Indiana University Indiana University

Indiana University

 

Policies for Support Staff
Represented by CWA, Local 4730 at Bloomington and Northwest

Reduction in Force
CWA 13.2

Revised July 1, 2010

Employees covered by this policy
This policy applies to all Support Staff at IU Bloomington and Northwest.

A. Introduction

  1. A reduction in force (RIF) is a curtailment of the workforce ordered by university administration. A reduction may arise for reasons of, but not limited to, the following: budget, lack of work, reorganization, or reduction of staff positions beyond the employee's control.

  2. When a reduction occurs, the university follows a course of action to ensure appropriate treatment of affected staff. This course of action ensures fairness and consistency; determines which employees are placed on layoff based on seniority; notifies employees in advance; fills vacancies with qualified staff on a layoff list; and recalls layoff employees based on seniority.

B. Administrative responsibilities

  1. The following individuals and departments have specific responsibilities regarding this RIF policy.

    1. Deans, department heads, or designees determine (1) the need for a reduction, (2) which positions are affected, and (3) the eligibility levels of employees. These administrators must contact the campus Human Resources office before notifying staff of a RIF.

    2. The campus Human Resourses office (1) reviews occupational unit seniority lists with department heads; (2) determines suitable positions for layoff staff based on their qualifications; and (3) consults with layoff staff to identify skills and training necessary to qualify for future positions.

    3. University Human Resource Services audits and monitors the process to ensure that departments are applying this RIF policy fairly and consistently throughout the university.

      1. UHRS will work to ensure employees are laid off from work solely for appropriate reasons. Management is responsible for dealing with performance issues as they arise. A Reduction in Force is not an appropriate management action for responding to employee performance issues.

C. Definitions

  1. Appointed position is one which has been established as a budgeted line with certain levels of benefits based upon FTE.

  2. Essential functions are the reason a position exists; those duties and tasks that are fundamental to the position.

  3. Functional classifications are recognized as follows:

    1. At Bloomington, appointed Support Staff positions are in a single functional classification separate from all other classifications.

    2. At Northwest, appointed Clerical positions and appointed Technical positions are in two separate functional classifications from each other, and each is separate from all other classifications.

  4. Minimum qualifications are the skills, abilities, and body of knowledge that a candidate must minimally possess in order to successfully perform the position's responsibilities at a full-performance level.

  5. Permanent reduction is a reduction in force anticipated to exceed 90 calendar days. Staff who are on a permanent reduction are separated on the date of the reduction and remain on a RIF recall list for 12 or 18 months unless reemployed sooner. See below. The maximum amount of time an employee may remain on the RIF recall list is 18 months.

    1. Staff who are not reemployed by the end of 12 months may request to remain on the RIF recall list for six additional months. This request must be submitted in writing to the campus Human Resources office at the end of 12 months.

  6. Qualified employee is one who can demonstrate performance of all of the essential functions that have been set forth in a job posting or advertisement.

  7. Short layoff is a reduction in force of 30 calendar days or less and reported as such on the attendance report.

  8. Suitable position is a position of similar duties and responsibilities for which the campus Human Resources office has determined the employee qualifies at the same or higher classification and the same FTE as the employee's position at the time of the reduction.

  9. Temporary reduction is a reduction in force of more that 30 calendar days but not to exceed 90 calendar days, and is treated as a leave of absence.   The employee does accrue university service credit during this time.

D. Advance notice rules for short, temporary, or permanent layoffs

  1. The campus Human Resources office must be contacted about a pending reduction of any type—short, temporary, or permanent layoff—prior to notification to any appointed employee.

  2. Where circumstances permit, the department will provide at least 30 calendar days written notification, but must provide no less than 14 calendar days notification.

    1. Employees may be reassigned during the notice period but will not be required to use any accrued time off during this period.

  3. In the event of a permanent reduction in force of a filled position within a department, the campus Human Resources office will notify CWA, Local 4730 at the time the employee is notified. Upon request, Human Resources will discuss the effects of such reduction with representatives of Local 4730, including the right to suggest alternative solutions.

  4. During the notice period, supervisors are encouraged to accommodate requests of employees on a permanent RIF to attend university training programs or academic classes. See the Training and Education policy, for provisions about charging such time to accrued time off.

Procedure 13.2
E. Short layoff or temporary reduction

  1. When preparing for a short layoff or temporary reduction, university administration determines the work and positions that are affected. The department head determines which employees will be laid off according to one of the following approaches:

    1. Occupational unit seniority within each affected functional classification

    2. All employees are off an equal amount of time

  2. In accordance with the advance notice rules in section D. above, departments must contact the campus Human Resources office before notifying employees of a RIF. And, departments will provide, where circumstances permit, at least 30 calendar days written notification, but must provide no less than 14 calendar days notification, to employees in a RIF situation.

  3. All Temporary employees are laid off first. Positions normally held by hourly students may be excluded.

  4. In order of least occupational unit seniority, appointed employees are laid off second.

  5. If staffing needs of a department prohibit the elimination of all Temporary employees, appointed employees designated for layoff will receive first preference for such assignments. Accepting or rejecting this offer does not affect one's placement or recall rights described later in this policy.

