This is to announce that the University is implementing a two-year Staff and Academic Reduction in Time (START) Program effective July 1, 2008. This program provides eligible staff and academic employees an opportunity to voluntarily reduce their working time and corresponding pay in exchange for a number of advantages described in the START Program Guidelines. The reduction in time and pay will help the University achieve temporary salary savings during this period of budgetary shortfall.

All regular status (non-probationary career) staff employees and all academic personnel (except those in faculty and student academic titles and Postdoctoral Scholars) with appointments of at least 60 percent time are eligible to participate in START.

For exclusively represented employees, participation in START is subject to collective bargaining. Currently, we have agreement with UPTE for the participation of employees in the Research Support Professional (RX), Technical (TX) and Residual Health Care (HX) bargaining units. All other exclusively represented employees are not eligible to participate at this time.

The START Program is a tool that department heads, with approval from their respective Principal Officer, may choose to make available to their employees during the period of July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010. This will give Principal Officers and their departments the potential to implement START within the context of their missions, operational needs, service requirements, and budgets. Please be advised that department heads and their associated Principal Officers may elect to offer the program for the entire 24-month period; others may elect to offer the program only during certain months such as the summer months; and some may elect not to offer the START program in their unit at all.

In units that have elected to offer START, employees who want to participate in the program must request the department head's approval to voluntarily reduce their working time, within specific limits, from a minimum of one month to a maximum of 24 months. In considering whether to approve an employee's participation in START, it is important that department heads and Principal Officers evaluate priorities and workloads to ensure that functional objectives continue to be met.

Additional information regarding the program guidelines, program brochure describing the features of START, including useful questions and answers, and START contract forms are available online at: http://shr.ucsc.edu/

For staff employees requesting participation in START effective July 1, 2008, completed and approved START contract forms must be received by the appropriate HR Service Team no later than July 9, 2008. Questions about the program should be directed your HR Service Team Representative, http://shr.ucsc.edu/hrst/hrst_locate-team.htm

For academic personnel requesting participation in START effective July 1, 2008, completed and approved START contract forms must be received by the appropriate divisional academic personnel coordinator by July 9, 2008. Questions about the program should also be directed to your divisional academic personnel coordinator.