By Stacy Hernandez
DAVIS — The University of California, Office of the President (UCOP) has proposed a 2020-21 curtailment program to implement across UC campuses that will mitigate the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The draft proposal is still undergoing review and no decisions have been made.
UC’s Absence from Work Policy states that “Chancellors may curtail operations at locations for specific periods of time”. In this case, employees can continue receiving pay if they use vacation or compensatory time off. Otherwise, they may opt for leave without pay.
Under the draft proposal, employees would be placed in salary tiers. Employees in every tier would be permitted to use a different combination of paid and unpaid time off to cover at least a five-day curtailment period.
Employees in the lowest income tier would be allowed to use accrued vacation days for the five-day minimum curtailment period. Employees in the highest income tier would be required to take all five curtailment days as unpaid leave.
This plan aims to benefit the lowest-paid employees in the UC system.
Other notable features of the draft proposal include identifying essential workers who would be exempt from the program. This includes medical staff or staff needed for COVID-19 deep-cleaning of campus and other facilities.
Academic-year faculty, however, would be participating in the program and will therefore receive an equivalent reduction in salary.
Depending on the curtailment periods, it may be necessary to make changes to the academic calendar.
Although each UC campus is facing a unique set of challenges, UCOP is hoping that this proposal will avoid displacing employees.
In response to the UCOP general curtailment plan, UC Davis announced its own plan last Tuesday.
The Davis campus curtailment program is similar to the Office of the President’s program but includes key adjustments specific to UC Davis.
The Davis campus curtailment program does not apply to UC Davis Medical Center, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and the School of Veterinary Medicine. It is a staff-only program.
Davis campus staff would be required to take six days off during the winter holidays.
Those days will be: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Dec. 24-25 holidays, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Dec. 31-Jan. 1 holidays.
This is the first time that UC Davis will be administering a campus-wide curtailment period instead of its usual “soft closures” during the holidays, in which staff could either work or use vacation days to extend their winter vacation.
Like the UCOP plan, UC Davis will also allow its essential staff to continue working.
“Deans and vice chancellors/provosts will exempt staff whose continued work is essential,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary May in a campus-wide email last Friday.
“I want to acknowledge and thank them now for staying behind to provide emergency/critical services while others have time off.”
UCOP is accepting feedback from members of the UC community regarding the curtailment draft proposal. Anyone interested in sending suggestions can email firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 9.