Procedure 13.2
F. Identification and notification for a permanent RIF

Step 1

  1. When preparing for a permanent RIF, university administration determines the work and positions that are affected. Individuals laid off will be determined by seniority, subject to the provisions that follow.

  2. In accordance with the advance notice rules in section D. above, departments must contact the campus Human Resources office before notifying employees of a RIF. And, departments will provide, where circumstances permit, at least 30 calendar days written notification, but must provide no less than 14 calendar days notification, to employees in a RIF situation.

  3. All temporary and/or hourly employees are laid off first. Positions normally held by hourly students may be excluded.

  4. In order of least occupational unit seniority, appointed staff are laid off second.

  5. If staffing needs of a department prohibit the elimination of all Temporary employees, appointed employees designated for layoff will receive first preference for such assignments. Accepting or rejecting this offer does not affect one's placement or recall rights described later in this policy.

  6. An administrator may waive the order of the layoff provision in step four (4) above, if a retained senior employee does not possess the abilities and qualifications to perform the available work at a full-performance level.

Procedure 13.2
G. Bumping procedure for a permanent RIF

Step 2

  1. Whenever a senior employee's position is eliminated, the employee may exercise his or her occupational unit seniority to bump the least senior employee in the same classification level whose job the senior employee can perform at a full-performance level.

  2. The bumped employee, in turn, may exercise his or her occupational unit seniority to displace the least senior employee in the same or lower classification within the occupational unit whose job the employee can perform at a full-performance level.

    1. The campus Human Resources office and occupational unit management determine whether an employee designated for layoff is qualified for a position.

  3. Unit management will orient retained employees on the operational procedures of the unit; however, management is not obligated to train such employees to perform the available work.

  4. When layoff notice is given more than two months before a layoff, an employee has two months before the effective date of layoff to decide whether or not to bump.

  5. When layoff notice is given two months or less before a layoff, an employee has one week from the date of notice to provide a written statement of his or her decision to bump.

  6. An employee who chooses not to bump--or who fails to decide to bump within the stated time limits--goes on the layoff list.

  7. Upon conclusion of the bumping process, a bumped employee is given, where circumstances permit, at least 30 calendar days written notification, but no less than 14 calendar days notification before the actual date of the employee's separation.

  8. Departments will prepare a separate layoff list for each functional classification within each occupational unit affected. This list is used to fill vacancies. See Sections H. and I. below. Departments will designate employees in order of greatest occupational unit seniority date. Departments will also note each employee's university seniority date.

  9. Temporary and probationary employees and employees in a position budgeted for less than nine months are not placed on the layoff list and are not covered by subsequent provisions in this policy, e.g., filling vacancies, accepting or rejecting a position, etc.

Procedure 13.2
H. Filling vacancies in a permanent RIF

Step 3

Note: This procedure for filling vacancies will be used during the advance notice period and during the 12 or 18-month period an employee remains on the RIF recall list following separation.

  1. Before beginning this procedure, departments must have done all of the following:

    1. Identified employees to place on the layoff list

    2. Provided written notice to employees that their positions are scheduled for elimination

    3. Completed the bumping procedure in accordance with Procedure 13.2, G above.

  2. Vacancies at the same or lower classification level are filled according to the guidelines described below. Vacancies at a higher classification level or FTE as the employees on the layoff list are filled using the normal process of recruitment and selection.

  3. Following the written notice to employees, no person is to be referred, transferred, promoted, demoted, or hired into the affected occupational unit unless approved by the campus Human Resources office and occupational unit management. These areas will approve such action only if employees on the layoff list of the same functional classification cannot perform the available work.

  4. Vacancies within an affected unit and at the same or lower classification level and FTE as the employees on the layoff list are filled as follows:

    1. Employees on the layoff list inside the occupational unit are considered first. Consideration is given in order of greatest occupational unit seniority to those employees whom the campus Human Resources office and occupational unit management have determined as qualified for a position.

    2. Employees from inside the occupational unit through transfer or promotion are considered second. Such consideration must be in accordance with the Rules and Guidelines for Filling Positions policy.

    3. Employees on the layoff list outside the occupational unit are considered third. Consideration is given in order of greatest university seniority to those employees whom the campus Human Resources office and the occupational unit managment have determined as qualified for the position.

    4. Persons from outside the occupational unit through transfer, promotion, demotion, or new hire are considered fourth.

  5. Vacancies outside the affected occupational unit but within the Responsibility Center (RC) or large department at the same or lower classification level and FTE as the employees on the layoff list will be filled in the following order:

    1. Employees from inside the occupational unit through transfer or promotion and employees on the layoff list outside the occupational unit but within the Responsibility Center or large department are considered first. Consideration is given in order of greatest university seniority to those employees, on the layoff list, whom the campus Human Resources office and occupational unit management have determined as qualified for the position. The department will contact UHRS Employment when a vacancy is posted internally to determine if there are any RIF candidates from the Department or RC.

