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including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Leave Information Memo

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 1 - August 25, 1994

(Editor's' note: The following memo was distributed in response to rumors and concerns circulating on campus regarding possible changes in the state's leave policy.)

From: Ann Spencer, associate vice president for personnel and administrative services

Subject: Rumors about Leave

I ask your assistance in disseminating the following information to all our staff employees. Many individuals have inquired of the status of our leave benefits as they learned that the governor's Commission on Government Reform was reviewing leave. Last week I spoke with representatives from both DPT and the Commission's Workforce Committee and confirmed that NO SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS regarding changes to leave have been developed at this time, but that alternatives being discussed and considered are NOT intended to diminish the leave benefit. Public hearings will be held during the month of October throughout the state before the commission issues its final report to the governor. In addition, the Legislative Commission on Management of the Commonwealth's Workforce (authorized by the 1994 General Assembly) will also be holding hearings this fall, with one planned to be held in Blacksburg. Employees WILL have the opportunity to provide input at these hearings prior to the finalization of these groups' reports.

The governor's commission (also known as the Blue Ribbon Strike Force) is comprised of 10 working committees addressing the areas of regulatory review, workforce, procurement and privatization, health and human resources, public safety, education, natural resources, transportation, commerce and trade, and intra-government services. The committees have held public hearings and interviews to gather information. In addition, you may recall a letter from the governor several months ago (mailed to each employee) seeking input and suggestions for the commission's consideration in any area of state government. The commission is taking a very broad review of state government in all areas, and considering many issues for improvements.

The Workforce Committee is looking at many aspects of state personnel policy and practice, attempting to find ways to bring state human-resource management policies current with industry practice, to provide a stronger and more flexible support system to meet the varying needs across all agencies, and to make the state a more competitive employer.

The following is the content of a letter from the executive director of the Commission on Government Reform specifically relating to the leave issue. This letter is being sent to all employees who have written inquiring of the leave change. It is quoted directly as follows:

"The Governor's Commission on Government Reform, the Blue Ribbon Strike Force, is considering hundreds, possibly thousands, of ways that state government might be improved. One of its committees, the Workforce Committee, is identifying and evaluating ideas, many suggested by employees regarding the state's workforce.

"In open discussions, the Workforce Commission has heard that employees want more employee benefit options, and less administrative paperwork associated with some benefits, such as leave. Consultants, managers, and employees have suggested alternatives to the current leave policies that achieve these goals without reducing the benefit. For instance, an employee's leave could be granted at the beginning of the year instead of accrued every pay period. This change does not reduce the benefit but does simplify the process.

"The Workforce Committee has made no decision regarding this issue nor has the commission. Once made, the commission will make recommendations in public hearings in October. Dates for these hearings will be publicized some time in September. I hope you will attend and express your opinions." (Signed by Thomas. J. Towberman)

Any additional information that we receive will be disseminated immediately. Please help us in the interim by making this note available to all employees. Thank you for your patience and assistance.

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