Thursday, July 09, 2009

Budget Madness

The state has mandated that we'll all do furloughs (except student workers). It's complicated because of all the different types of employees and employment we have. There will be a couple of days when the state will be officially "closed" for business, but mostly furlough days will be planned within units.

All this complexity means that the furlough system has to be explained. Luckily, the human resources folks have set up four meetings to do the explaining, including one late night (overtime for classified employees) and one where there will be a sign interpreter (an independent contractor). The email says there will be more meetings in the fall, since some folks aren't available now (and faculty have gone hither and yon).

How many hours of human resources workers' time do you think arranging this has taken? I bet there's a power point, and handouts; how many hours to design those? The meetings themselves will take half a day, just if one worker comes, and more if that person requires a tech person available and all.

If the meeting is one hour and everyone on campus is asked to go to one meeting, then whatever they could have been doing that was part of their job isn't going to get done. So in addition to losing 6-8 days (or 48-64 hours), we lose at least another hour of work.

We're really going to save the state a lot of money. /nod


  1. Maddening and, as you say, a lot of make-work for HR in order to "sell" the new system to everyone. Particularly galling when you know, as a faculty member, that your furlough days will not really be respected by anyone at your institution (voice of bitter experience from Ontario's practice of these in the 90s).

  2. how do you "furlough" someone whose job can easily expand to infinity? are you supposed to be 10% less prepared to teach a course? grade only 90% of papers? i suppose that if you cut the length of committee meetings by 10% -- heck, go for extra savings! cut by 50%! -- that would be something.