Voluntary Reductions

Updated July 17, 2020

This applies to permanent professional staff and permanent classified staff only.

As an option to manage budgetary challenges due to the COVID-19 emergency, departments may allow employees to volunteer to take a furlough or temporarily reduce their appointment percentage. Employees return to their permanent appointment percentage and FTE on a pre-arranged date unless there is mutual agreement by both the department and the employee to return to work earlier.

Definitions

  • Voluntary Appointment Percentage Reduction: a consistent reduction to the number of hours you work each week for a temporary period of time (no less than one week), based on a 40-hour workweek. (40 hours/week = 100% appointment percentage, 20 hours/week = 50% appointment percentage)
  • Voluntary Furlough: unpaid time away from work, continuous or non-continuous, for a temporary period of time based on the rules of the employee’s collective bargaining agreement or handbook

To better understand the potential impact of a voluntary reduction, see the examples in the Voluntary Temporary Reduction Scenarios Chart (FY 2020-2021)

Voluntary temporary furloughs or reductions in appointment percentage are employee-initiated and are not subject to minimum notification requirements. The start and end dates are mutually agreed to by the department and the employee and submitted via the Voluntary Temporary Reduction Request form to HR for review.

This process does not apply to temporary employees; temporary employees may have adjustments to their work schedule without going through any furlough or layoff process.

Process

Employees requesting a voluntary temporary furlough or to temporarily reduce their appointment percentage:

  • Employee to discuss with supervisor
    • What type of reduction are you interested in pursuing?
    • What are the details of the request?
    • Is the department able to accommodate this request?
      • How will your duties be accomplished in your absence?
  • Complete & Route the E-sign form
  • Upon e-sign form completion (form is approved by all in the routing queue and locked by HR), the employee will receive a letter confirming the details of the temporary voluntary reduction with additional resources.
  • Impacts on Service Credit:
    • PERS Plans: You can receive up to one service credit per calendar month based upon your hours of work.
      • 90 or more hours of work = One service credit
      • 70-89 hours of work = One-half service credit
      • 69 or fewer hours of work = One-quarter service credit
    • WWURP
      • You will receive service credit for any month that you work 50% FTE or more. You need at least 5 months of service credit for the year to receive a full year of service credit.
    • Questions about service credit: Kathy Thompson – Kathy.Thompson@wwu.edu, 360-650-7314
  • Contact your HR Consultant with additional questions

Resources / Contacts

FAQ:

  • I’m interested in knowing more about a voluntary reduction before discussing with my supervisor, who should I contact?
  • Will my insurance and retirement benefits be affected?
  • Will my vacation accruals be impacted?
    • No, you will continue to accrue leave based on your permanent appointment.
  • If I voluntarily reduce my appointment, am I still considered “physically able and available to work all hours scheduled by my supervisor” as determined by the ESD?
    • Yes
  • I’m interested in applying for Shared Work; however, I have questions I would like answered before I do. Who can I contact for support?