SFA regents approve four-day furlough for non-faculty staff

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - In a cost-cutting move expected to save the university more than $600,000, the SFA Board of Regents voted to approve a four-day furlough for non-faculty staff.

The mandatory days off without pay will be on April 21 and 22, May 27 and July 1. Eligible staff will be allowed to take vacation days or compensatory time in lieu of a smaller paycheck. The furlough doesn't affect faculty due to contractual issues. The dates are in conjunction with established holidays for faculty, so it shouldn't affect academics.

Faculty Senate Chair Ken Collier said the faculty was willing to also take part in the furlough and is concerned the move may create tension between faculty and staff.

SFA President Baker Pattillo said he wants future faculty contracts to have a clause allowing furloughs when necessary.

This move is just the tip of the iceburg in possible budget cutbacks.

"We expect a 21 percent reduction in our budget over the next two years. That amounts to $20 million.We must reduce the coming year's budget by $10 million," Patillo told regents.

Dawn Stover gave the news to staff this morning. As a longtime employee, she has hundreds of hours of vacation time banked. Others don't.

"And I suspect that the newest members of our staff are going to be hit harder," she said.

Nevertheless, a furlough is better than the alternative.

"It's a big campus, but everybody knows everybody and we don't want to see anybody get fired," employee Duke Pittman said.

A total of an additional $425,000 will come from other areas, including academic affairs, university affairs and finance and administration.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.