Support Staff Policies & Procedures

Support Staff Flexible Appointment Policy & Procedure

Policy

A flexible appointment is a voluntary commitment by a staff member to a specific schedule of work. Flexible appointments are appointments which provide equivalent salary over a calendar year, with some benefit coverage equivalent to full-time appointments. Flexible appointments are subject to approval by MSU Human Resources.

Full-time active employment for 9, 10, or 11 months per year with a pre-scheduled unpaid leave of absence with benefits (flex leave) during the remaining month(s). The employee's position is held for his/her return at the end of the flex leave, subject to the conditions specified in the Policy and Procedure for Layoff - Reduction in Force.

Applies to: Regular administrative, professional (on- and off-campus), nurses, administrative professional confidential and clerical technical employees

 

General:

  1. The department administrator shall identify vacant positions appropriate for flexible appointments.
  2. A flexible appointment, as a change of appointment, may be granted only with the agreement of the current staff member. Without agreement, the reduction in force policy applies.
  3. A flexible appointment must be arranged in advance with the staff member and approved by the departmental administrator and MSU Human Resources, specifically Employee Relations. 
  4. At the time of presentation of a proposed flexible voluntary appointment, the employee shall be notified in writing at least ten working days before being required to respond. The employee will be told:
    • the length of time of the unpaid leave and the time or times when said leave must be taken
  5. All flexible appointments will annually provide a minimum of 1,560 hours of scheduled work (subject to necessary reductions in force).
  6. If a flexible appointment position is subsequently eliminated, reduction in force procedures will be initiated.
  7. A flexible appointee's full-time equivalent (FTE) salary is the amount that would be paid if an entire year was worked full-time (e.g., $1,000/month x 12 months = $12,000). The term base salary as used in this policy is the actual expected pay during the year. For example, if the FTE salary is $12,000, the base salary would be:
    • $1,000 x 9 months = $9,000
  8. Flexible leaves (with benefits) are available and may be established for prearranged periods of one month or more, up to a maximum of three months (in increments of one month).
  9. Appointees on flexible leave are on a mutually agreed upon leave of absence; therefore, they are ineligible for Unemployment Compensation. If Unemployment Compensation is sought by the employee, the flexible leave is voided and the employee shall be placed on layoff status.
  10. Flexible leaves may begin during a probationary period; however, the time spent on the flexible leave will not count toward completion of the probationary period.
  11. Appointees may work for other employers while on flexible leave.
  12. Staff members returning from a flexible leave are assigned to their previously held positions unless the circumstances of the University change and the position no longer exists. Those affected by a reduction in force while on flexible leave are eligible for the provisions of the reduction in force policy. Affected members will be given written notices as stipulated in the Policy and Procedure for Layoff - Reduction in Force.
  13. Flexible appointees receive their base salary during their period of active service and no salary during flexible leave.
  14. When some of the duties of a non-vacant position are eliminated, resulting in a change to a flexible appointment, the position shall not be downgraded nor eliminated as a direct result of the flexible appointment.

Establishing a flexible appointment in a non-vacant position: 
Department (if employee concurs): Identifies position suitable for a flexible appointment and presents written notice of the proposal to the employee. If the employee agrees, the department submits a Staffing Request in EBS to reclassify the position (with an attachment signed by the employee indicating concurrence with the appointment). 

Department (if employee does not concur): CTU employees must be given a prescribed amount of time to make alternative arrangements before the department effectuates the flexible appointment if the employee does not concur with the assignment.

For other employee groups a reduction in force may be implemented.

Establishing a flexible appointment in a new position: 
Department: Submits a completed Staffing Request form in EBS to establish the flexible position.

Other: 
Department/employee:

Benefit programs:

  1. Employees with flexible voluntary appointments are eligible for benefits as described below:
    • A full-time employee University contribution toward health and dental care coverage is offered.
    • Long-Term Disability and Basic Life coverage are provided subject to the applicable FTE service-months waiting periods. Staff members meeting eligibility requirements for Long-Term Disability and Basic Life continue their eligibility during the flexible leave. The base salary is used for the determination of benefits.
    • Optional Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage is available. MSU Human Resources will bill employees for applicable premium amounts.
  2. Educational Assistance is available, subject to current eligibility requirements, and appointees will be allowed to "bank" educational assistance for use during non-work flexible leave periods up to a maximum of 14 semester credits or 20 term credits per academic year. All other provisions of Educational Assistance must be satisfied. The Employee Educational Assistance Application must identify the employee as a flexible appointee on flexible leave.
  3. The Course Fee Courtesy program is available, subject to current eligibility requirements.
  4. Full service credit is given toward retirement, benefit eligibility waiting periods, vacation service months and FTE service months.
  5. Paid leave accruals are proportionate, and are accrued as follows:
    • During active full-time service, the employee accrues leave as a full-time employee. During a flexible leave, paid leave does not accrue and may not be utilized (accruals frozen subject to relevant policies).
  6. University contribution to the base retirement program and Social Security is provided subject to all current eligibility requirements:
    • During active full-time service, the employee receives University contributions based on his/her base salary. No University contributions are made while the employee is on a leave with benefits (e.g., monthly salary = $1,000.00, University contribution = $100.00. Worked nine months, base salary = $9,000.00, University contribution = $900.00).
  7. All salary-related benefits (paid leave, Optional Life, base and supplemental retirement, Long-Term Disability, Basic Life, Extended Disability Leave, and longevity) are based upon the flexible appointee's base salary. The longevity cap will be that of full-time employees.

Procedure

MSU Human Resources: Bills employees for insurance premiums for flexible leave period, where applicable. Call 517-353-4434 with benefits questions or email SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu.

Refer questions to: MSU Human Resources (telephone 517-353-4434, SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu).

 

Revised: November 2016 - Removed all references to Type 2 Appointment

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