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UC regents approve furloughs, discuss possible January fee hike

July 16, 2009 |  1:27 pm

The University of California's Board of Regents voted overwhelmingly today to push most professors and staff into furlough days that would reduce their pay between 4% and 10% for the year starting Sept. 1. The controversial furlough plan would affect about 140,000 part-time and full-time UC employees at its 10 campuses and many other satellite operations.

Meeting in San Francisco, the regents voted 20 tp 1 for the furloughs, which they said were needed as a way to avoid layoffs during the current state budget crisis. Only Lt. Gov. John Garamendi voted against the plan, calling the furloughs "just not acceptable." He said UC instead should be pushing more strongly for the state government to restore some of the revenues cut from higher education.

The number of unpaid furlough days will range between 11 and 26 a year, increasing on a sliding salary scale, with those earning lower salaries having fewer days of the unpaid leave. Student employees and people whose salaries come fully from outside grants are exempted.

Agreements from labor unions will be needed for the cuts to go into effect for many UC employees, and some labor leaders have said they will resist them. UC President Mark G. Yudof said today that negotiations will start soon. He warned that layoffs worth about $184 million in salaries, the amount the furloughs are expected to save, could be in the works if the unions all refuse to accept the plan.

In other bad financial news, Yudof said that UC students should brace themselves for another fee increase in the winter, on top of the 9.3% raise approved in May for the fall term. He said there was "a substantial likelihood" of a fee hike in January although he said he did not know yet how big it might be.

-- Larry Gordon in San Francisco