Human Resources

Cyclic year positions

Cyclic year positions are regular staff positions which are scheduled to work less than 12 months each calendar year due to known, recurring periods in the annual cycle when the work performed by the position is not needed or when there is limited funding of the position.

Cyclic year positions are identified by service periods between 9 and 11.5 months. The period of annual unpaid time away is known as “cyclic yearly leave,” and employees must be placed on a cyclic yearly leave of absence to ensure accurate calculation of service, time off accruals, and seniority. Before the start of each annual cycle, employees in cyclic year positions must be informed in writing of their scheduled periods of unpaid time away in the upcoming 12 month period.

Impact of cyclic yearly leave

Benefits coverage during cyclic yearly leave

Coverage of UW-provided PEBB benefits continues for staff on cyclic yearly leave provided staff return to their current, eligible, paid appointment at the end of their scheduled cyclic leave period. For most employees with a 9 or 10 month service period whose cyclic yearly leave occurs in the summer, a premium deduction that covers the full summer premiums owed will be applied to the last paycheck of June. This deduction will cover insurance premiums required for coverage, including any tobacco or spousal surcharges if these apply. Employees who have less than 12 month service periods that do not qualify for the one time summer pre-pay deduction, or whose cyclic period does not occur over summer, will have their insurance premiums continue to be deducted from any pay received and any premiums owed will be deducted from the employees first available paycheck.

Vacation and sick time off accrual

Unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise, employees in cyclic year positions earn vacation and sick time off for the overall number of months they work. For example, if an employee works September 16 to June 15, they earn nine months of vacation and sick time off. Time off will not be earned for September, but the employee will receive the monthly accrual for June as long as they remain in pay status through the end of their appointment on June 15.

Months of Service, Seniority, and Progression

Unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise, cyclic yearly leave does not constitute a break in service and is not deducted from the employee’s length of service for determining:

  • Progression step increases
  • Months of service toward a higher vacation accrual rate
  • Seniority

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Assigning additional work during cyclic yearly leave

When additional work is required of a cyclic year position during a period when the position was scheduled for cyclic yearly leave, departments with contract covered staff should follow the process for assigning temporary work as outlined in the employee’s collective bargaining agreement.

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Unemployment benefits

Employment Security Department (ESD) administers unemployment benefits and determines eligibility.  According to ESD, under RCW 50.44.050, unemployment benefits are not available for any week of unpaid time which occurs in the break between two successive academic years (e.g., summer quarter) or between two successive academic terms within an academic year (e.g., winter break) if the employee has reasonable assurance that following the break they will  return to the same position they held  before the break.

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