The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

SIUC Unions Make One Good Point

with one comment

Just a short post today. I was critical of five SIUC unions in a post earlier this week. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that the unions do make one good point. The proposed furlough plan is unfair because the highest paid employees and the lowest paid employees are all expected to take the same number of furlough days.

When UIUC used furloughs earlier this year, upper administrators took ten furlough days. Faculty and other employees took four days. Employees making less than $30,000 per year were exempt from furloughs, as were civil service employees.

I’ll give credit where credit is due. The SIUC unions are right to complain when employees making $32,000 per year are losing the same four days as employees making $120,000 per year. They’re also right to draw attention to the top heavy management and the growth in administrative/professional employment at SIUC.

The unions are wrong to deny that labor cost reductions are an important part of improving SIUC’s fiscal health. As I’ve pointed out previously, employment has grown while enrollment has declined. Action is necessary to resolve the budget shortage, and furloughs are less painful than layoffs.

At least some faculty recognize this and are open to furlough days. Others can’t read the writing on the walls and pledge to fight. That is their right, but I think they’re wrong.

Comments are welcome.

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Written by The Carbondale Observer

November 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

One Response

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  1. […] week, I also gave the Foolish Five credit for drawing attention to the fact that lower paid employees are taking the same number of furlough […]


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