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VT Memo Alerts Campus

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 15 - December 8, 1994

On Thursday, Dec. 1, Gov. George Allen announced plans to reduce the size of state government. In an effort to keep the university community informed of actions proposed by the governor, university administrators have provided information in the form of memos updating the situation.

These memos have been mailed to university employees in an effort to reach everyone in the community. Spectrum is reprinting these memos, and relevant sections from the governor's original communication to state agencies.

The following is a memo provided by Ann Spencer, associate vice president for personnel and administrative services.

GOVERNOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT

We have just been notified by the Governor's Office of an immediate hiring freeze and other means of reducing the size and reach of state government. A memorandum from the governor is being copied today for distribution to each faculty and staff member.

Governor Announces Incentive Proposal for Downsizing State

Government Workforce

"As a part of his ongoing strategy for reducing the size and reach of state government, Governor George Allen today signed Executive Order Number 38 outlining his plan for reducing the state workforce. The order includes a program to provide employees with a monetary incentive to leave state government service voluntarily and a hiring freeze in all executive branch agencies and departments.

`This workforce-reduction plan is an important part of our efforts to meet Virginians' demands for a leaner, more efficient state government-- and to eliminate all non-essential employment and services,' said Allen.

"Today's Executive Order:

* Initiates an across-the-board freeze on new hiring in state government, with very limited exceptions for critical health, safety, and other needs.

* Establishes an incentive plan for voluntary departures from state service. Those who apply and are accepted next spring will receive a payment equivalent to one week's pay for every year of continuous service in state government--up to 26 years.

* Puts in place a moratorium on layoffs until the end of the period in which employees are permitted to request participation in the incentive plan (Feb. 28, 1995).

* Requires layoffs only in the event that adequate savings are not achieved through privatization, attrition and incentive-based voluntary departures.

`To reduce the size and cost of government, the need for a significant reduction in the workforce is inescapable. Just as businesses and enterprises across America have been forced to reduce the size of their workforce to meet the challenges of this competitive new era, so must government at the state, federal and local levels carefully re-evaluate programs and seek ways to achieve savings,' Governor Allen said.

The governor's order freezes layoffs until the end of the period in which employees are permitted to request participation in the Incentive Plan.

The governor also said that the Director of Personnel and Training is today issuing three amendments to Virginia's Layoff Policy that will make the process more fair and less disruptive. The changes include: (a) establishing severance pay (one-two weeks of pay, depending on years of service); (b) increasing re-employment opportunities with the state for those affected by layoffs; and (c) reducing the number of employees disrupted and the number of layoffs necessary by eliminating the practice of bumping."

Please know that as soon as we learn more about the Governor's Executive Order and its interpretation, more information about the incentive plan, and clarification on the changes in the classified layoff policy, we will distribute this information. We do however, know that the hiring freeze does not apply to a person who, although not currently employed, has prior to today accepted an offer of employment to commence at some date in the future. It is our understanding that the hiring freeze applies to all faculty and staff positions. We will keep you apprised of any and all information as we receive it, and will be seeking information relative to the applicability of the hiring freeze on sponsored programs and auxiliaries.