17.1 Seniority. Seniority is defined as the continuous length of service in calendar days with the University from the most recent date of hire. Permanent employees who are veterans or their unmarried widows/widowers shall have added to their seniority the veteran's active military service to a maximum of five (5) years credit.
Seniority shall be lost following an employee's resignation, termination for cause, failure to return from a leave of absence, or expiration of rehire rights.
(a) Department Seniority
For all purposes other than layoff, seniority will be calculated by length of time in job class.
17.2 The Employer will notify the Union at least forty-five (45) days in advance, of its intent to layoff to allow the Union to offer alternative plans to prevent a reduction in force. The Employer will consider all alternatives offered by the Union. In the event of an impending layoff the University will notify the Union of the least senior employees. The University will provide the Union a list of bargaining unit employees with their departmental seniority.
17.3 (a) Layoff and Rehire. Whenever it becomes necessary for the University to reduce its workforce due to lack of work, lack of funds or good faith reorganization for efficiency reasons, the University shall use the following procedure in determining which employees shall be laid off. The University shall not lay off bargaining unit employees in lieu of disciplinary action. Employees on the rehire list will have rehiring rights according to seniority and will have the first option to a vacant position in the job class from which they were laid off. Bargaining unit members on the rehire list are eligible to take all Computing & Communications and Training & Development courses on a space available basis upon payment of designated fees.
(b) Layoff. Layoff shall be by seniority, least senior person first. The University shall identify the positions to be abolished and the employee(s) to be affected and shall notify employees in these positions not less than twenty (20) working days prior to the abolishment of the positions, pay the employee wages in lieu of notice, or combine pay and notice. The notice shall include the effective date of the layoff, a reference to the employee's rights under this Article, and the opportunity to replace the most junior employee within the current class or a previously held class.
(c) FTE Reduction. An employee in a position that is not abolished but is reduced in FTE status and who will remain benefit eligible after the reduction will have the choice of staying in the reduced position and going on the rehire list for the position and FTE status held by the employee immediately prior to the reduction.
(d) Rehire. Employees identified for layoff will be placed on an eligible rehire list designated by the employee for twenty-four (24) months. Removal from the rehire list will occur if placement does not occur within twenty-four (24) months.
(e) Benefits and Temporary Services. Employees on the rehire list who follow the rules prescribed by Temporary Services will be given priority to referral to temporary positions and can receive employer paid health benefit coverage if they meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the state.
(f) Rehire Wages and Increment Date. When employees are rehired from layoff status, the periodic increment date and annual leave accrual date will be reestablished and extended by an amount of time in calendar days equal to the period of time spent on the rehire list prior to rehire.