About 360 Salt Lake Community College part-time staff have lost personal leave as a benefit. Those who have personal leave accrued will need to use it all by March 31, 2012, or it will be paid out on April 20, 2012.
In a memo sent out on Feb. 17, 2012, the college explained that school administration made the decision to eliminate personal leave for part-time staff as a result of audits from the state. The decision was approved of by the Attorney General’s office. The college administration refers to President Cynthia A. Bioteau and her cabinet in the memo.
“When you’re a state institution, a lot of policy falls in line with other state institutions,” said Joy Tlou, director of public relations in SLCC’s Department of Institutional Advancement. “We took a recommendation from the Attorney General’s office and then made a decision based on that. We were the only one of our peer institutions to have a program like that.”
The individuals affected by the policy change work in areas such maintenance and as part-time advisors and may make anywhere from minimum wage to $30 per hour. The change in leave policy means that part-time employees will only be paid when they work. The college has not done any studies as to how the loss of personal leave may affect employee recruitment or retention.
“I think time will give us an answer,” Tlou said.
Assistant Attorney General Kevin Olsen declined to comment on any recommendations that the Attorney General’s office may or may not have made to SLCC administration, citing both the obligation that the office had to the college and his duties as an attorney who is part of the legal counsel to SLCC.
Cindy Gantz of the State Auditor’s office could find no mention of personal leave in any of the state auditor reports.
“There is no one hear (sic) that issued a report regarding this issue,” Gantz wrote in an email providing the web site where recent reports are posted.
The auditors did find “inadequate internal controls over financial reporting” in “significant deficiency.” This was a repeat finding from 2010 when the auditors reported the same problem.
The college responded to the finding by writing that “the Controller’s Office will continue its best efforts… to ensure that annual financial statements are presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.”
Only staff who have worked at SLCC for more than three years qualified for personal leave. SLCC has about 1300 part-time employees who did not qualify for the personal leave program. It also employs over 1000 full-time staff and about 1100 adjunct faculty.