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26.1 An employee being laid off shall receive notification, in writing, at least two (2) weeks prior to the effective date of the layoff.
26.2 A reduction of the work force, other than fluctuations necessitated by the University calendar, shall be accomplished in the following manner:
For purposes of Article 26 only, job classification series seniority shall be defined as total continuous hours accumulated in all classifications within an identified job classification series within a department. An employee who cannot exercise any of the other layoff options contained in Article 26.2 may bump (on classification seniority basis) into the least senior position in a lower classification in that series and department as an option to being laid off, if the employee has:
Bumping must take place according to the first available opportunity in descending order within the job classification series and department. An employee exercising this option shall not be placed below the midpoint wage rate for the class to which the bump occurs.
An employee refusing options "A," "B," or "C" shall not be considered to have the status of a laid off employee for purposes of 26.7.
26.3 Employees who exercise rights under 26.2 "A," "B" or "C" shall maintain their current salary. Employees exercising rights under 26.2 "D," "E", or "F" retain their current salary or the rate of pay at the top of the pay range of their new classification, whichever is less.
26.4 An employee who has exercised rights under 26.2 "D", "E", or "F" as a consequence of being laid off shall have the right to apply for his/her most recent former position, if posted, and if the employer elects to fill it, ahead of all other applicants, should it become available again in the same department and on the same shift. However, the right to apply and return to the former position ahead of all other applicants shall be limited to two (2) years from the date of the employee’s notice of layoff.
26.5 Should an employee exercise his/her rights under 26.2 "C" and "D" and vacate the position that he/she "bumped" into, any other employee on lay-off status possessing more Master Seniority in a previously held class than the employee bumped from the original position, shall have a right to the vacated position before the actual laid-off employee is called back to work under Article 26.8.
26.6 The employer at its option may offer employees in seniority order, a leave without pay for a specified period during which employees shall accrue seniority and earn vacation and sick leave. Health care coverage shall continue to be provided by the employer.
26.7 An employee on layoff shall have an opportunity to return to work in his/her classification within two (2) years of his/her layoff before a new employee is hired for that classification in his/her Immediate Geographic Area except that any employee on layoff who is notified by certified mail (at his/her last known address) to return to work shall have five (5) work days to indicate intent to return and ten (10) work days to return. An employee who fails to meet these time limits shall be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment with the employer. Employees who return to work under the provisions of 26.7 shall have their master and total seniority reinstated.
26.8 An employee on layoff shall have an opportunity to return to work in any vacancy within the Immediate Geographic Area within two (2) years of his/her layoff, if he/she meets the qualifications for the vacancy, providing that he/she applies for the vacancy within the posting period specified in Article 25.1. Employees who return to work under the provisions of 26.8 shall have their total seniority reinstated.
An employee on layoff who is returned to work under the provisions of 26.7 shall return at the same wage rate step that he/she was receiving at the time of layoff.
26.9 Employees requesting a voluntary demotion shall be allowed to apply only where a vacancy exists in their former classification.
26.10 In the event of a total reduction of the work force within a classification in an Immediate Geographic Area, such employees being laid off shall be placed in any other vacancy within the Immediate Geographic Area for which they are qualified before a new employee is hired.
26.11 Employees on a temporary layoff who are called back to work for any duration shall have such work time credited for purposes of seniority accumulation.
26.12 No employees shall be laid off and replaced by student employees during quarter breaks if the student employees are being utilized to perform the work of the employees being laid off.