempt employees will not be allowed to perform any work during the curtailment period in order to comply with provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
· Depending on the curtailment periods, changes to the academic calendar may be required.