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Budget Cuts of $51 million Required Notices Thursday to 900 Union Employees


Budget Cuts of $51 million Required Notices Thursday to 900 Union Employees

How many ways can you say unpaid days? Here's three: furloughs, temporary layoffs and reductions in time.

(October 1, 2009)

A town hall meeting at UCR Wednesday included news that 900 union employees would receive notices of temporary layoffs or reduction in service. Photo by Don DavidsonEnlarge

A town hall meeting at UCR Wednesday included news that 900 union employees would receive notices of temporary layoffs or reduction in service. Photo by Don Davidson

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- To help close a $51 million budget gap during the 2009-10 school year, UC Riverside has issued notices of "temporary layoff" or "reduction in time" to 900 union employees. The amount of unpaid leave for each employee will reflect an equivalent sacrifice to that taken by non-union employees, who must take between 10 and 26 unpaid days this school year.

Two of nine impacted bargaining units with employees at UCR have agreed to take furlough days, so this most recent action is a way of accomplishing the same savings with members of the other seven bargaining units.

“It's making the cuts fair across the board," said Marcia McQuern, associate vice chancellor for strategic communications. The university needs to save this money because state investment in public education has been cut.”

UC leaders have already increased student fees, decreased class offerings and capped enrollments, as well as instituting pay cuts and furloughs for all the non-represented faculty and staff. UCR officials eliminated a vice chancellor position and assigned those duties to others. UCR has suspended planning for the 2012 opening of a public policy school. In the music department, choirs, the orchestra and other musical ensembles have cut back on performances.

The 425 employees getting a "temporary layoff" will have to take all the days off at once, White said. The days will be spread out for the 475 employees getting a "reduction in time" notice. Each campus determines its own plans and reduction process.

"For some among us, it's going to create difficulties,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White in a town hall meeting on campus Wednesday. “For many, it's going to create real hardship. And for some, it's going to be a downright crisis."

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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