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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Today, the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved changes to policies for the university’s layoff and transition assistance benefits, sick leave and personal days, providing more flexibility to faculty and staff without increasing costs, which will ensure sustainability of these programs.
“Our staff and faculty are the backbone of the university,” said David Steelman, chair of the Board of Curators. “These policy changes to some of our benefit programs will provide staff with more flexibility, which we hope will translate into helping them do their work better. Our faculty and staff continue to do a fantastic job, and we’re working hard to support them by addressing their concerns.”
Specifically, the board voted to approve the following:
- Layoff/Transition Assistance Benefits – non-tenure track faculty and individuals with non-regular academic appointments will be added to the transition assistance plan. Previously, these employees were not eligible to receive transition assistance. The transition assistance plan will have new limits, including transition pay of a maximum of 20 weeks or no more than $50,000. Finally, these employees also will be eligible to receive continued medical coverage of up to six months.
- Sick Leave Policy – no yearly limit on using sick leave for an immediate family member’s illness and a yearly limit of 60 days for the adoption or birth of a child. Previously, staff were allowed to use only 12 days of sick leave during a year for an immediate family member’s illness or for the adoption of a child, and the sick leave policy did not address care of children after birth.
- Personal Days – new employees can now use all four personal days as approved during their first six months of employment. Previously, new employees were only allowed to use two personal days for the first six months of employment. University employees receive four personal days each year, and those days expire if not used by the end of that year.
“In addition to these changes, we are also working to establish the shared leave program, which was approved by the Board at the December meeting,” said Marsha Fischer, chief human resources officer. “We anticipate the shared leave program will be implemented in July 2018. We know these changes will have a positive impact on our employees.”
In other actions, the Board approved the FY19 budget of $3.2 billion across the UM System and the four campuses.
“Our FY19 budget is about investment in our state, students and researchers,” said Ryan Rapp, vice president for finance. “We are working to put every dollar we can toward student success, research and outreach. Additionally, we will use the next year to change our financial planning process. As we look to the future, the University must take a longer-term approach to manage and understand its financial performance. This includes setting clear metrics to grow revenue, manage our costs, drive investments and increase productivity.”