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A Resolution Concerning the Implementation of Employee Furloughs as a Human Resources Tool to Offset Budget Reductions at UNC Chapel Hill

May 6th, 2009

 WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the representation of staff concerns to University officials, State Legislators, and the citizenry of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, the Employee Forum has publicly taken a position that it opposes both furlough and layoff staff reductions; and

WHEREAS, while the Forum fully understands, recognizes and appreciates that specific employee lay-offs may be more disagreeable in the current economic crisis than shared employee furloughs, we also understand any furlough would have an adverse impact on job performance, employee morale and the ability to recruit and retain top employees of the University’s workforce; and

WHEREAS, the Employee Forum has previously adopted and supported a non-partisan “Living Wage Education Campaign” to educate and advocate for a living wage as the minimum salary for all State employees and has consistently asked the Administration to take whatever actions necessary to ensure that University employees receive at least a Living Wage; and

WHEREAS, legislated salary stagnation, escalating state health care costs, and a rising cost of living have left many staff employees below the Living Income Standard (LIS), significantly diminishing their ability to earn sufficient income to provide access to decent housing and affordable health care coverage for their families to live and progress. At this time, their families are already financially stressed and unable to tolerate further decreases in their income;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, should the legislature grant the administration the authority to furlough university employees and/or implement any reduction in the university’s employment policy, the Employee Forum requests that this newly instituted employment authority:

  • Be applicable only to employees who earn above the living income standard as defined by twice the Federal poverty income level;
  • In a true spirit of noblesse oblige, be implemented for to all university employees —administrative; faculty and staff—irrespective of specific funding sources;
  • Exempt those employees who are already on a reduced schedule that exceeds the proposed furlough percentage salary reduction;
  • Be implemented in a progressive fashion so that those earning more are furloughed relatively more hours than those earning less;
  • Be utilized only for no longer than two years during this specific budget crisis and only be extended with legislative approval; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill strongly recommends that the Chancellor and his Administration convey and support publicly the concepts of this resolution in its interactions with the University’s Office of the President and the North Carolina State Legislature.

Signed on Behalf of the Delegates of the Employee Forum,

Chair, Tommy Griffin


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