Setup for Furlough Days for STRS Employees

Welcome to Roseville CSI, where a member of Escape Customer Care presents the solution to a particularly difficult customer service incident. This blog post will be the first in this occasional series. One of my customers devised a creative way to deal with furlough days for STRS employees in the coming fiscal year, and  I thought you would like to hear about it!

They were looking for ideas on how to setup an addon (pay not associated with a position) for STRS employees that would dock furlough days, but keep the retirement pay rate in proportion so the correct credit service ratio is maintained.

Additionally, they wanted the addon to work for employees with partial FTE and/or who worked multiple assignments. The below setup accommodated the request so I thought I’d pass it along in case anyone else is looking for a similar setup.

Here is the customer's request:

Currently the only way that we are aware of for districts to handle furlough days to meet STRS reporting requirements (maintain service credit and reduce pay rate) is to cancel an assignment and start a new assignment with fewer (or more in case of reversing furlough days) days(?) with a modified calendar and salary schedule. Lots of work for districts especially large districts. We have at least one, possibly more, districts planning to give back some of their furlough days – this take-them-away-then-give-them-back kind of machination is likely to go on for at least another year.

STRS will also accept another approach. If the furlough days are introduced, as is the case for one of our districts right now, they will have four furlough days between now and the end of the school year. STRS will accept reducing the pay in the remaining months as long as the pay rate reported to STRS maintains the correct service credit ratio. So for a person who is working 1 FTE (100%), if the furlough dock reduces their pay from, say $4,000/month to $3800/month, the pay rate on the retirement line would have to be reported at $3800 so the person would receive a full month of service credit.

Here is how Escape Customer Care suggested they address the situation.

Set up the dock addon with the Set Rate equal to Y, the Rate 1 Opt set to ‘H’ or ‘D’ (allowing the employee’s hourly or daily rate to default in), and the Rate 2 Amount locked at -1 (to cause the rate to be negative so it will reduce the retirement pay rate).

When the dock occurs in specific months but not all months, setting the Override Periods in the employee setup of the addon will affect the pay rate for only the months in which the dock for the furlough day is taken.

Check it out!

The month of May has the dock and shows the reduced pay rate.

The month of June does not have the dock and shows the full or regular pay rate.

The customer was very happy with the setup.  However, there are a couple of caveats. This setup is for STRS employees with regular assignments. This setup should not be used for PERS employees or employees with TIMECARD assignments.