FAQ - Employee-Initiated Reduction In Time (ERIT) Program
Please contact your supervisor or the appropriate HR representative for your department to find out if your department is offering ERIT.
Eligibility for represented employees is subject to agreement by the applicable union. CUE-IBT, UTPE-TX, UPTE-RX, UPTE-HX and ACBCTC-KB are the only unions that have approved ERIT at this time. Updated information will be posted here as it becomes available.
Employees whose regular appointments are part-time appointments may participate in ERIT, provided that they reduce their time under ERIT at least 5% of full-time and that their appointment percentage under ERIT is at least 50%.
Employees who participate in ERIT will receive holiday pay in proportion to their reduced time, in accordance with the applicable personnel policy or collective bargaining agreement, applicable to part-time employees.
ERIT is a program that allows employees to voluntarily reduce their time in exchange for a commensurate reduction in pay. Like similar programs previously offered, it is an optional tool the University can use during the current budget crisis to save salary costs.
ERIT is being offered as a means to assist the University with salary savings in response to the current budget crisis. It is an option that locations and organizational units may or may not choose to offer employees. Interested employees should check with their appropriate HR representative to find out if ERIT will be offered in their department.
Senior managers are not eligible to participate in ERIT because their efforts are needed full time to guide the University through the current budget crisis. Academic appointees are not eligible because alternative options are being considered for them.
You should have the same reduction in time and pay in each pay period of your ERIT contract. However, with your department head’s approval, your work schedule within a pay period may be flexible from week to week as long as the total time reduced during the pay period is the same as the percentage time reflected in your ERIT contract.
Yes, based on a 40-hour week, 5% of full-time would be 2 hours per week, regardless of whether your previous appointment was 100% or some other percentage.
Yes, if you have a temporary voluntary reduction in time commencing on or after January 1, 2012 and prior to the starting date of ERIT, you may request to participate in ERIT prospectively. If your request is granted, you may enter into an ERIT contract and you need not increase to your regular appointment prior to ERIT in order to reduce your time under ERIT. However, your appointment percentage under ERIT may not be less than 50%. In such case, the department will need to adjust the appointment to its prior FTE before submitting the ERIT request.
Yes, you may participate in ERIT by reducing your time at least 5% of full-time. However, your appointment percentage under ERIT may not be less than 50%.
Department heads may offer ERIT any time between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014. Some departments may elect to offer the program for the entire period; others may elect to offer the program only during certain months (such as the summer months); while some may elect to not offer ERIT at all. Check with your department head regarding the availability of the program in your department during the period of time you are interested in reducing your time.
For employees who are paid monthly, an ERIT contract must begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month. For employees who are paid semi-monthly, an ERIT contract would begin on the first day of the month and terminate at the end of the month.
For contracts to be effective July 1, 2012, contract forms for employees paid semi-monthly or monthly must be received by HR-Records Management unit by 5:00 pm on July 9, 2012. For subsequent months, contract forms for all pay schedules must be received by HR-Records Management unit by the 1st of the month in which the ERIT schedule is to be effective. For example, ERIT contracts to be effective on August 1st must be received by 5:00 pm on August 1st.
If the relevant department head approves, and your new position is covered by the ERIT program, you may continue your participation in ERIT for the term of your ERIT contract when you accept another position in the same or a different department.
ERIT participants should review their assigned workloads with their supervisors to work out a corresponding reduction in workload or assignments.
An exempt employee may reduce his or her time and corresponding pay from 5% to 50% of full-time under ERIT. An appropriate workload reduction and a focus on working to meet job responsibilities rather than working a specified period of time are the intended approaches to ERIT for exempt employees. Because time records for purposes of pay cannot be kept for exempt employees who receive the same salary each pay period regardless of hours worked, exempt employees who participate in ERIT may find a schedule involving full days off useful. However, this would not preclude occasionally working some time on those days if necessary to meet a deadline.
No, unfortunately variable appointments by their nature are flexed according to departmental need and is not aligned with this program.
