Reduction in Force and Reassignment Process for AFSCME Covered Staff
The following information is provided by the University of Iowa’s Human Resources department; please refer to Article VI of the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the State of Iowa and AFSCME Council 61 to view the actual contract provisions.
Only staff who are the least senior in a classification, or who lack the special qualifications necessary to displace junior employees, are subject to involuntary layoff. Senior employees may, with the agreement of the president AFSCME/Iowa Council 61, volunteer to accept layoff rather than displace junior employees. Employees who are not subject to layoff may be reassigned.
Employees who are subject to layoff may either (a) voluntarily accept the layoff or (b) notify management that they wish to exercise their bumping rights. If individuals choose to exercise their bumping rights they must notify management within five (5) calendar days of their notice of layoff.
There are three tiers in the bumping process. Employees may:
- Bump into a classification lower in series, or, if that is not possible,
- Bump into a previously held classification, or, if that is not possible,
- Bump into any classification in an equal or lower pay grade for which they are qualified.
If an individual is unable to bump into another classification, the individual will be laid off and placed on the “Pick 15” recall list. Individuals affected by the reductions will be individually counseled to help them understand their specific options.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I’ve received a formal 20-day notice of layoff. What are my rights?
From the date you receive your formal notice, you have five (5) calendar days to notify management of your intention to exercise your bumping rights, and to provide a list of classifications for which you wish to be considered. Management will attempt to place you in the following order:
First, a classification lower in the same series as your current classification; or Second, a classification you have previously held; or Third, any AFSCME covered classification in an equal or lower pay grade for which you meet the minimum qualifications.
What is the order of reduction once the classifications are identified?
Reduction is by type of appointment. Hourly employees doing the work of the classification will be terminated before permanent staff.
How is seniority determined?
If you have been in an AFSCME covered position during your entire employment at the University, then your seniority is the length of your continuous service with the University in a permanent merit position. If you were previously in a position that was not covered by the AFSCME contract and moved into an AFSCME covered position after July 1, 2003, only your time in the AFSCME covered position counts toward your seniority.
I am a new employee and my probation period won’t be over before the reductions start. Do I have any priority status?
No. However, you should update your electronic merit application and monitor the job postings on “Jobs@Uiowa” (http://jobs.uiowa.edu/).
If I am laid off, can I collect unemployment?
You may be eligible. Iowa Workforce Development determines eligibility and awards benefits. You should contact the Iowa Workforce Development Center located nearest you to discuss your specific set of circumstances and eligibility. The Iowa City office is located in the Eastdale Plaza (First Avenue and Lower Muscatine Avenue), 351‐1035.
Can I displace someone else in my department who has the same job title that I have?
If your position is targeted for elimination but you are not the least senior in your department, you may be reassigned within your department or elsewhere in the University.
Can I displace someone else in my department who has a different job title than I have if I have more seniority than that individual?
No, reductions are done by classification.
If I have to leave my position, will I be able to select the position to which I will be reassigned?
No, you will be reassigned to a position that will maintain you in your current classification level, if such a position is available. For part-time staff, this reassignment may result in an increased percentage of time.
Will I be able to select the shift or work location of the position to which I am reassigned?
No, reassignments are at the discretion of management. We encourage employees to be proactive in utilizing the transfer process so that they may select shifts and work locations that meet their preferences.
What can I do to be pro-active about finding another position with the University?
You should update your electronic merit application and monitor the job postings on “Jobs@Uiowa” (http://jobs.uiowa.edu/). You can apply for posted merit vacancies through the contract transfer, lateral transfer, promotion, and/or voluntary demotion process.
If I am reassigned to a position that I do not like, what can I do to change to a different position and how soon can I do it?
You may seek a different position immediately through the process identified above.
Will I be offered a severance package?
No, there is no provision for a severance package in the CBA. The notice period provided in the CBA are intended to provide you with time to explore options for employment.
Can I get help with interviewing or writing a resume?
Interviewing tips are available on the Employment Services web site at: http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/employment/interview_applicant.html . The UI provides courses or coaching on writing a resume and interviewing. If there are a number of staff interested in a particular area, some courses can be brought directly to your work site. For additional information view the web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/learn/index.html or call UI Staff Development at 335‐2687. The Dual Career Network can also offer a brief 30‐minute review of your resume and additional tips on job interviewing, and can be contacted at 335‐3530. The Career Development Advising Service website is at http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/careerdev/.
Who else can I talk to on campus about the stress related to a possible lay off, furlough or involuntary reduction in time?
The UI provides an Employee Assistance Program. This confidential service offers up to 4 counseling sessions at no charge to an employee (and their family) regarding personal, family or work related problems. A counselor will help identify the concerns and discuss possible solutions. Referrals for a free financial consultation are also available through the EAP. You may call the EAP at 335-2085 or email them at: EAPhelp@uiowa.edu.
If I accept a reassignment to a position in a lower classification in lieu of being laid off, how do I get back to my previous classification?
Your name will be placed on the recall list, in seniority order, for the class you attained permanent status in prior to your demotion. You will be referred to an appropriate vacancy when one is available.
What is the recall list?
The recall list is a list of individuals, in seniority order, who have a priority referral status for one, or more, contract covered merit positions.
Who is eligible for referral under the pick 15 provisions of the contract?
Anyone who has attained permanent status as a merit system employee, who is in a contract-covered position at the time he/she is laid off, and for whom no appropriate position was identified for reassignment. His/her name will be placed on the recall list for the classification from which he/she was laid off, and upon request, on the list for up to 15 additional contract covered classifications for which he/she is eligible.
What happens if I turn down a referral or job offer from a priority status— reassignment or recall?
You will no longer have a priority status for the referral and hiring process. Additional questions may be directed to Lyra W. Dickerson, University Human Resources Employment Services at 335-2721 or email@example.com , or, Josey Bathke, University Employee/Labor Relations at 335-0052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated April 2012