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Thursday, October 06, 2022

UF proposes cap on unused vacation payout for departing staff

[Editor's Note: This story has been changed to reflect a correction. For the memo sent from Paula Fussell to faculty and staff regarding the new proposal, click here.]

UF has modified its proposal to provide staff members with a 3 percent raise to counteract a state law that requires public employees to contribute 3 percent of their salaries to retirement.

Instead of the proposed plan to cut 40 hours of annual vacation time, UF is now proposing a cap of 200 hours, or five weeks, on unused vacation hours paid to staff members leaving the university.

As of Tuesday, the proposal was amended to exclude faculty, allowing more time for discussion during the fall semester.

Assuming the faculty can reach an agreement, Paula Fussell, vice president of human resources, said faculty salary changes will be implemented in January.

In an email, Machen said UF administration is trying to simplify the proposals and ensure pay raise for staff is approved immediately.

"It is our hope and expectation that discussions with faculty will occur in the fall and result in a proposal to the trustees in December," Machen wrote in the email.

The Board of Trustees will vote on the proposal during its Sept. 6 meeting. If the board approves the changes, both the leave changes and salary increase will take effect for staff in September.

Fussell said staff regards the proposal positively. "They're happy we've been able to modify the proposal, and they're very happy about getting the 3 percent in September," she said.

With a $50-million budget cut this year, Fussell said changes in employee benefits was the only way to balance salary cuts, and making changes to vacation time was the most flexible way to do that.

"I think this shows that we listen and that we care about our employees, and we're trying to do the best we can to find a workable solution that would allow us to provide the 3 percent," Fussell said.

Machen is expected to acknowledge the issue during his State of the University address Thursday.

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