    2. Employees on the layoff list outside the RC or large department are considered second. Consideration is given in order of greatest university seniority to those employees whom the campus Human Resources and the occupational unit management have determined qualified for the position.

    3. Persons from outside the RC or large department through transfer, promotion, demotion, or new hire are considered third

  6. Vacancies outside an affected unit and at the same or lower classification level and FTE as the employees on the layoff list are filled as follows:

    1. Existing, qualified appointed employees who work in the occupational unit with the vacancy are considered first , through transfer or promotion.

    2. Employees on the layoff list of the same functional classification, in order of greatest university seniority, whom the campus Human Resources office and occupational unit management have determined as qualified for a position are considered second. (Additional applicants are not referred until it has been determined that employees on the layoff list are not qualified for the position.)

    3. Employees from outside the occupational unit are considered third, through transfer, promotion, demotion or new hire.

  7. When there are layoffs in more than one occupational unit at the same time, the campus Human Resources office combines the layoff lists from each occupational unit in order of greatest university seniority. This list is used to fill vacancies outside the affected units.

  8. Employees on a layoff list may request a listing of all posted university vacancies. Employees who meet the minimum qualifications will have an opportunity to be considered for such positions, including those on other campuses. However, such employees must apply to the appropriate campus the campus Human Resources office within stated time limits on the job posting.

I. Accepting or declining an offer for a vacant position during a permanent RIF

  1. An employee who accepts any university- appointed position is removed from the layoff list; an employee who accepts a position outside the university remains on the layoff list.

  2. An employee who declines a vacant suitable position:

    1. If the offer of the position is made more than two months before the actual date of the employee's separation, the employee is not penalized and remains on the layoff list.

    2. If the offer of the position is made two months or less before the actual date of the employee's separation, the employee is removed from the layoff list and will be considered to be voluntarily terminated as of the actual date of separation.

    3. If the offer of the position is made after the actual date of the employee's separation, the employee is considered to be voluntarily terminated and goes off the layoff list.

  3. An employee who declines a vacant position of lower classification level at the same FTE remains on the layoff list.

  4. An employee who fails to respond within five workdays of notice of recall loses his or her rights to recall and goes off the layoff list.

    1. Notice of recall to the employee is by certified mail addressed to the employee at the last address on file with the campus Human Resources office.

    2. An employee intending to return to work must (1) give notice within five workdays after delivery or attempted delivery of the notice of recall and (2) return to work within five workdays days of the university's receipt of the employee's notice.

    3. An employee will be excused from the requirements of item 4.a.b. for just cause.

  5. Sometimes a position may be eliminated and then restored within eighteen (18) months with essential duties that closely match those of the previous position.

    1. The employee still on the layoff list will be recalled to the position in accordance with the filling of vacancies provisions in Procedure 13.2 H. above.

    2. The employee off the layoff list will have the opportunity to return to the position before it is posted or advertised.

    3. The employee must continue to meet the minimum qualifications for the position.

    4. The employee's right to return to a restored position supersedes any other policy provision related to filling vacant positions.

J. Continuation of insurance and benefit plans

  1. Full-time appointed staff affected by a temporary RIF are considered to be on a leave of absence for up to three months. These staff must contact the campus Human Resources office to arrange for payment of their insurance and benefit plan premiums.

  2. Refer to the specific benefit plan about continuation of employee benefit plans for those on a permanent RIF.

K. Trial period

  1. Any employee who is placed into another position as a direct result of the elimination of his/her position through a reduction in force--or due to another employee exercising his/her rights to bump--will be required to complete a trial period. 

    1. The trial period will be up to four months. At the discretion of the supervisor, or at the request of an employee, the trial period may be extended for up to an additional two months.

    2. During the trial period, the supervisor may determine that the employee cannot successfully perform the position's duties. Or, the employee may not want to remain in the position. In either case, the employee will be separated and placed back on the layoff list for a period not to exceed 18 months from the date of the most recent separation.

    3. The employee will have all of the same rights under this policy provided to employees on the reduction-in-force list.

L. RIF rights for special circumstances

  1. An employee who has changed functional classifications (within an occupational unit ) within 24 months before written notice of layoff does not lose the occupational unit seniority he or she held in the previous classification. This provision goes into effect if there is no opportunity to bump someone in the current functional classification. The employee reverts to the most recent functional classification and level. In addition, the employee has full bumping rights (within the occupational unit they revert to) based on total seniority.

  2. An employee who loses a full-time appointed position as a direct result of another employee's grievance settlement or arbitration decision over the filling of the employee's position will be:

    1. Restored to his or her prior position, provided that the position continues to exist at the same level and the same or similar duties and another employee has not been selected for the position; or

    2. Placed on the reduction-in-force list for a period not to exceed 18 months and receive all of the rights under this policy provided to employees on the layoff list.

  3. An employee with an ADA-covered disability who cannot be reasonably accommodated in order to perform the essential functions of his or her position will be:

    1. Placed on the layoff list; and

    2. Be considered for placement into vacant positions in accordance with the provisions of above for "Filling Vacancies."

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University Human Resources
Last updated: 10 June 2010
URL: http://hr.iu.edu/policies/
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