Layoffs: Article 48

Article 48: Layoff is the article in our Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Oregon University System. It defines your rights and responsibilities in the layoff process.

The Local 083 Organizer Mike Coutley can call up employees who have been laid off and discuss with them their options and answer questions they may have. Don’t wait for him to call you. Call him immediately 920-639-2166Cell; or e-mail coutleym@seiu503.org

See the full text of Article 48: Layoff here.

What usually happens in a layoff?
First, your supervisor usually tells you a week in advance that you will be receiving an official letter from HR that you will be laid off.

Next, you receive a letter from HR notifying you of your layoff.
Copies are automatically sent to the Local 083 president and organizer. Your last work day will be 30 calendar days from the date on your layoff letter from HR, not the date when your supervisor spoke with you. The letter will specify the layoff date and give an overview of the process.

The HR layoff letter also will list the employees in your job classification and category (i.e. full-time permanent, full-time academic, part-time permanent, etc.) that you have seniority over. You may bump the person on the list with the lowest seniority that is in a position that you are “position qualified” for. You work your way up the list if the bottom one doesn’t fit.

First, however, Human Resources will look for a vacant position in your classification in which to place you. If you’re lucky, there will be a vacant position in your classification and category you can be placed into, so that you won’t be bumping anyone. If there is no vacant position in your classification and category, HR can look at vacant positions in your same pay scale but a different classification. If there are no vacant positions in your pay scale, then you may have to bump. The thought of bumping someone is very painful for most of us; however, you must remember that if you choose not to bump into a position you are qualified for, you may find that at the end of the process your only option is a job that is very different and possibly a demotion, with possible loss of salary. So please give this serious thought. But the decision is up to you. Be very careful that any position you are offered is something you can actually do.

HR also will send you a skill sheet form to fill out.
This helps HR determine what positions you are qualified for and where you can be placed. When you fill out the skill form, be very specific. List and describe every skill set/task you do or have ever done, not just the duties of your current position, and all training you have taken. HR needs to know what you did and how you did it—the tasks and the tools you used to complete them: computer software, actual tools (if you’re a craftsman or skilled tradesman), machinery, etc. Leave nothing out! We say this again and again, and it is good advice. HR only knows what you tell them. They sincerely try to find a good fit for you, but they can’t know what they aren’t told. So be very helpful, tell them everything! Forget modesty; this is survival. We have been told by Stephanie Taylor that she would rather have multiple pages of information submitted so that she can make a good fit, rather than not enough information. And if there is a vacant position in your classification out there that you can qualify for, or one in the same pay scale—check the OSU-HR website—let HR know and tell them why you qualify.

HR will decide before you are placed that you can manage the job within the first two weeks in the position (Article 48, section 3F). This is why you have to be very clear about your skills and talents in filling out the form, and be honest with yourself. When you are placed in a new position as a result of a layoff, it’s as if you have always had the job; your supervisor’s recourse, if you cannot do the work, is to go through the discipline process. Remember, if there’s nothing in your classification, you may have to go to a different one, so any training and skills and experience you have should be listed. This is your chance to tell HR everything to help them find a placement for you. Please be thorough. HR gives you 5 days to fill this out. Again, leave nothing out!

For the actual layoff language, please check the contract, Article 48-Layoff. The steps and further details are delineated there. If you’ve received a layoff letter, please contact the Local 083 president, organizer, or steward. Get their contact information at http://local083.seiu503.org/local-083-stewards/. The layoff process can be very painful and confusing. We are here to help you through it.

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