The following was sent to union employees from Dennis Fox, the chief union steward for the California State University Employees Union, at SJSU:
The first furlough day for most SJSU employees is coming up on Monday, 10 August 2009. Unfortunately, President Whitmore has not declared the furlough days to coincide with campus closure days so there is going to be a lot of confusion at the outset of this experiment. It is very important for all of us to have a clear understanding of what happens or does not happen on a furlough day. First and foremost, you don’t do any work on a furlough day. Don’t check your email or your voice mail or work on a project at home.
Since a number of people will still be at work on our furlough day, there are going to be a number of you who will receive calls from those at work who need to know something that only you know. I strongly encourage you to NOT ANSWER that call. Only a manager/supervisor has the authority to call you back to work. Any call to you from work, even if it is just a question, constitutes a “call back”. In the academic areas there is a lot of confusion about who is a manager/supervisor. Many employees do not realize that only the Dean and, in the larger colleges, one of the Associate Deans are manager/supervisors. Department chairs, directors, confidential employees, and CSUEU represented employees are not manager/supervisors and are not authorized to call you back to work. I want to hear from anyone who gets a work-related call on a furlough day — even if you don’t answer it. I will forward the information to HR in an attempt to get the problem resolved. If it is a legitimate “call back” from a manager we need to be sure you get full credit as outlined in the contract.
The furlough transition is going to be especially confusing for exempt employees. Hopefully, all exempt employees know by now that, during a week that includes a furlough day, they are non-exempt. If you have any questions that have not been answered in the FAQs that have been distributed let me know. If necessary, perhaps we will have a Q&A meeting over the lunch period to address some of these issues.