YSU chief asks colleagues to take voluntary furloughs
By Denise Dick
Youngstown State University President Cynthia E. Anderson and her cabinet have agreed to take six unpaid furlough days this year and want other supervisory employees to do the same.
“We are now asking all 220 professional/administrative exempt employees to follow our lead and to voluntarily make a similar sacrifice,” Anderson wrote in a memo to the employees.
Adherence to the request is voluntary, said Ron Cole, university spokesman, because the affected employees have contracts that began July 1, 2011.
The request is being made as the university faces a projected $7 million deficit. The university negotiated contracts with the unions representing faculty and classified employees that include concessions.
“We plan to ask for similar concessions from the other unionized employees on campus,” Anderson’s memo says. “The sacrifices needed to meet these budgetary challenges will be shared across the university.”
Cole said the supervisors may choose to take unpaid furlough days, forfeit vacation, make a monetary contribution to the university or some combination.
“If you do not think you can sacrifice the minimum six days at this time, please consider a lesser number that may be more suitable to your situation,” Anderson’s memo says. “On the other hand, if you feel you can give more, I encourage you to do so. Let me reiterate that this is completely voluntary.”
Those willing to take the measures have until today to complete a form and submit it to their supervisors. Cole expects to know how many people will give back a portion of their pay by early next month.
Though the furloughs are voluntary this fiscal year, Anderson’s memo says it’s possible mandatory furloughs will be implemented next year.
“These are difficult measures that reflect difficult times,” she wrote.