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

Voluntary and Involuntary Separation Plans

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 25 - March 23, 1995

(Editor's note: The following information on the Workforce Transition Act has been provided by Ann Spencer, associate vice president for personnel and administrative services)

This memo is being made available to all classified employees, instructional faculty members, and administrative/professional faculty. Instructional faculty members will not receive a hard copy of the material at this time, since no decision has been made yet regarding their participation in the program. As we obtain further clarification on the program and its application, we will distribute this information.

Also, I will be meeting with the deans and vice presidents this week explaining the approval process. We appreciate your understanding and patience of our efforts to obtain the most accurate information possible to help employees and departments in making decisions under this program.

The governor has signed the Workforce Transition Act (WTA), providing voluntary severance or retirement options for employees choosing to leave state employment. Attached are the procedures and application for employees who wish to apply for the benefits of this program. Please note that all deadlines and dates as noted in the attached materials apply to the classified staff and the administrative and professional faculty. Also, grant-funded employees and law-enforcement employees are not eligible to participate. The inclusion of instructional faculty members requires Board of Visitors' action and has not been decided at this time.

Additionally, administrative and professional faculty members may also be allowed to participate in the program at some time during the next year as part of the university's restructuring efforts with approval by the board. Each of these actions may be approved to allow faculty participation between April 1995 and June 1996. Further information regarding faculty participation in the program will be distributed during the next several months.

It is important to note that the acceptance or denial of an application under the Workforce Transition Act is at the discretion of the university, with concurrence by the secretary of education and the state department of planning and budget. It is our current understanding that all classified staff and administrative and professional faculty positions and associated dollars vacated under the WTA March 31 deadline revert to the state. Therefore, application to participate in the program does not imply automatic acceptance. The program will necessarily be selectively implemented based on the recommendations of department heads and the approval of the respective dean or vice president. Given the very short time frame to apply for the program, I urge any staff or administrative and professional faculty members interested in participating to immediately talk with their supervisor or department head and begin the completion of the necessary paperwork. The application must have the approval of the department head and the dean or vice president before being submitted to Personnel Services. We urge everyone to move these applications through the approval process as quickly as possible, as we must receive all applications, including retirement applications, NO LATER THAN 5 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 1995, in the Personnel Services Office.

Persons interested in learning more about the program may attend any of the following information session:

* Monday, March 27, 2-4 p.m. in the Bowman Room, Jamerson Center.

Employees who have already submitted an application for the governor's Incentive Plan and who wish now to participate in the WTA instead must submit another application through their department head for the WTA. The Incentive Plan now contains the following changes from information earlier distributed:

* the deadline for employees to submit application is March 31, 1995;

* the date by which employees will be notified of which benefit they receive (separation benefit or layoff deferral) has been changed from April 1, 1995, to April 15, 1995;

* the date on which employees will leave active state service under the separation benefit has been changed from April 15, 1995, to May 1, 1995.

These dates are consistent with the deadlines under the Workforce Transition Act. An alternate separation or retirement date may be requested under either program. The latest separation or retirement date allowable under the WTA is July 1, 1996; however, under the Incentive Plan, we have been advised that employees should not request a date later than July 1, 1995. Any alternate date must have a business reason (as opposed to personal reason) and must be approved by the State Department of Personnel and Training. If an application for the retirement benefits under the WTA is not approved, an employee may withdraw the retirement application prior to the planned retirement date.

To assist employees in their deliberations and calculations, the Personnel Services Office will maintain extended hours through next week. If an individual appointment is needed to talk with a Personnel Services representative about retirement, please call 1-9331 in advance to schedule, which will assist us in our ability to serve you. Extended hours will be as follows:

* Thursday, March 23: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

* Friday, March 24: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

* Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

* Monday, March 27, through Thursday, March 30: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

* Friday, March 31: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For questions about the program or assistance in calculating the severance benefits, off-campus Extension employees should contact Beth Fitzgerald at (703) 231-5659 or Carolyn Sowers at (703) 231-7619. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Station employees should contact Betty Greene at (703) 231-4152. All other employees should contact Personnel Services at (703) 231-9331.

We appreciate your patience as we work through this complicated program within a very short time frame. We ask the assistance of everyone in helping to move the applications as quickly as possible through the approval process to allow us to meet the March 31 deadline.