Layoff of an AP

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If you are an AP at PCC and you are notified that you will be laid off, then there are some things you need to know.

What is a "reduction in force"?

The term "layoff" at PCC is usually used in the sense of "reduction in force," which is governed by Article 24 of the contract. That is, your reps in FFAP have bargained provisions (in Article 24), which, during a reduction in force, put some boundaries on who gets laid off, why they get laid off, how they get laid off, and what happens after a layoff (in the event of a recall).

What is a "reduction in force"? A reduction in force, or RIF, occurs when college management determines there isn't enough funding or enough work to justify a position be maintained (an AP be paid to do some work). RIFs are unfortunately very common in "soft money" programs (grant-funded programs), when the grant funding is cut or disappears, and in self-funded programs that don't bring in enough money.

The first thing to do, if you receive a layoff notice or are told you will be laid off, is to make sure that your layoff is happening due to a RIF and not some other cause. If you manager decides you are not doing good work and need to be fired, that's not a RIF, and depending on your status (probationary or non-probationary), management has to follow a different procedure to show cause for your dismissal. Article 24 outlines four conditions that constitute a RIF, so make sure you read up on them and are satisfied that your situation falls within one of the four conditions. If you have any doubt that it may not - that you are being fired for some other reason - then be sure to contact a rep in FFAP.

The second thing to do is to make sure that Article 24 applies to you - that you are not in a probationary, special probationary, or temporary appointment. If you are in any one of these appointments, then Article 24 doesn't apply to you - management can "let you go" without following any of the provisions in Article 24.

Being notified of a layoff

How will you be notified that you are being laid-off? Article 24 specifies how you will be notified - and how the Federation is notified. An important provision of Article 24 is that the Federation be notified of any impending layoff before you, the AP, are. This provision is important because it makes sure there are no surprises - your Federation reps will know before you do and will be looking into the situation to make sure all of the rules are being followed and that management is adhering to the RIF guidelines (the reasons for the layoff are justified, for example).

One rotten thing about notification is that many APs in "soft money" positions receive layoff notices ("pink slips") way before management knows whether the program will continue or not. Management does this because 24.2 of the contract requires they do so, and many APs then work under a cloud - not knowing if their job will be there next year. In bargaining in 2015, the layoff notice period for employees in 1900-funded positions (self-funded programs) was reduced to six months (see 24.251), which is a good-news, bad-news thing - less time to feel anxious about the future but also less time to prepare in the event of a layoff.

Seniority 

The most important criterion when you are laid off is seniority. Article 24 requires that employees be laid off "in reverse order of seniority" - that is, the longer you are employed at PCC, the more job security you have; the less time you have worked at PCC, the less job security you have. However, seniority is not as straightforward as you might think it is, as management has some latitude to define program requirements, fill positions based on affirmative-action goals, and the like. You can rest assured that there's always a struggle between FFAP and management over who has seniority and why.

Recall

Once you are laid off, you may be subject to "recall," which means that management is required to hire you back if your position comes back. This provision is important because it lessens the likelihood for management to use RIFs as a way of getting rid of APs for spurious reasons, since the same APs will return if positions are re-created. It also provides more job-security to laid-off APs.

The most important provision of recall is that it happens in reverse order of layoff, meaning that if you are the first to be laid-off, you will be the last to be recalled; and if you are last to be laid-off (because you are most senior), you'll be first to be recalled. Also you stay on the recall list for three years after being laid off, and if you apply for another position within a year of layoff and meet the minimum qualifications, you are guaranteed an interview. These are bittersweet fruits of a layoff, but they are important to all APs because they ensure that an employer doesn't abuse the process. Remember: If your work performance is substandard, your manager should be following the disciplinary process, not taking the easy route of laying you off due to an imaginary RIF.


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Page updated by Peter Seaman on June 11th, 2016.

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