University of Wisconsin Chancellor Becky Blank announced today in an email to all staff and faculty a graduated furlough plan for most staff, a work-share program for some units and a 15-percent pay cut for Blank and all vice-chancellors.
Under the plan, most staff will be furloughed just a few days over the next year. The number of days furloughed will depend on salary.
According to the email from Blank:
Employees earning over $150,000 will take six days of furlough over the next six months (a 4.6% reduction per month). Those earning between $80,001 and $150,000 will take five days (a 3.8% reduction per month), those earning between $50,000 and $80,000 will take four days (a 3.1% reduction per month), and employees earning under $50,000 will take three days of furlough during the six months between May and October (a 2.3% reduction per month). The number of furlough days will be adjusted for those with 9-month appointments, so they bear a similar salary reduction over the course of the year as others with the same annual income.
Blank said she and all vice-chancellors are “voluntarily” taking a 15-percent pay cut, which she said is roughly equivalent to a 10-percent cut plus six furlough days.
Additionally, a work-share program, which will require approval by the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD), will allow some staff to reduce their hours and collect expanded unemployment benefits.
University Housing, Facilities Planning & Management and the Wisconsin Union, among others, will participate in the work-share program, Blank said.
“A Work-Share program keeps employees partially employed by sharing available work so that all workers continue to work part-time,” Blank wrote. “Under the program, employees will see a reduction in their working hours of between ten and sixty percent and will share shifts to cover remaining work in the units. Workers in the Work-Share program can apply for expanded unemployment benefits that are pro-rated for the partial work reduction.”
It is unclear when DWD would approve that plan. If approved, those employees participating would not have to be furloughed.