University System of Ga. to implement furloughs, discuss layoffs to meet FY2021 budget reductions

University System of Ga. to implement furloughs, discuss layoffs to meet FY2021 budget reductions
(Source: University System of Georgia)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The University System of Georgia (USG) is having to plan for possible staff reductions and furloughs due to state budget issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release from USG, the system is working with all 26 colleges and universities in its jurisdiction to develop a budget for Fiscal Year 2021 that includes a 14 percent reduction from the current year.

The Fiscal Year 2021 budget will be approved in June.

The Board of Regents guidance requires faculty and staff at all 26 USG colleges and universities, as well as the USO, to take a minimum number of days of unpaid time off depending on their salary range, except for those with the lowest base salaries. For most employees, this means either four furlough days or eight furlough days, depending on their salary, according to USG.

Employees and staff with the highest salaries will be required to take 16 furlough days, or the equivalent of a 6.2 percent pay reduction.

The USG chancellor and all presidents at every USG institution will take the equivalent of a 10 percent 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 in a statement. “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.”

USG also said that each institution will have to look at adjusting staffing levels to meet operational and economic needs. The reduction in staff will vary at each institution.

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