Article 42 – Seniority and Layoff

I. Seniority

A. Seniority for the purpose of this Article shall be based upon an employee’s continuous length of service in the bargaining unit. In the event employees have the same seniority date, their respective seniority shall be determined by the date of commencement of employment at Rutgers. If employees continue to have the same seniority date, their respective seniority shall be determined by alphabetical order of their last names.

B. The Office of University Labor Relations shall maintain seniority lists of employees, including the date of hire, and if applicable, the date of transfer into the bargaining unit. Copies of seniority lists shall be furnished quarterly to the URA-AFT.

II. Layoffs

A. Layoff shall be defined as the elimination of a position or positions within a particular work unit. A work unit is a budgetarily discrete academic or administrative entity. The URA-AFT shall be informed of all notices of layoff.

B. In the event of layoff, the following shall apply:

  1. Where one or more employee(s) in the same title performing the same functional tasks in the same work unit is being laid off, layoff shall be implemented in reverse order of seniority, provided the senior employee has the requisite qualifications and abilities to perform the work available.

2. With respect to laid off employees who have provided current contact information to UHR, the following shall apply:

a. The employee who is being laid off may meet with UHR’s designee to identify open positions for which they may be qualified, including but not limited to the title currently held. The laid off employee may apply for and will be interviewed and considered for such open positions for which they meet the requisite qualifications.

b. However, where more than one laid off employee meets the requisite qualifications for an open position, up to three laid off employees, as determined by seniority, shall be interviewed and considered.

c. Candidate selection for all open positions will be at the sole and exclusive discretion of the hiring department.

C. Any employee who is laid off and has not been placed pursuant to Section B above shall be placed on a preferred recall list for a period of up to thirty (30) months. During this period, a laid off employee shall be entitled to apply for any vacant URA-AFT position, and if they have the requisite qualification and ability to perform the work shall be interviewed and considered for that position. Candidate selection for all open positions will be at the sole and exclusive discretion of the hiring department.

D. If a position within the same title within the same work unit from which the employee was laid off is restored during the thirty (30) month recall period, the employee who previously held the position shall be recalled. If more than one employee in the same title has been laid off from the same work unit they shall be recalled to those restored positions in order of seniority.

E. Upon recall to employment an employee shall retain all seniority rights and benefits prior to being laid off and shall immediately begin to accrue additional seniority for all purposes.

F. Employees hired on a 10 month basis shall not be entitled to utilize the provisions of this Article during the 2 month period during which they are not employed.

G. The following shall also apply to laid off employees during the 30 month preferred recall period:

1. For employees rehired in to a different position or recalled pursuant to paragraph D above within 12 months of the last day of work, vacation accrual will begin with the first complete calendar month worked. Vacation allowance will be based on years of continuous employment as a regularly-appointed staff member immediately preceding layoff.

2. For employees rehired into a different position or recalled pursuant to paragraph D above within 24 months of the last day of work, any unused sick leave accrued under the former employment will be carried forward to be credited toward sick leave payment at retirement as well as for other authorized use.

3. For employees rehired into a different position or recalled pursuant to paragraph D above within 12 months of the last day of work, there will not be another probationary period.

III. Layoff Notice

A. The University agrees that prior to laying off employees (as layoff is defined in Section II.A), it will, except in case of emergencies, give notice of five (5) working days for each full year of service, except that the minimum notice will be thirty (30) working days notice and the maximum notice will be one hundred twenty five (125) working days.

B. During a laid off employee’s notice period, they may request time to seek other employment either through use of vacation, administrative leave, adjusted work schedule, or leave without pay. Such requests shall not be unreasonably denied. All vacation should be used prior to the effective date of the layoff if possible. However, the employee will be compensated for any earned vacation that might remain at expiration of notice period.

C. The above notice provisions do not apply to a temporary layoff of sixty (60) calendar days or less.

D. With respect to employees whose positions are funded in whole or in part by grants or contracts, employment is dependent upon the continued availability of grant or contract funds. Where there is a known scheduled expiration date of a grant or contract, the University agrees to provide notice to the affected employee(s) of such expiration thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date of the grant or contract. In all other cases, the University agrees that as soon as practicable, it will inform employees of the anticipated expiration or cessation of the grant or contract.

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