SUBJECT: The Accrual and Usage of Compensatory Time by Regular/Permanent Staff of the Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson
Background. The University of Washington's College of the Environment operates the Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson (THOMPSON). The THOMPSON is owned by the Office of Naval Research and scheduled and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The University employs a staff of 21 permanent positions to crew the ship. Crew members generally work two months continuously on the ship followed by two months of "shore leave", in which they perform no work. Crew members typically elect to use accrued annual leave and accrued compensatory time ("comp time") to continue their income while on shore leave.
Due to limitations placed upon the University by the National Science Foundation, the University may only hire one permanent employee for each crew position. When a permanent crew member is on shore leave, the THOMPSON continues to operate, and the crew member's duties must continue to be performed. Some crew members possess experience and skill that allows them to temporarily assume the duties of senior crew positions while their incumbents are on shore leave, a practice known as "sailing up". When sailing up, the junior crew member temporarily takes on additional, higher level duties and receives a pay increase commensurate with that higher level work. However, under the University's current pay practices, crew members on shore leave and using comp time accrued while sailing up are not paid for the comp time at their sailing up rate. Instead, they are paid at the lower rate of their regular, permanent position.
Proposal. The University wishes to put a new pay practice in place that would allow crew members to realize the full value of comp time accrued while sailing up. The University proposes to permit the THOMPSON's permanent/regular crew to convert their comp time hours earned at their pay rate while sailing up into a dollar value which would then be paid out to the person at their regular pay rate while on shore leave. The proposed conversion will be calculated as follows:
Comp time value (in dollars):
(Hours of accrued comp time) * (sailing up pay rate) = total comp time value
Hours of comp time available for use during shore leave:
(Total comp time value) / (regular pay rate) = total comp time hours
We believe the crew of the THOMPSON will view this proposed practice in a very positive light, and presuming there are no concerns, would like to put this new practice into place effective retroactively to the pay period beginning October 1, 2013.