Proposed New Staff & Academic Reduction in Time (START) Program

In order to help the University of California (UC) cope with anticipated budget cuts, UC is proposing to implement a new Staff and Academic Reduction in Time (START) Program, a temporary, voluntary time-reduction personnel program, to achieve salary savings. Implementation of START is subject to Regental approval of amendments to the University of California Retirement Program (UCRP) to ensure that participation in the program will not reduce an employee’s accrual rate of UCRP service credit or the amount of pay used to determine UCRP benefits. The amendments are scheduled for consideration by The Regents at their May meeting.

Under the proposed program, temporary salary savings would be achieved through voluntary reduction in time and corresponding pay. The program is a tool that departments may make available, at their discretion, to employees during the period July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010.

The features of the proposed program are as follows:


All full- and part-time non-probationary career (“regular status”) staff employees and academic appointees, except those in faculty and student academic titles and Postdoctoral Scholars, would be eligible to volunteer to reduce their time. In all cases, participation would be dependent upon the approval of the department head.

Participation in the START Program for represented employees is dependent upon agreement by the applicable union.

Program Parameters

  • Participants would volunteer to reduce their time from a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 50% of full time. However, an employee’s work schedule cannot be reduced below 50% time in any month of participation in START.
  • In return for a voluntary reduction in time, participants would:

Accrue, on a month-by-month basis, vacation- and sick-leave credits at the rate accrued prior to the commencement of START;

Accrue, on a month-by-month basis, UCRP service credit for each month of START participation at the rate accrued prior to commencement of the program, provided that the employee is on pay status for at least 50% time (service credit during participation in START would be reduced by a leave-without-pay or other periods of time-off pay status not reflected in the START contract); and

Not have their UC health and welfare, retirement, disability or survivor benefits affected by START.

  • Participants could volunteer to reduce their time for a minimum of one month to a maximum of 24 months. A written START contract signed by both the department head and the employee would specify the participant’s percentage of time and the beginning and ending dates of the contract.
  • An eligible employee could participate in START more than one time, as long as participation ends by June 30, 2010.
  • The time reduction under a START contract could be changed by mutual agreement of both the employee and the department head and with 30 days advance notice.
  • Participation in START could be ended by the employee or the department head with 30 days advance notice.

The proposed program will be posted on the "At Your Service" website and is available in Related Information. The START Guidelines are also in Related Information.

Academic appointees who have questions or comments on the proposed program should contact Esther Hamil at, while staff employees should contact Lazetta Smith at The deadline for comments is June 2, 2008.

Campus Human Resources, Personnel Services
Phone: (310) 794-3147 | Fax: (310) 794-0865