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Administration and Operations Manual

5.22 Teacher Layoff

Last Revised: 15 Oct 2004
Refer Questions To: Vice President, Clerc Center

Scope

This policy applies to teachers in the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center (Clerc Center) of Gallaudet University.

Policy

Although the University is committed to avoiding layoffs of personnel to the greatest extent possible, conditions may arise which call for the layoff of Clerc Center teachers due, most often, to program discontinuance or reduction, reorganization, decreased workload, budget considerations, or other reasons which indicate that the employee's services are no longer needed. The University does not have a contract of employment with any Clerc Center teacher. Nevertheless, layoffs are conducted in a manner that is fair, respects long-term commitments to the University, and is sensitive to the needs and financial security of employees as well as to the mission of the University. Recommendations for layoffs are submitted by the Principal to the Vice President for approval. Individual layoffs must also be approved by the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs.

Throughout this policy, the word program may also mean a unit, department, office, service, or function.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees

Procedures

  1. Program Discontinuance
    If a program is discontinued (eliminated), all teachers in the program, regardless of the source of funding, are laid off in accordance with the Notification section of this policy. Arrangements are made for the appropriate disposition of grants.
  2. Program Reductions
    The following guidelines are used in laying off individual teachers:
    1. Program Needs: Program needs take into consideration the teachers necessary for accreditation and a viable curriculum, to maintain enrollments, and to meet the needs of the students.
    2. Teacher Status: Short-term substitute teachers are laid off first followed by extended temporary status teachers. Regular status teachers with a probationary appointment are considered next. Regular status teachers with a continuing appointment have the highest priority for retention in their department.
    3. Seniority: Where program needs and status do not distinguish between teachers, seniority is considered. Seniority is based on total length of cumulative service with the University, counting both regular status and extended temporary status. If two teachers have equal seniority, deafness, ethnic/cultural diversity and sign language skills are taken into consideration. If the displacement of a junior teacher would jeopardize program needs because the work of that teacher cannot be performed by a more senior teacher with reasonable retraining (i.e., the ability to meet the minimum requirements of the position within one year), the next most junior teacher is laid off.
  3. Reorganization Requiring Layoffs
    If a program, regardless of its source of funding, is restructured or reorganized in order to implement changes or new initiatives or to provide more efficient and/or cost effective service, certain positions may be eliminated and others may be created. If the primary job responsibilities of an incumbent will no longer be performed, the position is eliminated and the teacher is notified of lay off in accordance with the Notification section of this policy. Teachers with a continuing appointment, followed by probationary teachers, receive first consideration for new positions in the program. Consideration is given based on qualifications and the guidelines described in 2 above.
  4. Decreased Workload, Budget Considerations, Other
    Layoffs resulting from decreased workload, budget considerations, or other reasons follow the procedures outlined in 1, 2, or 3 above.

Notifications

Regular Status Teachers
Teachers with a continuing appointment are notified of layoff in writing at least six months in advance of the final date of employment. Probationary teachers are notified of layoff in writing at least three months in advance of the final date of employment. In no case is a regular status teacher terminated before the end of a semester.

Extended Temporary Status Teachers
If the appointment will end prior to its scheduled termination, extended temporary status teachers are notified of layoff in writing at least two weeks in advance.

Short-Term Substitute Teachers (Temporary)
If the appointment will end prior to its scheduled termination, short-term substitute teachers are notified of layoff in writing at least two weeks in advance.

Severance Pay

Teachers with a Continuing Appointment
Teachers with a continuing appointment who are laid off receive two weeks base salary for every full year of full-time service in a regular status or extended temporary status position with a minimum severance payment of one-half their annual base salary and a maximum payment of the teacher's 10-month base salary. (Two weeks salary is computed at one-half of one-tenth of the teacher's ten month base salary.) Severance pay may be paid in a lump sum within 30 days of the date of separation or paid over a period not to exceed one year, at the discretion of the teacher. Sick leave and personal leave do not accrue while being paid for severance.

Probationary Teachers
Probationary teachers who are laid off receive two weeks salary for each full year of service in a regular status or extended temporary status position. (Two weeks salary is computed at one-half of one-tenth of the teacher's ten month base salary.) Severance pay may be paid in a lump sum within 30 days of the date of separation or paid over the duration of the weekly entitlement, at the discretion of the teacher. Sick leave and personal leave do not accrue while being paid for severance.

Extended Temporary Status Teachers
If an extended temporary appointment is terminated prior to its expiration, two weeks base salary is given for each full year of continuous service. Severance pay is paid in a lump sum within 30 days of the date of termination.

Short-Term Substitute Teachers
Short-term substitute teachers, and all other incidental teachers, are ineligible for severance pay.

Reemployment Eligibility

If a teacher with a continuing appointment is scheduled to be laid off, every effort is made to identify alternative employment during the notification period if the teacher is interested and applies for available positions. Additionally, teachers with a continuing appointment are given the opportunity to apply and receive priority consideration to fill their teaching position or a similar teaching position if opened during a two-year period following separation.

Teachers receive priority consideration over a non-Gallaudet applicant for other vacant positions at the University for one year following their separation.

Teachers who are reemployed as Clerc Center teachers are offered the salary corresponding to their track/step placement at the time of layoff (adjustments may be made if the individual is eligible for a track change or if an adjustment is allowable under the teacher compensation guidelines). Salary offers for staff or University faculty positions will be consistent with staff or faculty compensation guidelines and may take into consideration such factors as the level or rank of the position, the appointment schedule, and the department budget.

Teachers who are rehired while still receiving severance salary payments from the University or are rehired during a period for which severance was paid will no longer receive severance payments or will reimburse the University for the severance paid for any week or portion thereof covered by the reemployment. Reemployment dates are determined by the University.

Benefits

Insurances/Retirement
All separating employees should contact Human Resources Services for information regarding termination, continuation of coverage or conversion privileges for insurances, and for information regarding retirement options and eligibility.

Sick Leave
Unused sick leave is not reimbursable and may not be used to prolong the separation date.

Educational Benefits (Educational Assistance, Tuition Assistance, Tuition Waiver)

Eligible employees and their family members may continue in the course(s) in which they are enrolled at the time of notification. Employees and their family members may not receive educational benefits for a course which would be scheduled to begin following their effective date of termination. Laid off employees are not required to reimburse the University for the cost of the course(s).

Appeals

Teachers may appeal their layoffs through established grievance procedures.

Personnel Action Forms

The Dean's Office is responsible for preparing a Separation Personnel Action Form and for verifying the return of University property and any monies due. Employees are expected to return their keys, access card, identification card, purchasing card, etc. to the appropriate office.

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