Staff Manual: Reduction in Force

Revised: October 2012
When positions are identified for Reduction in Force (RIF) status within their units, the Library’s immediate goal is to place as many employees as possible (in all regular job families) into vacant positions in the Library system before formal notices of layoff are issued. In examining the suitability of an employee for a vacant position, Library Human Resources and the appropriate Associate University Librarian (AUL) try to determine a match between the employee’s qualifications and the particular skills, knowledge and experience required for the position. The job description and selection criteria offer guidance in this regard, as do the employee’s own credentials, merit review ratings, annual performance appraisals, and other evaluative statements in his/her personnel file.
Special attention is given to expertise that might be applicable to positions within the employee’s unit cluster. (See explanation and list of unit clusters below. Attention is also given to qualities that are valuable in several unit clusters—for example, bibliographic searching skills—which broaden the possibility of reassignment.
In all cases, staff identified for RIF should participate in this reassignment search, since experienced employees are often their own best judges and spokespersons. They should therefore apply on their own initiative for suitable positions in any part of the Library system.
When it is impossible to vacate through transfers all positions identified for elimination, some regular employees must be laid off. Within unit clusters, the order of reduction will begin with the staff member with the least University service (seniority) in the affected classification or rank, except that the Library may retain employees, irrespective of seniority, who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to perform the available work which are not possessed to the same degree by other employees in the same classification or rank.
In all cases, there will be no discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, veteran status, and height or weight, nor will individual salaries or eligibility for retirement be criteria for determining who will be removed from a position.
The provisions of this policy are not to be used to remove a staff member if the sole cause is either misconduct or unsatisfactory performance.  
When an individual who is designated for layoff or laid off accepts an offer of regular employment at the Library, the initial 90 days of employment in the new position will be a mutual assessment period.  Supervisors will assess the staff member’s work performance to determine whether to continue employment. If employment is not continued or if the staff member considers the new employment to be unsatisfactory, the staff member returns to layoff status. Neither the Library nor the staff member has an obligation to continue employment through the mutual assessment period.
Library Administration attempts to give six months’ notice to librarians before their positions are eliminated. It also provides the required 30-day notification period for staff with less than 10 years of service, and 90-day notification period for staff with 10 or more years of service.  The Library may choose to provide payment in lieu of notice equivalent to the regular compensation plus any shift differential if applicable, the staff member would have received if the staff member had been required to work during the notice period for which he/she is eligible. If a staff member transfers to other employment with the University during the notice period, payment in lieu of notice will cease. 
The University Reduction in Force policy (SPG 201.72-0) must be reviewed for additional pertinent information before any RIF action is taken. (Please note that appropriate Standard Practice Guide policy statements have precedence over this Library policy). 
Unit Clusters
Unit clusters are administrative groupings of Library units. They help guide both reassignment and layoff decisions regarding RIF candidates.
University Librarian’s Office – including Associate University Librarians (AULs), assistants and support staff, Development Office, Communications and Marketing, and Diversity Programs and Staff Development 
Business & Finance – including Finance, Human Resources, Desktop Support Services, and other direct reports
Library Information Technology – including Web Systems, User Experience, Library Systems, Core Services, Learning Technologies Incubation Group (LTIG), Digital Library Production Services (DLPS), and other direct reports
MPublishing – including Copyright Office, Publishing Technology Group, Digital Publishing Production, Publishing Services Outreach and Strategic Development, U-M Press, and other direct reports
Collections – including Document Delivery, Special Collections, Technical Services, Preservation and Conservation, Papyrology, and other direct reports
Learning and Teaching – including Academic Technology Group, Digital Media Commons, Technology Integration Group, Learning Programs and Initiatives, User Information and Discovery Services, and other direct reports
Operations – including Access Services, Operations Support, User Services, Facilities, and other direct reports
Research – including Asia Library; Arts & Humanities; International Studies; Social Sciences; Science, Engineering & Data; and other direct reports
Taubman Health Sciences – including Liaison Services, Information Services, Research & Informatics, and other direct reports
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Last modified: 10/04/2012