The University of California’s financial crisis is finally hitting employees where it hurts – the paycheck.
Almost all UC employees will take pay cuts between 4 and 10 percent beginning Sept. 1 as part of a furlough plan approved by the Regents last month.
The furlough plan requires faculty and staff to take between 7 and 26 unpaid days off per year. The exact pay cut and number of days off will depend on employees’ salary levels.
Systemwide, 108,000 full-time-equivalent positions will be affected. Most student employees, including graduate students, will be exempt from the program, as will employees whose funding comes entirely from contracts and grants.
UC Davis employs about 27,000 people at its Davis and Sacramento campuses. Approximately 1,775 of those are faculty and staff funded through grants, and another 7,000 are exempted student jobs.
“There is no doubt that these reductions will be painful for our faculty and staff,” said UC President Mark Yudof in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the university is facing a financial crisis unprecedented in the past quarter century, and everyone is going to be called on to be part of the solution. No plan is perfect, but we have worked hard to make it as fair as possible while preserving, to the extent possible, excellence and access to opportunity for students, researchers and patients.”
The furlough plan will last one year and is expected to net $184.1 million in payroll savings, resolving roughly 25 percent of the university’s $813 million budget shortfall.
On the UC Davis campus, the furloughs will save $22 million.
A survey of UC Davis faculty conducted by the Davis Division of the UC Academic Senate found strong support for furloughs as opposed to layoffs or other forms of pay cuts.
“We fully recognize the severe budget problems we face as a university and that steps must be taken to resolve these problems,” wrote Robert Powell, the chair of the Academic Senate’s Davis Division, in a report to the systemwide Academic Senate. “However, it should be emphasized that the proposed budget cuts and proposed salary reductions will have a damaging effect on our teaching and research as well as the access to the university that the citizens of California currently have.”
Campus officials have not yet determined how the furlough days will be distributed. The entire campus could close on specified days, or individual departments and units could close on their own schedules. No decisions have been made on whether any of the closure days would be on instruction days.
The total budget shortfall for UC Davis is estimated at $114 million. The campus already has plans to address $80.5 million of that, leaving $33.5 million still to be resolved.
About 25 percent of the UC system’s $813 million budget shortfall will be addressed with previously approved student fee increases. Debt refinancing and other administrative cost controls will save another $100 million. The remaining $300 million will be cut from individual campus budgets.
JEREMY OGUL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.