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California Briefing / San Francisco

UC regents approve furloughs for 140,000

July 17, 2009|Larry Gordon

The University of California's Board of Regents voted overwhelmingly Thursday to push most professors and staff members into furlough days that would reduce their salaries 4% to 10% for the year starting Sept. 1.

The controversial furlough plan would affect about 140,000 part- and full-time employees at UC's 10 campuses and many satellite facilities. Meeting in San Francisco, the regents voted 20 to 1 for the furloughs, which they said were needed as a way to avoid layoffs during the current state budget crisis.

Only Lt. Gov. John Garamendi voted against the plan, calling the furloughs "just not acceptable." The number of unpaid furlough days will range from 11 to 26 a year, increasing on a sliding scale linked to salaries. Student employees and others whose salaries come fully from outside grants are exempt. Agreements from labor unions will be needed for the furloughs for many employees to go into effect, and some labor leaders said they will resist them.

UC President Mark G. Yudof warned that layoffs equal to about $184 million in salaries, the amount the furloughs are expected to save, could be in the works if the unions all refuse to accept the plan. He also said that UC students should brace for another fee increase in the winter, on top of the 9.3% hike approved in May for the fall term.

-- Larry Gordon

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