UC Regents Force 180,000 to Take Furloughs

University of California Board of Regents committees today  approved a plan that would institute employee furloughs along with other cuts  and fee hikes, setting up a full board vote on the proposal Thursday.

The Regents' committee on finance and compensation met in San  Francisco at the UCSF Mission Bay campus this morning to consider a plan to  offset an anticipated $813 million budget shortfall for the 2008-09 and  2009-10 fiscal years.

The plan includes a modified furlough plan that will force more  than 108,000 members of the UC faculty and staff to take anywhere from 11 to  26 furlough days, with higher earners being forced to take more furlough days  and steeper pay cuts, according to university officials.

The furloughs are expected to eliminate about a quarter of the  budget deficit. The rest of the savings will come from previously approved  student fee increases, debt refinancing and cuts spread across the 10 UC  campuses.

The full board will vote on the plan at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Hundreds of UC students and employees set up picket lines to  protest the furloughs and fee hikes before today's meeting, according to  Jelger Kalmijn, president of the University Professional and Technical  Employees union.

The protestors came "to tell Yudof that his plans for UC make no  sense," Kalmijn said.


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He said the budget gap could be addressed by tapping UC's  financial reserves, and by abating expansion and moderating executive pay.

"Yudof makes twice what his predecessor made, but he's decided to  furlough workers already making 20 to 30 percent under market rate," Kalmijn  said.

Yudof said in a statement after today's meeting that "there is no  doubt that these reductions will be painful for our faculty and staff.

"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," he said.

Some of the cuts on specific campuses include the deferral of  planned faculty hires. UC Berkeley expects to reduce faculty recruitment from  100 positions a year to 10.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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