Web feature

How governorís latest budget proposals affect UC and UC employees

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

| 07 November 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday (Thursday, Nov. 6) announced that the state of California is facing an $11.2 billion budget shortfall for the current fiscal year and 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 governorís announcement mean for UC and its employees? Itís not yet certain, but here is what is known now:

  • The governorís plan is a proposal that 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. Itís 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 UC 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 governorís proposals are approved. Again, such actions have not applied to UC employees in the past, and the UC 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: Lincolnís birthday, Feb. 12, and Columbus Day, the second Monday in October.)
  • As a reminder, Chancellor Birgeneau has asked UC Berkeley faculty and staff to "take immediate steps to reduce campus spending" in areas that do not affect teaching, as we await the Legislatureís 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 budget@berkeley.edu.