In a letter dated Jan. 15, the UGA Staff Council’s Pay and Classification Committee expressed their concerns about potential layoffs to Arnett C. Mace Jr., provost, and Andy Brantley, director of human resources.Implementing some of the suggestions would mean changing long-standing UGA policy. There is historical precedence, however, for implementing short-term changes to address pressing problems.
We can think of no more pressing issue than the possibility that valued employees could lose their jobs.
The following are excerpts of suggestions gathered from staff and other sources, but do not necessarily represent a consensus.
The complete list is on the Staff Council’s Web site (www.uga.edu/ugasc/, under Meetings, Minutes and Reports).
We recommend that lowest paid employees ($20,000 or less) be exempted from any measure that would cut their pay.
- Defer raises for six months or a year (one-time deferment) and then add to employees’ base salaries/wages upon which to build subsequent raises or classification changes.
- Base the pay of non-contracted employees on a 39-hour work week. Ask contracted faculty and classified staff to participate voluntarily.
- Reduce or cut all overtime.
- Ask faculty and administrators earning in excess of $100,000 to remit either a percentage of their compensation or make a one-time donation to a pool for employees whose jobs are slated to be cut.
- Allow faculty, staff and administrators who are financially secure to reduce (at least temporarily) their time to three-quarters or half-time and/or take up to one month’s leave without pay (without loss of benefits).
- Furlough employees one day per month or allow employees to donate one day’s pay per month.
- Enable departments to roll over remaining budget balances from one fiscal year to the next. The “spend it or lose it” policy has sometimes led to poor financial stewardship. Economy of spending should be rewarded, not penalized.
- Allow greater use of purchase cards or direct online purchasing. This will save countless dollars in paperwork.
- Allow earlier retirement. Offer incentives like a month or two of service time for which the employee would receive no salary but would be allowed to realize full retirement benefits without penalty.
- Retirees collecting pensions who continue to work at UGA as consultants, full-time or part-time employees should be given the option to volunteer time in the short term, cut hours, or leave positions (where necessary) to save them for employees whose sole income is from their jobs.
- No funding for discretionary travel for an indefinite period. Administrators/faculty/staff could seek scholarships or honoraria, or reimbursement could be deferred until budget reductions are restored.
- Survey departments to find out which offices and buildings are vacant on weekends. Cut power and heating/cooling to these locations every weekend, in addition to holidays, for long-term savings on bills.
- Cut campus bus service from every 5 to 7 minutes to every 10 minutes.
- Ask the Athletic Association to make a one-time donation to UGA’s general operating fund or set up a regular stipend to be paid to the university based on revenues collected during athletic events.
- Institute a university-wide job-sharing policy. Set up a computer-based pool enabling departments to post positions that may be shared. Include a section for staff who want to work part-time to post their names and qualifications. It may be possible to link employees so that two staff members can fill one full-time position.
- Look at the entire administrative, teaching and classified staff as a professional workforce that has flexibility. The permanent establishment of such a system will enable the university to make the best use of its talent and provide unity in workforce deployment.
Executive Share Program
- Partner with corporations, public agencies and other institutions to share upper-echelon administrators, faculty and staff on a half-time basis. UGA could share salary and benefits with the other entity. What a wonderful opportunity this would offer to establish great partnerships. Participants would become ambassadors for the university and ultimately could garner external contributions and funding that UGA might not otherwise realize.