Gov. Schwarzenegger speaking about spending cuts Gov. Schwarzenegger, who called last week for a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases to solve California’s budget shortfall, recently assigned still further cuts to this year’s UC budget.

How the governor’s latest budget proposals affect UC and its employees

As Schwarzenegger’s proposals move to the Legislature for consideration, the outcome and impact are still uncertain

| 12 November 2008

In announcing last week that the state of California is facing an $11.2 billion budget shortfall for the current fiscal year, Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed a range of cuts, tax increases, and actions affecting state employees to address the deficit.

Among his proposals, he is recommending a further budget cut of $65.5 million for the University of California system in this fiscal year.

The governor ordered the Legislature into special session, before newly elected lawmakers take office on Dec. 1, to consider and act on his proposals.

What does the governor’s announcement mean for UC and its employees? It’s not yet certain, but here is what is known now:

  • The governor’s plan requires approval by the Legislature.
  • The proposed mid-year cut of $65.5 million for the University of California would be in addition to previously announced reductions for 2008-09. Should the Legislature approve the cut, the UC regents would decide how it would be distributed across the UC campuses and system. It’s not known what portion of the cut UC Berkeley might have to take.
  • The governor proposed a one-day-a-month unpaid furlough for state employees for the next 17 months. In the past, such actions have not applied to UC employees. As the budget picture becomes clearer, the regents will make decisions on whether employee-related actions will be needed to address the shortfall.
  • State employees could also lose two of their 13 paid holidays if the governor’s proposals are approved. Again, such actions have not applied to UC employees in the past, and the regents would decide if such measures were needed in the future. (Neither of the two holidays in question is a paid holiday for UC employees: Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12, and Columbus Day, the second Monday in October.)
  • As a reminder, Chancellor Birgeneau has asked Berkeley faculty and staff to “take immediate steps to reduce campus spending” in areas that do not affect teaching, as we await the Legislature’s action and subsequent decisions from the regents.

Regular updates on the budget situation will continue to be sent via e-mails, the Berkeleyan, and the UC Budget Central website. Questions or ideas about the campus budget may be e-mailed to