Overview of Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) for MSP Faculty
The University of Massachusetts Lowell (the “University” or “UMass Lowell”) is offering a new Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (“VSIP” or “Program”) for eligible MSP faculty.
The VSIP is currently open to all members of the MSP bargaining unit, who are in state-funded benefited positions, and who are (i) active or on an approved leave and (ii) have been employed at UMass Lowell in a benefited position for at least five years as of the separation date.
Externally funded research faculty, or members of the bargaining unit who have notified the University on or before September 1, 2023 of their intent to resign/retire, are not eligible to participate in this Program.
UMass Lowell reserves the right to withdraw the VSIP at its discretion at any time.
Application and Participation Process
Members of the bargaining unit who wish to participate in the Program must notify the University by November 1, 2023 of their intent to separate from employment no later than December 31, 2023.
Election to participate in the VSIP is irrevocable once an Application Form is submitted and is conditional upon their signing a university provided VSIP Agreement and General Release of Claims.
Terms of the Program
The terms of the Program for eligible members of the bargaining unit, exclusive of externally funded research faculty, are as follows:
- A one-time taxable lump sum payment as follows:
$30,000 for 30 or more years of creditable service with the University
$25,000 for 25 to 29 years of creditable service with the University
$20,000 for 20 to 24 years of creditable service with the University
$15,000 for 15 to 19 years of creditable service with the University
$10,000 for 10 to 14 years of creditable service with the University
$5,000 for 5 to 9 years of creditable service with the University
- Faculty members participating in this Program shall be offered the opportunity to teach one (1) course in Spring Semester 2024 and up to two (2) courses in Academic Year 2024-2025 at the rate of $10,000 per course. Faculty members exercising the option to teach in Spring Semester 2024 shall be able to continue occupying their assigned office space through that semester.
- Bargaining unit members participating in this Program, who notify the University of their intent to retire, shall have the contractual twelve (12) month notice period for receiving twenty percent (20%) of unused accrued sick leave payment waived by the University.
Although Program participants shall have a separation date no later than December 1, 2023, those electing not to retire upon separation shall have the ability to notify the University of their intent to retire no later than December 31, 2024 and receive payment for the twenty percent (20%) unused accrued sick leave upon retirement.
Payment for the twenty percent (20%) unused accrued sick leave shall be paid out at the rate inclusive of the four percent (4%) salary increase as identified in the ratified collective bargaining agreement using an effective date of July 2, 2023.
- Bargaining unit members participating in this Program shall execute a Release and Waiver of Claims as consideration for the payments listed above. Payments shall be made within 30 days of the separation date.
- In the event the Commonwealth offers/announces an early retirement package prior to January 1, 2024, for which bargaining unit members are eligible, the Union may request to reopen the terms of this VSIP with respect to employees that may be eligible for such an alternative retirement option.
Additional Information about the Program
- The cash incentive payment is considered taxable income and will be paid within 30 days of the employment separation and a fully executed release of claims.
- The cash incentive payment will not be added to base salary for purposes of determining any retirement benefits.
- The Program does not add creditable service or in any way impact the employee’s retirement benefits from the Massachusetts State Employees Retirement System (“MSERS”) or the Optional Retirement Program (“ORP”).
- The UMass Lowell Benefits Office will assist any member in providing information regarding their application for the VSIP or other benefit/retirement questions.
- The Massachusetts State Board of Retirement for MSERS or the Department of Higher Education for the ORP is responsible and is the final authority for, any information regarding the amount of retirement benefits, years of creditable service for purposes of retirement, retirement options and any other retirement-related issues.
- A participant’s decision to resign from the University under the VSIP is irrevocable.
Please complete the Application Form (pdf) and submit to Kim Casey, Executive Director of Compensation and Benefits, via email at Kim_Casey@uml.edu or in-hand delivery at the Office of Human Resources, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 600 Suffolk Street, Suite #301, Lowell, MA 01854. Fax: 978-934-3045.