University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Article 12 Hours of Work

Section 1. Work Schedule

Hours of work (work week or period, shift, and day) are established by the Department. Supervisors may reschedule hours of work for reasons consistent with the mission of the University. Temporary changes in the hours of work (two weeks or less) require two (2) calendar days notice, unless the supervisor and the employee(s) mutually agree to shorter notice. Changes in the hours of work which extend beyond two (2) weeks require fourteen (14) calendar days notice unless the supervisor and the employee(s) mutually agree to shorter notice. The Union and the employee(s) affected by the change may discuss the change with the supervisor.

The full-time work week shall be forty (40) hours per seven (7) calendar day week. If possible, the forty (40) hours shall be consecutive work days with two (2) or more consecutive days off.

A work shift is a regularly recurring period of work with a starting and ending time exclusive of overtime. If requested by the employee, the employee may change days, shifts, or hours of work with the approval of his/her supervisor provided such change does not result in the payment of overtime.

Section 2. Flexible Work Schedule

Once each six (6) months, if requested by employee(s), a Department shall hold a discussion with the employee(s) at a time and place determined by the Department regarding flexible work time in the Department as a whole. This provision does not apply to Departments where a flexible scheduling policy is already accessible to employees or where a discussion with employees has occurred in the past six (6) months and has resulted in a decision not to implement flexible scheduling. A representative from the appropriate Human Resources Department and the Union may attend such discussions. Other staff and faculty, at the discretion of the Department, may also attend.

Discussion involving flexible scheduling may focus on work productivity, effective and efficient delivery of quality services, administrative costs, staffing needs of the work areas involved for hour and function coverage, and other areas that may concern the employee(s), staff, faculty, supervisors, and Department. Elements of flexible schedules may include variable length of work days, variable starting and ending times (while insuring that core periods of necessary coverage are maintained), variable work week and variable appointment percentages.

Once the Department makes the determination regarding the viability and nature of flexible scheduling, the Department's determination and any arrangements for flexible work schedules shall be communicated in writing with reasons for the decision to employees in the Department. If there is disagreement regarding the viability or nature of the flexible scheduling, the Department's decision shall prevail and neither the decision nor the reasons given may be grieved. However, no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after the decision is communicated to the employee(s), the decision may be appealed by employee(s) to the next level supervisor who did not have an active role in making the final decision.

The employee(s) shall be given the opportunity to personally present their arguments about the installation or change of flexible schedules to the manager designated by the Employer to hear the appeal. The manager hearing the appeal shall consider the factors enumerated above and whether the department has fairly considered whether flexible scheduling is workable. There shall be a written decision denying or affirming the installation or change of a flexible schedule with an explanation of the reasons for the decision within fourteen (14) calendar days of the completion of the information gathering. Appeals of Employer decisions to terminate or change established flexible schedules may be appealed only through the procedure set forth in this section.

Flexible work schedules may affect an employee's eligibility for fringe benefits. University fringe benefit rules and regula­tions will apply. Nothing in this section prohibits a Department's right to review, modify and schedule hours of work, or to hold additional discussions pertaining to scheduling.

Section 3. Paid Rest Periods

Employees are entitled to and shall be granted a fifteen (15) minute paid rest period during four (4) hours of work. Special arrangements for paid rest periods should be made between the employee and the supervisor when workload or staffing requirements prevent a regular schedule, or a schedule around the middle of the four (4) hour period. Employees who work beyond their normally scheduled work shift shall receive a fifteen (15) minute rest period before they continue work if their work will extend four (4) hours or more. Paid rest periods for employees working regularly scheduled long shifts (12 hours, for example) should be extended proportionally. Paid rest periods are not cumulative from one day to the next.

Section 4. Unpaid Lunch Period

Scheduled unpaid meal periods interrupting a work shift shall not be less than thirty (30) minutes nor more than sixty (60) minutes in length unless there is mutual agreement between the supervisor and employee to extend beyond the sixty (60) minutes for special occasions.

Section 5. Unauthorized Absence from Work

When an employee is absent from work without authorization such absence shall be grounds for disciplinary action. An employee absent for three (3) consecutive work days without authoriza­tion has resigned. However, a person may subsequently apply for a retroactive leave of absence without pay to cover the unauthorized time off, and such a request, made within seven (7) calendar days of the commencement of the unauthorized time off, shall receive reasonable consideration, particularly in those cases where a documented disability caused the absence and that fact is supported by a statement from a medical practitioner as defined in the Family Medical Leave Act which is to be submitted along with the leave of absence request.

Section 6. Percentage of Appointment

An employee who works an average of ten (10) percentage points or more beyond his/her appointed percentage time or a supplemental employee who works regular, predictable, scheduled hours, for three (3) or more consecutive payroll periods shall have the right to have his/her appointment percentage and employment status as defined in Article 6 reviewed by the supervisor. The Employer will not be required to raise the percentage time worked or change employment status if there is clear evidence that the employee will not be working beyond his/her previous appointment percentage time on a regular basis in the future.

If there is clear evidence that the employee will continue working beyond his/her current percentage appointment, or continue working regular, predictable, scheduled hours, the appointment percentage will be raised to the average percent time worked or to the employment status reflected in the three (3) previous payroll periods. If at any time after the subsequent three (3) payroll periods the supervisor determines that the employee will not continue working beyond his/her previous appointment percentage time or continue working regular, predictable, scheduled hours on a regular basis in the future, the supervisor may reduce the appointment to the percentage time assigned prior to the employee's request, or return the employee to supplemental status with five (5) days prior notice given to the employee.

If the employee has served six (6) or more consecutive months in the higher percentage appointment, the layoff and bumping provisions of this agreement shall apply unless the employee is working to cover another employee's paid or non-paid leave. In such a case, the layoff and bumping provisions shall not apply unless the employee has served nine (9) or more consecutive months in the higher percentage appointment.

Any appointment percentage time adjustment made under the provisions of this Section shall be effective on the first pay period after the adjustment request is received by the Employer or the notice is received by the employee.

Changes in the percentage time of an appointment may affect an employee's eligibility for fringe benefits. University fringe benefit rules and regula­tions will apply. Nothing in this section prohibits a Department's right to review and modify the percentage time of appointments.

Section 7. Sign Language Interpreters Hours of Work and Schedules

The provisions of this Section refer only to employees in the sign language interpreter classification.

A. Shifts and Schedules.

The Employer shall assign employees with percentage appointments of seventy-five (75) percent or more to shifts based on staffing needs, hours of operation, specific skills of employees, and other legitimate business reasons. The Employer agrees to meet with employees on a quarterly basis and to consider input on the development of these schedules. The decision to assign employees to shifts, the length of the assigned shift, and the start and end time of shifts are at the discretion of the Employer.

B. Assignment of Work.

For work outside of the employee's assigned schedules, such as weekend work, qualified employees shall be offered the additional hours of work in descending order of University Seniority. If no such employee desires to work the extra hours, the least senior employee by University Seniority shall be assigned the work.

Two (2) sign language interpreters shall be assigned to classes under the following circumstances:

  1. when an assignment is scheduled for two (2) hours or more in length; or
  2. when in the supervisor’s determination the specific requirements of the assignment suggest it would be appropriate.

C. Ongoing Discussions.

The Employer agrees to meet with two sign language interpreters and a Union staff representative to discuss ongoing issues of concern including preparation time, employment status of supplemental/hourly employees, scheduling issues, recovery time, and staff meetings. Two (2) hours, or more time if mutually agreed, shall be scheduled for such meetings if requested by the Union. Employee representatives shall participate in these meetings on unpaid time.