State Universities Civil Service System
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Policy Relating to Employee Benefits


WHEREAS the Civil Service Statute provides that "the Merit Board shall have the power and duty . . .

. . . To prescribe the range of compensation for each class or to fix a single rate of compensation for employees in a particular class; and to establish other conditions of employment which an employer and employee representatives have agreed upon as fair and equitable. . . .

[to] . . . take into account the rate of compensation generally paid for similar work in the locality in which the work is to be performed. . . .

. . . To recommend to the institutions and agencies . . . standards for hours of work, holidays, sick leave, overtime compensation and vacation for the purpose of improving conditions of employment . . . and . . . insuring conformity with the prevailing rate principle.";

WHEREAS uniformity in benefits among institutions is desirable, and institutional representatives have expressed concurrence with this principle;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that it is the judgment of the Merit Board that each of the governing boards, institutions, and agencies specified in Section 36e of the Statute should accord fringe benefits to its employees through adoption of the following benefit policies and develop administrative rules and procedures for uniform application of these policies throughout its organization.

  1. HOURS OF WORK

    1. Work Schedules

      Each institution or agency shall report to the Merit Board the classes of employees for which it changes the hours of workweek. The Merit Board may recommend to the institutions and agencies standards for hours of work. (Amended and reinstated at Seventy-Third meeting of the Merit Board, September 27, 1977.)

    2. Overtime Compensation

      1. Employees nonexempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be compensated at time and one-half for all time in a work week in excess of the number of hours of work comprising an established full-time daily or weekly work schedule, whichever is greater, except, that for an employee paid on a prevailing rate basis, the number of hours before daily and/or weekly overtime begins, and the rate of the employee's overtime pay, will depend on the number of hours and the rate being paid locally, pursuant to the appropriate multi-employer area agreement.

  2. ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

    Except as indicated otherwise below for prevailing wage rate groups, employee benefits will be made available to employees in status appointments. Included in this group will be those in appointments designed to qualify employees for status in the class, e.g., intern, apprentice, and, where appropriate, provisional. Employees in other types of nonstatus appointments will not be extended employee benefits. Eligibility for benefits in relation to work, leave, layoff, or absence status shall be determined by each institution or agency. Rules for the uniform administration of each form of employee benefit shall be established by the governing board of each institution or agency or by an official to whom delegation has been made as needed to meet program requirements of the institution or agency.

  3. HOLIDAYS

    1. Employees other than Prevailing Wage Rate Groups

      Eligible employees not in prevailing wage rate groups will be excused with full pay, except for necessary operations, on New Year's Day, Memorial Day (as determined by the Law of the State of Illinois), Independence Day, Labor Day (first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and on five other holidays designated by the governing board of the institution or agency. These five other holidays may differ between institutions and agencies but shall be of commemorative or other significance as nonwork days (e.g., legal holidays in the State of Illinois) and shall result in a reasonable distribution of holidays throughout the year. Days suggested for consideration are Lincoln Day (first Monday in February), Washington Day (third Monday in February), Good Friday, Columbus Day (second Monday in October), Veterans' Day, day after Thanksgiving, full day adjacent to Christmas, full day adjacent to New Year's.

    2. Prevailing Wage Rate Groups

      Eligible employees in prevailing wage rate groups will be excused from work on the holidays of the institution or agency irrespective of whether the holiday is observed under the appropriate multi-employer area agreement but will be compensated as follows:

      1. If the holiday is recognized for other employers under the appropriate multi-employer area agreement the employee will be compensated in accordance with practice under that agreement.
      2. If the holiday is not recognized under the appropriate multi-employer area agreement the employee will be excused without pay.
      3. Notwithstanding 1 and 2 above, each prevailing rate employee shall be extended the option of charging any unpaid holiday under 1 or 2 above to earned Vacation or Personal Leave accrued to the employee's credit on the date of the holiday.

    3. Holiday Work

      In the event that work is required of an employee on any holiday recognized by the employing institution or agency:

      1. Employees in prevailing wage rate groups will be compensated in accordance with prevailing practice on those holidays designated in the appropriate multi-employer area agreement.
      2. Other nonexempt employees, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (including prevailing rate employees for holidays not designated in the appropriate multi-employer area agreement), in addition to regular compensation, will receive additional payment at the rate of time and one-half, or, if mutually agreed to, by time off at the rate of time and one-half.

