COVID-19: Freeze on Pay Actions

Due to financial uncertainty created by COVID-19, the University of Oregon has implemented a freeze on pay actions. This action complements existing budget management measures, such as the current hiring freeze, that are in effect as we respond to financial impacts of COVID-19.

Compensation and benefits costs represent almost 80% of the budget. Through the combination of the existing hiring freeze and the new off-cycle pay action freeze, the university will limit expense growth as much as possible during this challenging financial period. The freeze on off-cycle pay actions continue to be assessed and determined alongside other actions for impacts to the university budget. For now, the freeze is effective immediately and will remain in place indefinitely.

Impacted Pay Actions

The freeze applies to the following off-cycle pay actions: stipends, overloads, retention increases, expansion of duties, reclassifications (exclusions), work-out-of-class, and special merit increases.

Exception Process

Eligible Exceptions

Similar to the hiring freeze, Human Resources is establishing an exception process to allow for pay actions on a limited basis. Exception requests should be submitted through the normal HR process but will be then be routed for further review. Exceptions will be granted on a very limited basis for the following reasons:

  • Employees taking on significant additional work due to a vacancy
    Generally, such work would be of a higher level than that which is typically assigned.
  • Appointment of individuals to roles that historically are paid a stipend (e.g. Department head stipends)
  • Critical retention issues in accordance with Oregon Equal Pay Act
  • Significant, permanent department restructuring with related assignment of significant additional work of a higher level in accordance with Oregon Equal Pay Act
  • Contractually obligated payments
  • Other extenuating circumstances that are tied to a mission critical function or successful recovery from COVID-19 for the university

Exception Submission

  1. Follow the current submission method required for each pay action type and include a Off-Cycle Pay Actions Justification Form that addresses the exception criteria provided above.
    Prior to being submitted to the exception process, faculty stipends and overloads and SEIU work-out-of-class requests will be considered and reviewed in accordance with UO policy, unit policy, and collective bargaining agreements, to the extent applicable.
     
  2. The Classification and Compensation Unit in Human Resources performs initial review (OEPA impacts, EOD justification, stipend amount methodology, etc.) before forwarding to the Exception Committee further review.
     
  3. A triage group, lead by the Director of Classification and Compensation, will perform an initial review and advance those actions recommended for approval to the senior leadership on the Exception Committee, which includes Jamie Moffitt, Brad Shelton, and Janet Woodruff-Borden.
     
  4. Units will be notified of the decision for their submitted actions by the Classification and Compensation Unit.