The University Record, March 6, 2000

Reduction-in-force policy changes announced

By Vivian Byrd
Human Resources/Affirmative Action

The University has approved changes to section 201.72 of the Standard Practice Guide, the Reduction in Force (RIF) policy, effective immediately. The changes affect all non-bargained-for staff.

Last modified in 1991, the RIF policy changes described below are the result of University-wide review and reengineering efforts to improve the process and facilitate the placement of laid-off staff. To see the RIF policy’s full text visit the Web at www.umich.edu/~spgonlin/, or call Employee Relations, 763-2387, and request a copy.

The RIF section details the policy for the reduction-in-force or layoff of staff as a result of lack of funds, lack of work and/or reorganization. Changes include:

  • A 90-day mutual assessment period for laid off staff hired by another department. During the 90 days, either the department or the employee can discontinue employment, at which time the employee will return to RIF status. It is hoped that this addition to the policy will create an incentive for departments to hire staff on layoff status.

  • Payment in lieu of notice is acceptable. The prior policy required notice of 30 or 90 calendar days, depending on seniority, before a layoff.

  • The duration of RIF status is limited to 12 months. Previously, the policy allowed a staff member to be on RIF/layoff status for 18 months under certain circumstances.

    A more accurate definition of the order of RIF is provided. The new language reads, “The order of reduction will begin with the staff member with the least University service (seniority) in the affected classification except that the University may retain employees, irrespective of service, who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to perform the available work which are not possessed to the same degree by other employees in the same classification.”

    Staff on closed-ended appointments or contracts are excluded.

    For more information contact Bruce Pringle, director of employee relations at Human Resources and Affirmative Action, via campus mail to 2005 Wolverine Tower 1281, via e-mail to bpringle@umich.edu, or by calling 763-2387.