Yes, employees who work these alterative schedules can participate in ERIT. For example, an employee on a 4/10 schedule who wants to reduce to 90 percent time could work a 4/9 schedule by reducing each work day by 10% (an hour each day); while an employee on a 9/80 schedule can work a 9/72 schedule by working 8 hours per day (a 10% reduction).
No. This is one of the advantages of ERIT. You will continue to accrue vacation and sick leave at your pre-ERIT appointment percentage.
Under ERIT, UCRP service credit will accrue in accordance with your ERIT appointment percentage, so if you reduce your appointment from 100% to 75%, you will accrue 75% service credit. Your retirement contributions under ERIT will be based on the reduced salary.
Buyback of UCRP service credit applies to leaves of absence. There is no provision in UCRP for buying back service credit for reductions in time.
No, your eligibility for health and welfare benefits will not be affected by ERIT because your percentage of time on pay status under ERIT cannot be reduced below 50% time.
Disability benefit payments for both the Short-term Plan and the Supplemental Plan will be based on your pre-ERIT salary and your premiums will continue to be based on your pre-ERIT salary.
Supplemental and Dependent Life insurance will not be impacted by participation in ERIT– premiums and coverage will continue to be based on your full-time salary rate. Basic Life insurance will be calculated using your full-time salary rate and your pre-ERIT appointment percentage.
Highest Average Plan Compensation (HAPC), which is used to calculate UCRP Monthly Retirement Income or Lump Sum Cashout, is based on monthly Full-Time Equivalent Compensation and does not change as a result of participation in the ERIT Program.
Final Salary, which is used to calculate Preretirement Survivor Income, Death Benefits for Members who became active before October 1, 1990, and Disability Income, will be adjusted to reflect the average percent of time on pay status during the preceding 36 months if an employee dies or becomes disabled while, or within 12 months of, participating in the ERIT program.
If your 403(b) or 457(b) contributions are deducted as a percentage of your compensation, your contributions will be reduced if you participate in ERIT.
In addition, your maximum annual contribution to the 403(b) Plan or 457(b) Plan may be affected by your participation in ERIT because it is based on the lesser of your adjusted gross salary or a fixed amount based on age. For example, your maximum annual contribution for 2011 would be based on the lesser of:
- your adjusted gross salary; or
- $16,500 if you are under age 50 as of December 31, 2011 or $22,000 if you are age 50 or older anytime during 2011.
The DCP requires contributions as a specific percentage of eligible salary, therefore, contributions will be lower.
Refer to the list of "Important Considerations" in the ERIT contract.
Deciding to participate in ERIT represents a commitment. However, an unforeseen change of circumstances during your participation may occur that requires you to end your contract. If you wish to return to your pre-ERIT percentage of time, you may do so provided that you give your supervisor at least 30 days advance notice. Advance notice of termination may be waived if your request to terminate your contract is due to an emergency situation. You must complete the ERIT contract amendment and return it in accordance with local ERIT procedures.
ERIT is intended to be two-way commitment between the employee and his or her department for the benefit of both. However, when there is a business need, a department head may end an ERIT contract with 30 days advance notice.
Since ERIT commitments will be used to project departmental savings and for planning purposes during fiscal years 2013-2014, percentages of time should not be changed.
However, if circumstances beyond your control warrent an increase or decrease in your percentage reduction, you may change it once during the ERIT contract with 30 days advance notice. To change your ERIT percentage after initial approval, you must complete the ERIT contract amendment (PDF) and return it in accordance with the ERIT procedures by the established deadline.
With programs like ERIT, the University hopes to minimize layoffs. However, the current budget uncertainties make it impossible to guarantee protection from a permanent or temporary layoff for employees who volunteer for ERIT.
No, you will retain recall and preferential rehire rights to positions at the same or lesser percentage of time as your position prior to the ERIT reduction in time, in accordance with applicable personnel policies or collective bargaining agreements.
Your seniority for the purpose of indefinite layoff will be treated the same as if you had not participated in ERIT. When calculating seniority for the purpose of layoff, departments will need to be sure ERIT participants are credited appropriately.