Is the furlough proposal a red herring?

Commentary

The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), the union that represents most classified staff employees, surveyed its constituents. Over 82% of those who responded voted for the California State University (CSU) plan to offer furloughs to mitigate layoffs in the CSU system. Still it is hard for me to imagine all the unions that represent California State University employees will go for furloughs.

The plan, which will close CSU campuses two Fridays a month, may offer faculty too little. Most faculty do not teach Fridays. For them the CSU plan is a ten percent pay cut. Classified staff get two extra days off a month in return for their reduced pay. For most faculty it can be seen as a pay cut with no visible workload reduction yet seen.

The California Faculty Association (CFA) may not be that enthusiastic about this option. CFA may turn the furlough proposal down. If the union that represents CSU faculty does not sign off on furloughs, they cannot happen.

What does CSU management have to gain if this happens? Absent furloughs, CSU management has said there will be massive layoffs. Staff will be hit hard. CSU management could do layoffs and have the excuse that they were “forced into it” by the union(s) who turned down furloughs. This could cause bitterness between the staff and faculty that could last for a long time.

Yes, that does sound cynical; I know.

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One Response to Is the furlough proposal a red herring?

  1. Tenured faculty says:

    What we heard was that absent furloughs, all the lecturers get axed. That certainly cuts sections and/or increases class sizes, and will force the university to gradually re-recruit all its adjunct faculty in 2-3 years when (if) things return to normal.

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