Plan suggests using furlough days for December break and a day in March.
Executive Vice Chancellor Dallas Rabenstein has proposed a plan that would ask campus employees to take additional unpaid days off during the holiday break and in March.
The proposal is the latest in a series of steps the campus must take to respond to a one-year salary reduction plan approved by the UC Board of Regents on July 16.
The reduction is effective on Sept. 1.
Through the proposal the traditional holiday closure would be extended. The campus would close Dec. 19 and would reopen on Jan. 4. As in the past, Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 are paid university holidays. Six additional days (Dec. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30) are not paid holidays. Eligible employees would be encouraged to take these as furlough days.
The campus would also close on March 25, the Thursday of spring break. Cesar Chavez Day, a paid holiday, is observed on March 26, so the additional day would allow for a four-day weekend. Again, eligible employees would be encouraged to take this as a furlough day.
Based on feedback from both faculty and campus leadership, a closure of the entire campus is not proposed during the full week of spring break to allow faculty to submit grades for winter quarter. Other furlough days would be worked out between the employee and the supervisor.
During the past few weeks campus community members had the opportunity to comment on the proposal. Those comments are being reviewed. A decision will be made by mid-August about how to move forward, Rabenstein said.
The proposal came after much thought.
“Our campus leadership has been deliberating how best to implement the furlough plan,” Rabenstein said.
“We have concluded that the most effective implementation strategy is twofold: to close the campus by curtailing operations to only essential functions for a total of seven working days during the year and to use remaining furlough days in accordance with each unit’s operational needs,” he said.
Rabenstein noted that pay will be equalized over 12 months for employees participating in the furlough/salary reduction plan, so December paychecks will still look about the same as the other months.
Employees not included in the furlough plan may choose to cover the non-paid days during the closure periods with accrued vacation, “comp” time or leave without pay. University policy allows new employees to use a limited number of vacation days in advance of earning them.
In instances where essential employees participating in the furlough program must work during the closure period, their furlough days may be taken throughout the remainder of the year with the approval of their supervisor or department chair.
The university is still negotiating with unions to determine whether the furlough/salary reduction plan will apply to represented staff.
Rabenstein said the following principles guided the plan:
• Fairness/equity in applying to both faculty and staff across a broad spectrum of positions and salary scales
• Maximum preservation of research, instructional and service missions
• Simplicity/manageability for units
• Savings to be realized through energy conservation and other measures
A letter from Rabenstein, along with questions and answers about the budget situation, are available at the UCR Budget News and Information