The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 12, 2009
UC furloughs differ from Schwarzenegger's furloughs

The University of California set up a Q & A furlough Web page last week that details the policy for its employees. As you'll recall, the UC Board of Regents last month approved furloughs for the 10-campus system starting Sept. 1 and ending Aug. 31, 2010.

The UC furloughs differ from those imposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, starting with the size of the respective budget holes:  The governor's furlough policy aims to close a small part of what was a $26 billion budget gap before the most recent budget fix. The UC is facing an $813 million deficit in state support.

The university system has about 180,000 employees. Of those, roughly 144,000 will be furloughed. About 210,000 to 215,000 state workers are being furloughed under the Schwarzenegger plan after you toss out exempt workers (CHP officers, CPUC, Cal FIRE and the like), hold out constitutional officers' employees (they're not being furloughed while their bosses fight the order in the courts), and then pull in state workers furloughed now but who soon might not be (CalPERS, State Fund).

Schwarzenegger's furloughs are hitting employees across the board with a 14 percent reduction. The UC plan has seven tiers, with the highest-paid employees taking the biggest hit. Sort of:


Furlough Days*  


Equivalent Salary Reduction



0 - 40,000    

4 percent



40,001 - 46,000   

5 percent



46,001 - 60,000    

6 percent



60,001 - 90,000    

7 percent



90,001 - 180,000  

8 percent



180,001 - 240,000 

9 percent



Over $240,000    

10 percent

*Faculty furlough days will vary depending on academic or 12-month year. Note: Senior Management Group members will receive a maximum of 10 furlough days, regardless of pay scale.

And who is the Senior Management Group? You'll find the list by clicking here

The UC system explained the SMG exception in a July press release:

Reduced work days for members of UC's senior management group will be restricted to a maximum of 10 furlough days per year, even though their actual pay cuts will be among the highest. Additionally, senior managers who agreed to a voluntary five percent pay cut in May will have their salaries cut an additional five percent under the furlough program.


Click here to see the UC system's furlough Q&A.




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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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