In the 2009-2011 biennial budget for the state of Ohio, the 128th General Assembly provided: ""the board of trustees of any state institution of higher education, notwithstanding any rule of the institution to the contrary, may adopt a policy providing for mandatory furloughs of employees, including faculty, to achieve spending reductions necessitated by institutional budget deficits." (Section 371.70.20 of Amended Substitute House Bill Number 1 of the 128th General Assembly)
The university's long-term financial stability depends on the ability to balance the operating budget each fiscal year. A "significant operating budget deficit" is defined as a documented substantial decline in the financial resources of the institution that is brought about by a reduction in state funding, loss of revenue from endowments or investments, decline in institutional enrollment, or by other action or events that compel a reduction in the operating budget. The fiscal priorities and budget planning committee (a standing committee of university senate), the chair of the classified personnel advisory committee, the chair of the unclassified personnel advisory committee, and chair of senate executive committee shall be consulted before a determination is made that a significant operating budget deficit exists and that a furlough is required. Consultation shall be understood to be a substantive opportunity to provide feedback before a determination is made. The fiscal priorities committee shall report its determination to university senate. University senate shall be afforded an opportunity to respond within the timeframe set by the president. The timeframe set by the president shall not be less than fourteen days from the date the issue was first presented to the fiscal priorities committee.
If, after consultation, the president reasonably believes the university is facing a significant operating budget deficit, a furlough may be implemented. This policy supersedes all other university policies and applies to all employees regardless of source of funds, place of work or appointment terms or status, including faculty, unclassified administrative staff, and non-bargaining unit classified staff (classified staff represented by the American federation of state, county, and municipal employees (afscme) bargaining unit will follow article 20 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which provides for furloughs up to one hundred twenty days). A furlough may be implemented upon thirty days advance written notice to affected employees.
Employees may not be furloughed for more than twenty working days in any fiscal year. Furloughed employees may be required to take up to five consecutive working days or forty consecutive working hours off without pay. The president or the president's designee(s) will engage in timely and substantive consultation with the senate executive committee, university senate, and the leadership of the classified personnel advisory committee and the unclassified personnel advisory committee in planning for the implementation of a furlough. Consultation may, by necessity, require intense and limited periods of time for planning.
Scheduling of furlough days or portions of days shall be the responsibilities of the president or the president's designee(s), but in no event will the university close completely. Furloughs may be implemented on a differential, intermittent, or staggered basis based on pay/salary level, employee classification or nature of appointment. For example, furloughs may take into account the essential operating and safety needs of the university, the availability of designated federal funding, or income generated by the division, department, unit, or program. Days that the university is normally closed or days that may not normally be work days for certain groups of employees (i.e., spring break and the week between December twenty-fifth of each year and January first of each year) may be designated as furlough days.
Note: classified staff represented by the afscme bargaining unit will follow Article 20 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which provides for furloughs up to one hundred twenty days.
(D) Employee benefits and contributions while on furlough
Employees may not use accrued paid leave during periods of furlough. The university may allocate employees' reduction in pay over the balance of the fiscal year for payroll purposes regardless of the pay period within which the furlough occurs.
(1) Healthcare, dental care and life insurance benefits will not be affected by a furlough.
(2) Employees' continuous Miami service, review date, and employment status will not be affected by any period of mandatory furlough.
(3) Employees will continue to accrue vacation and sick leave during a furlough.
(4) Retirement contributions by both employees and the university will be affected by furloughs as contributions are based on actual earnings.
Employees remain responsible for making all employee contributions (i.e., healthcare, dental care, flexible spending accounts, and 403(b) contributions) and all miscellaneous authorized deductions (i.e., credit union, charitable contributions, university payments).