The University Record, May 21, 1996

LETTERS

Cost of job sharing not the same for all employers

Thank you for your coverage of our workshop on "job-sharing," which we presented at the Center for the Education of Women on April 25. We would like, however, to clarify some of the information presented in the April 30 Record. The cost analysis highlighted by the reporter in her article was for job-sharing within most businesses and companies in this country. However, the reader should be aware that the cost analysis varies by employer and does not accurately reflect the cost of job-sharing at the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan has a benefit package that is somewhat different in that part-time employees who work 50 percent or more receive the same flexible benefits as full -time employees. University employees working less than 50 percent may still be eligible to participate in retirement benefits and reimbursement accounts. Vacation and sick time benefits are pro-rated according to the percentage of time worked. Therefore, if two employees at the U-M participated in a job-share in which they both worked 50 percent, the increased direct costs would need to reflect the additional costs of medical, dental and other flexible benefits for one of the sharers.

We strongly encourage anyone considering a job-share proposal to thoroughly research the potential additional cost of this arrangement to the specific employer. Sometimes there will be a cost savings and other times there will be a cost increase to the employer. If a job-share arrangement increases cost, the applicants can address this in their proposal and emphasize the advantages job-sharing would bring to the unit which would help offset the extra expenses. If you would like more information about job sharing feel free to contact us at the Center for the Education of Women.

Doreen Murasky and Lisa Tulin-Silver,
senior counselors and program specialists,
Center for the Education of Women