UCOP Announced Consideration of Systemwide Curtailment Program

A couple of weeks ago, UC announced that they were considering a proposal that would “curtail” a minimum of five paid workdays for staff throughout the UC campuses.  Last week, they issued further guidelines that made the curtailment less burdensome on policy covered employees.  These guidelines permit lower-paid staff to use accrued leave for unpaid curtailment days.  We believe this is due to the union’s and UCAPN’s efforts — Your Action makes a difference!

The UCAPN remains concerned about the curtailment program:

  1. Many staff have used up their leave days already, and need them more than ever.  With pandemic-related issues around childcare, as well as other personal and family needs, many of us will not have the option of using accrued leave to cover the curtailment pay loss.  In addition, many have already used up their federal leaves under the FFCRA –which will expire at the end of the year. 
  2. UC unrepresented staff have already sacrificed.  Unlike the majority of workgroups who are represented by unions, our merit pay raises have been frozen for this year.  Before that, our pay was falling behind similarly situated workers at other universities and the cost of living.  Many are having a hard time paying our bills.  LINK to report
  3. UC has other ways to address any budget shortfall than impose curtailments.  Our researchers inform us that UC has other, options to address budget shortfalls.  UC claims that it has suffered a total of more than $2.2 billion in revenue losses and unexpected costs since the start of the pandemic, in addition to a $300 million cut in state funding.  However, analysis shows that a significant portion of the losses are reductions from projected revenues at medical centers. The medical centers are still profitable, just less so since the pandemic began. UC has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the CARES Act stimulus and other federal sources for its actual losses. For any remaining budget gaps, the university has more than $10 billion in liquidity, additional billions of low-interest borrowing it could do in the spring, and many millions more in potential savings available from refinancing existing debts. All of these options dwarf any savings UC could hope to achieve from a curtailment program.  Currently, UCOP estimates a saving of only $132.6 million from the proposed curtailment—with only $27.6 million savings from the three lowest tiers (where most of us fit in).  Even if these numbers are accurate, the $10 billion+ that UC has in liquidity is more than 75 times the amount of the $132 million in savings.

What is curtailment?
According to UC, “curtailment refers to a period of leave, typically unpaid, instituted in connection with the suspension of certain operations for defined periods of time, including but not limited to periods of time for energy/cost savings; transitional, seasonal, or holiday periods in the academic calendar; or the occurrence of emergency situations that adversely affect normal university operations.” In other words, a mandatory unpaid day off.

Here’s what you can do:

·         Tell the UC Regents not to consider or approve any curtailments

·         Get involved by filling out this form

·         Attend our virtual town hall tentatively scheduled for November 12 at 12:00 PM PT (Please contact your organizer for ZOOM Meeting details).

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