CU Denver to begin furloughing employees in July

Most University of Colorado Denver employees will be subject to a furlough plan beginning in July and potentially lasting through June 2021, according to an email announcement sent to employees on Wednesday.

A furlough is mandated, unpaid leave and not considered a layoff, the email explained.

The plan outlined in the email about pandemic-related budget cuts is set up in six tiers with employees who earn less than $60,000 annually exempt from furloughs and those earning more than $180,000 assigned 26 furlough days — amounting to a 10% reduction in salary for the highest earners, the email said.

The four tiers between those salaries will take 12, 16, 20 and 24 furlough days depending on income.

The furlough plan will apply to most CU Denver employees and administration. Graduate assistants, temporary student employees and university staff who are part of Central Services and Administration units that support both CU Denver and and CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus are not subject to furloughs.

All CU Denver cabinet, deans and other officers will be furloughed at the sixth tier.

“Our people are our most important asset and our highest investment, and salaries represent approximately 70% of our expenses,” the email said. “We must take steps that, unfortunately, will have a direct impact on most of our employees. We will be asking for a shared sacrifice among faculty, staff and administration, with the largest contributions from our leadership and highest earners.”

Due to state higher education budget cuts and costs incurred from the new coronavirus pandemic, CU Denver estimated a “conservative” budget shortfall of $33 million.

The email said the campus would be tapping three main “buckets” to make up for this shortfall: campus reserves, operating expenses and compensation.

Each area would be reduced by approximately one-third, the email said.

Anyone with questions about the furloughs can attend a CU Denver virtual town hall from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday that will later be posted on the university’s YouTube page.

 

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