    4. Holiday on Nonwork Day

      For employees who normally work a Monday-through-Friday schedule, holidays which fall on a calendar Saturday will be observed on the preceding day, and holidays which fall on a calendar Sunday will be observed on the following day. Employees who normally work other than a Monday-through-Friday schedule, and who are not scheduled to work on a calendar holiday, will receive, as necessary operations permit, either (1) a scheduled work day off within two weeks of the recognized holiday, or (2) an additional day's pay at the regular rate.

  4. PAID LEAVE

    1. Initial Probationary Period

      That employees' use of earned vacation (either days taken or paid days) during probationary period be permitted. If separation occurs during the probationary period, no penalty is imposed. (Approved by the Merit Board at its Ninety-First meeting, November 10, 1982.)

    2. Vacation and Personal Leave

      1. Each employee who is nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and each employee who is exempt as an executive or administrative employee but who (1) is required to work a fixed shift and (2) receives overtime compensation if required to perform overtime shall earn Vacation and Personal Leave at the rate which is shown opposite the employee's service years in Schedule A.

        SCHEDULE A

        Years of Service
        At Least
        Not More Than
        Rate Earned Per Hour of Pay-Status Service (Exclusive of Overtime)
        Approximate Leave Days Earned in One Year
        0 3 .0462 12
        3 6 .0577 15
        <6 9 .0692 18
        9 14 .0808 21
        14 .0962 25

      2. Each employee who is (1) an executive, administrative, or professional employee as defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act, (2) not provided with a fixed or rigid daily and weekly schedule, and (3) required to discharge duties, the discharge of which usually requires a certain amount of flexibility in such schedule, shall earn Vacation and Personal Leave at the rate which is shown opposite the employee's service years in Schedule B.

        SCHEDULE B

        Years of Service
        At Least
        Not More Than
        Rate Earned Per Hour of Pay-Status Service (Exclusive of Overtime)
        Approximate Leave Days Earned in One Year
        0 3 .0962 25
        3 6 .1000 26
        6 9 .1038 27
        9 .1077 28

      3. Based on mandated changes or compliance with Federal, State, and regulations, such as that contained within the terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and as applied to the definition of employees in section IV(B)(1) and (2), Paid Leave, an employer may allow an employee hired prior to the effective date of the mandated change the opportunity to continue accruing vacation on the same accrual schedule prior to the mandated change. (Approved by the Merit Board at its Two-Hundred and First meeting, August 17, 2016.)
      4. An employee may accumulate at the employee's then current earning rate an amount of leave equal to that earned in two service years but upon reaching this accumulation will cease to earn leave except as the accumulation is reduced. Employees converting from principal administrative positions to a status civil service position may be allowed to transfer balances greater than the two year accumulation maximum. (Approved by the Merit Board at its Two-Hundred and First meeting, August 17, 2016.)
      5. Institutions with present Vacation and Personal Leave plans which differ from the above shall move to these schedules after due notice to employees and shall place each present employee on the service year step of the above schedules that will most nearly preserve the employee's present earning rate of Vacation and Personal Leave.
      6. Each institution shall issue appropriate rules and administrative procedures to assure that within the total amount of Vacation and Personal Leave accumulated, employer operations permitting, periods of up to one or two days at a time will be granted an employee for personal reasons upon request of the employee and without the need for advance planning. Longer periods of vacation should be planned and scheduled by the institution after taking into account employee preferences.
      7. Where there has been a break in service, the service year shall be computed as though all previous State service which qualified for earning of Vacation and Personal Leave benefits is continuous with present service, i.e., service during each separate period of employment, whether institution or other State service, shall be added together to arrive at total service. This provision is effective October 1, 1972. It applies to the future earning rate of eligible employees on the institution's rolls on this effective date as well as to those who enter or reenter institution service after that date. (Amendment approved and added by the Merit Board at its Fifty-Sixth meeting, October 30, 1972.)

