UI offers voluntary separation to some employees

UI offers voluntary separation to some employees

URBANA – Some University of Illinois employees are getting an offer in their e-mail – early separation agreements, worth up to $75,000, but they have to make up their minds soon.

Only the Urbana campus is looking at the program, chief spokesman Tom Hardy said Thursday.

There are two programs: the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program and the Voluntary Retirement Program.

Under the first, available to current civil service and academic professional employees who have worked on this campus for at least the last four consecutive years, eligible employees who wish to voluntarily separate from the Urbana campus, either through resignation or retirement, may qualify to receive a lump-sum payment of 50 percent of their current annual salary, up to a maximum of $75,000.

In the second, available to current faculty and other academic staff who meet SURS retirement eligibility requirements, eligible employees who wish to voluntarily retire may qualify to receive a lump-sum payment of 50 percent of their current annual salary, up to a maximum payment of $75,000.

In a separate measure, anyone who is retiring – faculty or civil service, whether they take the agreement or not, will not be required to take unpaid furlough days, provided their resignation is effective before Aug. 16.

The agreement must be in writing, said Robin Kaler, the chief spokeswoman for the Urbana campus.

"We're going to be sending out information to employees on Tuesday. What was sent out (Thursday) was a memo to deans, directors and department heads, as well as HR professionals at the college and major unit level," she said.

She added that the effort is made as part of a larger one to lower costs.

"We've created these two programs in hopes of reducing the number of people we might have to lay off," she said, adding the furlough days could also have retirement consequences.

The UI is owed $436 million by the state and faces challenges in meeting its payroll. Earlier this month, Interim President Stanley Ikenberry announced a furlough program of four days for most nonunion staff making more than $30,000 a year, and 10 days for a select group of top administrators.

Under the agreement in the e-mail, the employee would agree not to make any claims against the UI and its officers under any laws prohibiting age discrimination.

Starting Feb. 3, employees have until April 2 to decide.



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