Layoffs and Hours Reduction
(Approved by Staff Meeting February 18, 2005)
This policy addresses looming financial problems that might require a cut in staff costs. It is not intended to be used in lieu of a staff discipline policy. If a financial crisis is looming and there are staff discipline issues pending, there should be an attempt to deal with the discipline issues early on and apart from this policy.
Layoffs and Reduction Report Committee
The HR committee would nominate an ad hoc Layoffs and Reductions Report Committee. Staff would discuss the nominations and make a final decision on the makeup of the committee. In determining the makeup of the committee staff members should prioritize who would be appropriate to the committee, including people with a long-standing history with Free Geek and people with a working knowledge of the finances. Also, the staff should consider the overall balance of the committee. There may be other considerations as well.
This committee should only be formed after alternatives to staff cuts have been considered including various ways to increase revenue and reduce other costs.
The staff must provide to the committee a target amount of savings that needs to be achieved.
The committee will then consider the issues involved and make a Layoffs and Reductions Report to the staff collective suggesting options for consideration.
The ways to determine where to make the cuts should be considered in the following order. All items below must be considered before a recomendation is made.
- Review alternatives first
- The committee must review what fundraising options and other cost cutting measures have been considered before recommending to reduce hours or lay off staff members.
- Consider a staffwide wage cut
- The committee must calculate how much of a staffwide wage reduction would be needed to meet the target amount. This must be a percentage reduction that applies consistently to all staff members. The committee should determine if this will solve the problem without causing unreasonable hardship for anyone.
- Consider a voluntary hours cuts
- The committee must consult with each staff member to determine if anyone is willing to temporarily or permanently voluntarily reduce the number of hours they work and if so, by how much. The committee must also ask if anyone is willing to take a voluntary unpaid leave of absence.
- Staff members offering that their hours be cut should actually plan to work less hours. They should not volunteer to work "for free" since this can lead to an imbalance in staff expectations.
- Job performance based cuts
- The committee must consider data from existing staff reviews. For each staff member (including those without existing staff reviews on file), the committee must consider the impact on the organization if that staff member were to leave the staff. This should be based on the staff member's overall job performance.
- Program and job function based cuts
- The committee must consider what jobs and programs could be eliminated or scaled back, and what effect that would likely have on the organization as a whole.
- The committee must consider overlapping job functionality.
- The committee must consider how each job and program addresses the mission of the organization and how much money it brings in and costs.
- After the above criteria have been considered, seniority may be considered as a method of determining hours cuts or layoffs.
Report of Options and Recommendations
The report must provide options for consideration to the full staff collective. Options that were discussed but rejected must also be reported on, along with the reason for rejection.
The committee may recommend options. If included, these recommendations must be based on the considerations listed above.
For each option listed, the report must consider the impact on Free Geek's mission and the operational and financial impacts to the organization.
The report should also consider the possibility of shuffling people to other positions to minimize negative impact on Free Geek.
The report should consider if temporary layoffs or hours cuts might solve the problem, and if so, the report should state the expected length of time that the cuts would be in effect.
Staff action on the report
The staff must then review the report and decide on a course of action.
If the staff decides to layoff or cut hours at least two week's notice should be given to the staff members affected.
(Not part of the policy, but useful during implementation.)