Furloughs for state school profs

Universities across the US are forcing their employees to take unpaid leave, effectively reducing the salary budget without reflecting pay cuts on paper. But for most researchers, who cannot easily pause their studies, what furloughs really amount to is a simple reduction in income -- the same amount of work for less money. Image: linkurl:Flickr/hoyasmeg;http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/2553639968/ "Especially in the sciences, [professors can't just stop] laboratory experiments or any ongoi

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Jul 21, 2009
Universities across the US are forcing their employees to take unpaid leave, effectively reducing the salary budget without reflecting pay cuts on paper. But for most researchers, who cannot easily pause their studies, what furloughs really amount to is a simple reduction in income -- the same amount of work for less money.
Image: linkurl:Flickr/hoyasmeg;http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/2553639968/
"Especially in the sciences, [professors can't just stop] laboratory experiments or any ongoing monitoring they're doing," said John Curtis, Director of Research and Public Policy at the linkurl:American Association of University Professors;http://www.aaup.org/aaup (AAUP). "In most cases, [the end result is] just that they get a pay cut." Last week (July 16), the University of California Board of Regents enacted a furlough plan to save $184.1 million by requiring their employees to take between 11 and 26 days of unpaid leave, amounting to a 4-10% reduction in pay. But the UC system isn't the first; several...




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