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California State University Employees Union Tentatively Agrees to Furlough Two Days Per Month


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Claudia Keith, (562) 951-4800

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(July 7, 2009) -- In an effort to address a projected $584 million budget deficit for 2009-10, the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), that represents more than 16,000 non-academic employees, has reached a tentative agreement with CSU on a furlough program for all of its members.  The furlough option has been offered to all of the CSU’s labor unions as part of an overall effort to deal with the unprecedented budget cut. 

“While agreeing to furloughs is not an easy decision, the CSUEU has helped us to move forward as we address the massive budget cuts that the system if facing.  This is a fiscal crisis, and we appreciate CSUEU’s cooperation as we put a plan into place to get us through the next year and beyond,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

Combined with changes to Title 5 expected to be approved by the board on July 21, a total of approximately 21,000 of CSU’s overall workforce of 47,000 employees will be furloughed beginning on August 1, 2009.      

CSU has been meeting with the system’s labor unions that represent the vast majority of its workforce to discuss the furlough option and expects to finalize the details of an action plan in the near future.  Approximately 85 percent of CSU’s budget goes toward employee salary and benefits, and the CSU is proposing to furlough all of its employees (with the exception of public safety personnel) in all classifications, including management and executives, to help close the anticipated budget deficit. 

Although the state budget has not been finalized, the Governor’s budget proposal would mean a $584 million cut to the CSU’s general fund support for 2009-10.  Furloughs by all employees would reduce the CSU’s salary expenditures by approximately $275 million, as well as preserve 22,000 course sections or 15 percent of all classes for students for the academic year.  CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed has indicated that the guiding principles of any action plan would be to “serve as many students as possible without sacrificing quality, and to preserve as many jobs as possible.”

A furlough is a mandated period of time off without pay.  Furloughs differ from salary reductions and pay cuts in that they are temporary and do not affect employment status, or health benefit eligibility or pay rate for retirement benefits.   Employees are required not to work on furlough days.   

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