UC chief proposes furloughs to cut budget


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The Student fees at UC Berkeley and throughout the UC system are going up nine percent in September. Now the University of California president wants the employees to pitch in

Difficult, but necessary -- that's how university of California president Mark Yudof characterized his plan to furlough tens of thousands of UC employees to help close an $813 million budget gap.

"At the end of the day, my feeling is every constituent group needs to pay its fare share of the total sacrifice that's required in this plan," said Yudof.

Forty-percent of the overall cuts would be achieved through campus reductions, 25 percent student fees, 25 percent in furloughs and 10 percent in system-wide savings.

The furlough plan will be presented to UC Regents next week.

"I think we have to look at ways to reduce costs in general fund areas and I think this plan goes at that in a sensitive way," said UC Regent Russell Gould.

Employees who make the least will be furloughed less often.

For instance, an employee making $40,000 or less would lose 11 days, a four percent pay cut. Those making between $60,000 and $90,000 would lose 18 days or seven percent and those making $240,000 or more would lose 26 days, or a 10 percent pay cut.

The UC Academic Senate has agreed not to take their furlough on teaching days.

"It came out as a majority vote actually to not affect instruction," said Mary Croughan from the Academic Senate.

Still, some employees plan to fight the furloughs.

"We believe has vast economic reserves, they can cover this for a year or two. They have rainy day funds, if it's not raining now then when it's raining," said UC San Diego employee Jelger Kalmijn.

The furloughs would apply to about 80 percent of the system's 180,000 employees. Those whose positions are 100 percent funded with non-state money, for instance those whose positions are paid for with research grants would be exempt.

President Yudof, who makes $800,000 a year, would be in the category that would see his wages cut by about 10 percent.

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