COVID-19: CHRO email to all faculty, OAs, and classified employees on May 27, 2020

Subject Line: UO Voluntary Summer Work Share Program - Employee election period is now open

Dear Employees,

The University of Oregon has developed a Voluntary Summer Work Share Program for units and employees to consider reduced work schedules over the summer months. This program presents a unique opportunity for eligible employees, upon approval, to take at least one day off per week over the summer (June 14 – August 14) and receive unemployment insurance payments in addition to their UO pay check. With the additional $600/week in unemployment benefits available until July 25, we estimate that employees who reduce their FTE by 0.2 and make less than $131,000 per year may make more than their current pay over the two month period due to the combination of UO income and unemployment payments. Savings from the program will help offset revenue and expense impacts related to COVID-19 for the University.

Here is how it works:

  • By June 3, an employee elects, with the approval of their unit, to reduce their FTE and work fewer hours each week with their pay from UO adjusted accordingly.
  • UO takes care of the paperwork by filing an unemployment claim and subsequent certification reports on behalf of the employee.
  • The employee receives unemployment insurance payments to offset their reduced earnings at UO, and, in addition to the standard unemployment benefits, eligible employees would receive the $600/week additional unemployment benefit provided by the Federal CARES Act until July 25 when the act expires.

If you are interested in the UO Voluntary Summer Work Share program, please take the following actions:

  1. Review the program details and important considerations outlined on the HR website.
  2. Consult with your supervisor; then
  3. With your supervisor’s approval, submit an online election form available on the HR website.

This is a voluntary program with a short window for election. Employees must submit their election request, with supervisory approval, to HR by Wednesday, June 3. Employees will be notified of approval, and their reduced work schedule begins the week of June 14.

Recognizing the challenges the last few months have presented for both employees and the university, we have encouraged unit leadership and supervisors to be flexible as they consider employee requests and their operational needs. We hope this program allows employees to take time for themselves over the summer as we continue our transition to fall.


Mark Schmelz
Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President