State Colleges Prepare For Furloughs, Staffing Reductions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia announced a potential plan that would include staffing reductions and furloughs. The plan is a result from the expected loss of state funds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board made the announcement Thursday as all 26 colleges and universities in the state develop a new spending plan for fiscal year 2021 — which will include a 14% reduction from the 2020 fiscal year.
Actions related to staffing reductions and furloughs will be based on the final budget appropriation to be approved in June, according to USG. The approval allows institutions and the system office to respond to the state’s request for a plan to reduce spending by 14% starting July 1.
For most employees, this means either four or eight furlough days, depending on their salary. Those with the highest base salaries will be required to take 16 furlough days, or the equivalent of a 6.2% pay reduction.
In addition, the chancellor and all presidents at every USG institution will take the equivalent of a 10% pay reduction which includes 26 furlough days for fiscal year 2021.
“Employees of the University System of Georgia and our 26 colleges and universities continue to show resilience and dedication despite facing uncertainty and unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “Their work has been instrumental in supporting not only USG’s 333,000 students, but thousands of Georgians across the state. I deeply appreciate the contributions of our employees impacted by these measures, and ask all of us to show our respect, compassion and gratitude for their service to our students.”
Institutions have already experienced changes to campus operations caused by COVID-19, including a move to remote instruction and the departure of thousands of students from campuses. This was an immediate negative impact on auxiliary operations and finances.
While remote instruction will continue through summer, on-campus classes are tentatively expected to restart in the fall 2020.
A final decision will be based on guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.