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(2008-2009 HR#25) Follow Up from May PM Meetings

Date:
June 5, 2009
To:
Professionals / Managers
From:
Christina Sass-Kortsak, Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources
Re:
Follow Up from May PM Meetings

On May 11 and May 12 many of you attended the PM information sessions hosted by Angela Hildyard. The purpose of this email is to summarize some of the information covered at that meeting and to provide you with some additional information.

We have developed several voluntary options that may assist Divisions in meeting budget restrictions and may be of interest to staff. These options were described at the PM meetings and are summarized here for those who were unable to attend. The options will be made available to Confidentials, PM 1-5 and USW members as described below.

A. Voluntary Unpaid Days Off and/or FTE Reduction

These temporary options will be made available during the next two years at the discretion of each Division, where there is a need for cost reduction. Approval of individual staff requests is at the Division Head’s discretion based on operational requirements and potential for cost reduction.

Voluntary Unpaid Days Off

Staff may volunteer to take unpaid days off at intervals (e.g., occasional Mondays or Fridays) or in a block of time (e.g., 3 weeks in July) or a combination thereof.

As a temporary cost reduction measure, staff taking these voluntary unpaid days will not experience any impact on their pension and benefits entitlements. Full-time employees will continue to accrue pension service at full-time, with contributions based on annualized salary, and will be able to continue the Group Health, Dental Plan, and Joint Membership plan subsidy at 100% FTE, and LTD, and Group Life insurance.

Arrangements must be recorded in writing setting out clearly which dates will be taken as unpaid days off.

Voluntary Temporary Reduction in FTE

Staff may voluntarily elect to temporarily reduce their FTE appointment by 10% to 50%. The Department and the staff member must mutually agree to a new work schedule.

As a temporary cost reduction measure, staff choosing this option will not experience any impact on their pension and benefits entitlements. Full-time employees will continue to accrue pension service at full-time, with contributions based on their full- time salary, and will be able to continue Group Health, Dental Plan, and Joint Membership plan subsidy as if at 100% FTE. Group Life insurance and LTD will be based on the employee’s salary and FTE prior to the FTE reduction for this period of time only. Vacation accrues at the reduced FTE level during the period of the reduction.

Arrangements are limited to a 12 month period. Employees who wish to continue this arrangement after the initial 12 month period will switch into a part-time appointment and pension and benefits will be prorated accordingly.

If your Division elects to make these options available you will receive further information from your Divisional HR Office.

B. Voluntary Phased Retirement Program

The University is also proposing to implement a phased retirement program, for a temporary period, to enable employees to make a retirement decision now, with a future fixed retirement date. This will help facilitate staff planning in departments and divisions, and provide an additional mechanism to assist with staff renewal in the face of budget pressures. The proposed phased retirement program for PM 1-5 and Confidentials will be presented for approval at the June 18 Business Board meeting.

The proposed Program would have the following features:

  • Participation will be subject to Division Head approval, with Central Human Resources review before final approval is provided. Decisions will be based on operational needs and feasibility within the work unit.
  • The Phased Retirement period may be from 6 months to a maximum of 2 years, at the end of which the participant must retire.
  • The retirement date must be no later than June 30, 2011.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Phased retirement can begin as early as 2 years prior to first eligibility for an unreduced early retirement pension (60/80 provision for administrative staff-appointed members), and no later than 2 years prior to the date at which the participant is required to commence receiving his/her pension under the Income Tax Act, currently December in the year in which the individual turns 71
  • During Phased Retirement:
    • The participant works a reduced workload of between 50% and 80% FTE and receives a salary based on the actual reduced FTE worked
    • The participant accrues 100% pension service during the period of phased retirement, at the 100% nominal salary
    • The participant contributes to the Pension Plan at their part-time salary; the cost of the difference in employee pension contribution will be charged to the Division.
    • The participant is covered by the sick leave and LTD plan based on their actual part-time salary received.
    • The participant continues to receive the regular employer subsidy for all group benefit plans in which they participated prior to the start of the phased retirement, for the duration of the phased retirement period.
  • The final retirement date at the end of the phased retirement period is set and irrevocable once the agreement has been reached.

If the temporary phased retirement program is approved by Business Board at the June 18 meeting further information about how to apply will be made available.

Information on the University’s Pension Plan

The slides presented by Angela Hildyard on the Pension Plan are available at

http://www.hrandequity.utoronto.ca/Assets/pension/resources/penspres110509.pdf.

University Budget Presentation

Sally Garner, Executive Director Planning and Budget provided a detailed presentation on the University’s current budget situation. Her presentation has been posted on the Planning & Budget website atwww.planningandbudget.utoronto.ca/reports.htm.

Participants at both PM meetings were also asked to provide suggestions on other ways that the University could contain costs through eliminating and/or reducing certain activities or through fixing inefficient processes. There were many creative suggestions made at both meetings. Participants were asked to email janice.draper@utoronto.ca orchristina.sass.kortsak@utoronto.ca with any additional suggestions. The suggestions we have received are posted atwww.hrandequity.utoronto.ca/groups/pm/voloptions/costcontain.htm. These ideas will be considered by the Resource Committee, Chaired by Catherine Riggall, Vice President Business Affairs.