    3. Sick Leave

      1. An eligible employee shall earn credit for Sick Leave with full pay at the rate of one work day for each month (23 days of service (.0462 per hour for each hour of pay-status service). The amount of leave accumulated at the time when illness or injury begins shall be available in full, and additional leave shall continue to accrue while an employee is using that already accumulated.
      2. There shall be no limit in the amount of Sick Leave which may be accumulated.
      3. An eligible employee may use accumulated Sick Leave only when an employee is ill or injured or obtaining medical or dental consultation or treatment. Each institution shall reserve the right to require acceptable evidence of disability before allowing the use of Sick Leave.
      4. Use of Sick Leave shall be for an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee, employee's child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent. The use of sick leave for those listed above, except an employee, may be limited to an amount of what is acrued over a six month period if so listed in the employer's policy.
      5. A former employee who separates in good standing and returns to employment within two years, shall have former accrued Sick Leave restored. (Paragraphs 4 and 5 approved and added by the Merit Board at its Eighty-Fourth meeting, June 11, 1980.)

    4. Funeral Leave

      Approval, with pay, will be granted to an eligible employee for a leave of up to three work days for the death of a member of the employee's immediate family, household, in-laws, and/or grandparents of immediate family; and of one day to attend the funeral of a relative outside the employee's immediate family or household.

      Immediate family is defined as: father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, and children. In-laws are defined as: mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law. (Amended and approved at the Seventy-Third meeting of the Merit Board, September 27, 1977.)

    5. Jury Duty

      An eligible employee shall be granted a leave of absence without loss of pay when called for Jury Duty service.

    6. Military Training

      Leave of absence with pay shall be granted in accordance with the Military Leave of Absence Act (5 ILCS 325/1) to an eligible employee for military training who is a member of any reserve component of the United States Armed Forces, including the Illinois National Guard. The length of the leave with pay for training will not exceed standards established by federal or state regulations for training activities required to maintain standing in the above military units. During leaves for military training, the employee shall be eligible for compensation and benefit programs in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations.

    7. Mobilized to Active Duty

      Leave of absence with pay shall be granted in accordance with the Military Leave of Absence Act (5 ILCS 325/1) and Section 36g of the State Universities Civil Service Act (110 ILCS 70/36g) to an eligible employee who is a member of any reserve component of the United States Armed Forces, including the Illinois National Guard or Illinois State Militia who is mobilized to active duty. During leaves for active duty, the employee shall be eligible for compensation and benefit programs in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations.

    8. Excused Absence

      Rules providing for excused absence with pay shall be issued by the governing board of each institution or agency or by an official to whom delegation has been made as the institution or agency determines to be in its best interest. Reasonable limitations on such excused absences shall be included.

  5. EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

    Tuition and fee waiver shall be granted by each institution to an eligible employee of that institution or of any other institution or agency named in Section 36e of the Civil Service Statute who enrolls in courses up to the following maxima in any semester or quarter.

    Full-time employee.................... 6 hours or 2 courses
    3/4-time employee.................... 4 hours
    1/2-time employee.................... 3 hours

    These maxima are employee benefit limitations and do not apply to enrollment in approved work-related training programs, the purpose of which is to improve University services. The fees which will be waived include registration fees and admission fees, and, in the case of an institution's own employees, no charge will be made for service type fees such as those imposed to secure revenue for bond retirement, etc. These latter (i.e., service type) fees will not be waived for an employee of another institution. Employees may enroll for class work during regular working hours for only one course and only as approved by their supervisors and then if the course is only offered during working hours. When such permission is granted the employee will make up time (1) working outside of the employee's regularly scheduled hours as approved by the employee's supervisor or (2) deducting the time spent in class from the employee's accumulated Vacation and Personal Leave. A student as defined in Rule 250.70(f)(3) is not eligible for a status appointment and may not be granted tuition or fee waivers as an employee benefit.

  6. TRANSFER OF BENEFIT CREDITS

    A current status employee within the System who is selected for employment by another institution within the System and enters on such employment without break in service will be (1) credited by the hiring institution with that amount of accumulated Sick Leave which the employee had credit on the last day of service with their previous System employer and (2) granted eligibility by the hiring institution to earn future Vacation and Personal Leave benefits based upon the employee's total continuous service to a previous System employer as computed by that employer.

    The effective date of this Policy shall be July 1, 1970.

Updated August 31, 2016