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Campus News
     
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: March 31, 2003
Volume 38, Number 16

Dispute Resolution, catastrophic leave policies revised

By Susan Carkeek, Associate Vice President
Director, Human Resources

UNM President F. Chris Garcia recently approved revisions to the Dispute Resolution and Catastrophic Leave policies. The revised policies and a summary of changes can be found at http://www.unm.edu/~ubppm.

The Dispute Resolution policy, developed in November 1994, needed to be updated to reflect process changes that have evolved and to address concerns raised by employees. The proposed changes were sent to the campus for a thirty-day review period. The UNM Policy Office worked with the Staff Council Employee Rights and Policy Review Committee, Human Resources, and Dispute Resolution Department to address concerns raised during the review period.

The revised policy is endorsed by the Staff Council Committee and effective April 1, 2003.

The Catastrophic Leave Program was adopted Nov. 1, 1993. The success of the program resulted in some unanticipated impacts on ill or injured employees and their departments pertaining to funding, shortfall of donations and perceptions of improper use.

Proposed changes were sent to the campus for a 30 day review period and changes made to address many concerns. During the comment period a number of individuals asked that they be allowed to donate sick leave instead of annual leave. Universities are required to fund an annual leave liability account, but not a sick leave liability account. For this reason a donation of sick leave would not generate the funds necessary to pay the salary of an employee on catastrophic leave. The catastrophic leave account will be funded from this annual leave liability account and used to pay the salary of an employee on catastrophic leave.

Under the revised policy, staff will be asked to make donations only once a year. Previously staff have been asked for donations many times throughout the year, each time a co-worker requested catastrophic leave. With the new procedure, regular full-time staff will be asked to contribute eight hours of annual leave, or the equivalent number for part-time staff employees, each June 30. Staff employees who do not wish to have the automatic deduction may choose not to participate in the catastrophic leave program.

The revised policy is endorsed by the Staff Council Employee Rights and Policy Review Committee. The effective date for use of catastrophic leave under the revised policy is July 1, 2003, however, the policy has been issued early to enable the automatic donation process to begin. Human Resources will be notifying employees shortly of the new donation procedures.