Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Campus will observe summer four-day workweek

May 4, 2009

The following is a letter sent to the campus last week by Steve Cunningham, associate vice president for administration and human resources.

President Peters has authorized implementation of a four-day work week for the DeKalb campus during the summer of 2009. The four-day work week schedule will be ten weeks in duration, beginning on Monday, June 8 and extending through Friday, August 14. The regular five-day schedule will resume as of Monday, August 17.

President Peters has again indicated that, while the current budget situation remains very uncertain, prior years’ savings associated with the four-day summer work schedule imply that it is prudent for the university to take every step possible to pursue efficiencies and generate resources in support of university operations. Consultation with the leadership of the employee councils has confirmed that the campus is prepared to again proceed with the four-day schedule. We appreciate the dedication of the campus community and staff in adapting to the summer work schedule.

During the Monday through Thursday work week, university offices will be open from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. each day. All university offices will be closed on Friday with limited exceptions related to essential service functions and other events/functions that may be scheduled at the university during the summer time frame. The general lunch period is scheduled from 12:00 noon until 12:40 p.m. Individual lunch breaks may vary depending on employee schedules. Additional flex time options are also available, subject to operational needs.

As indicated above, the summer work week schedule is being implemented with the general concurrence of our staff councils and the university community. University supervisors are asked to allow as much flexibility as possible with respect to employee schedules. However, individual supervisors will also be responsible for ensuring that university offices remain open during the required hours of operation and that the business needs of the university are fulfilled. The divisional vice presidents will monitor implementation of summer work schedule options within their respective areas of administration.

2009 Summer Four-Day Work Schedule Procedures
June 8 – August 14

  • Coverage: The four-day summer schedule applies to the DeKalb campus and will include non-negotiated civil service exempt and non-exempt personnel, supportive professional staff, and twelve-month administrative faculty who normally work the regular five-day week. Negotiated employees’ work schedules will be subject to specific provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements. The four-day schedule and overtime provisions outlined below pertain to the standard 37.5 hour work week. Related provisions shall be prorated for employees whose normal work schedules exceed the standard 37.5 hour work week. It is understood that certain operations cannot precisely conform to this schedule and designated employees therein will continue on regular or specifically amended schedules. Seven-day, twenty-four hour operations, such as Public Safety, will remain on current schedules.
  • University Business Day: The standard work day and office hours will be from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., each day, Monday through Thursday. A standard lunch period is scheduled from 12:00 noon until 12:40 p.m. The standard work week will consist of 37.5 hours per week.
  • Lunch Period: The regular lunch period for office operations should be observed from 12:00 noon until 12:40 p.m. However, supervisors may approve alternative lunch periods depending upon employee and operational needs. Hourly employees may not forego a lunch period for purposes of late arrival or early departure.
  • Flexible Work Schedules: To provide employees with additional flexibility during the extended four-day working schedule and subject to operational needs and supervisory approval, employees may adjust the starting and ending times of their daily schedules within a 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. schedule. Supervisors are encouraged to provide employees with as much additional flexibility as possible for this purpose. If an employee cannot adapt to the four-day schedule, the employee (with concurrence of the supervisor) may work something less than the 9.4 hours scheduled work day and utilize accumulated vacation time for the remainder of the day or take the time without pay.
  • Overtime: Hourly employees are eligible for overtime pay or compensating time off, if the employee works more than 9.4 hours in any one day or more than 37.5 hours in one work week. Overtime schedules are subject to supervisory approval.
  • Sick Leave and Vacation Days: Sick leave and vacation days will be earned and used on the basis of 9.4 hours per day. Exempt civil service and supportive professional staff employees will claim 1.25 days while hourly employees will claim 9.4 hours for each sick or vacation day used.
  • Rest Periods: With an awareness that employees will lose 30 minutes of rest period time while working a full schedule during four days instead of five days per week, supervisors may adjust employees’ rest periods on a daily basis to allow for the additional 30 minutes per week. The rest period must be preceded and followed by a substantial work period. Rest periods may not be taken as late arrivals, early departures. Given the shortened lunch period, employees may request (on a daily basis) to apply one or both break periods to an extended lunch time frame, subject to supervisory approval and operational requirements.
  • July 4 Holiday: Thursday, July 2, will be the scheduled holiday. During this week the four-day schedule will continue to be recognized with Monday, June 29; Tuesday, June 30; and Wednesday, July 1 remaining as the 9.4 hours per day summer work schedule. Those employees who continue on a five-day workweek will observe the holiday on Friday, July 3.
  • Temporary Suspension of Rules: In order to facilitate implementation of the four-day summer schedule, applicable provisions of university policies pertaining to scheduled hours and overtime are amended as outlined above during the four-day summer work schedule time frame.