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UC regents consider furloughs, budget cuts

July 15, 2009 | 10:52 am

Facing angry protesters, the University of California regents convened a tense and somewhat raucous meeting this morning in San Francisco to consider a plan to have most faculty members and employees take 11 to 26 unpaid furlough days to cope with cuts in state funding.

More than 100 demonstrators from UC labor unions picketed outside the meeting at a UC San Francisco facility, and some later interrupted the proceedings with chanting against the proposal, which would amount to pay cuts of 4% to 10% on a sliding scale depending on salary levels.

"We have a plan which is fair but nobody is happy about it," conceded UC President Mark G. Yudof. The alternative, he said, would be layoffs, which nobody wants.

The regents are expected to approve the plan during the two-day board meeting. But agreement will be needed from unions representing about half of UC employees, and labor leaders say they oppose the proposal unless UC looks more at tapping other potential revenue sources like endowment funds to maintain salaries. 

UC officials contend that most such funds have restricted uses and cannot be diverted to support across-the-board pay increases.

-- Larry Gordon in San Francisco