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April 14, 2016

CSCU president pitching unpaid furlough days

PHOTO | Contributed CSCU president Mark Ojakian is pitching employees on the idea of taking unpaid furlough days to help the system save money.

The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system is encouraging his employees to volunteer for unpaid leaves of absences through reduced weekly work schedules or furlough days.

CSCU president Mark E. Ojakian said the unpaid leaves are just one conceivable strategy for decreasing expenditures. He also wants eligible employees to consider sharing their tentative or firm retirement plans to assist with the budget planning process.

Ojakian said under state law, permanent classified and unclassified employees with over six months of service may take unpaid leave consisting of individual prescheduled days or partial days off.

In March, Ojakian told the Board of Regents for Higher Education he projects CSCU will see a budget shortfall of $26 million in the 2016-2017 school year. He said a tuition increase will not close that deficit and other steps will have to be taken. CSCU is currently under a hiring freeze. It’s also not giving raises not required by union contracts.

Last month, the Regents approved tuition hikes ranging from 3.5 to 5 percent at its four universities, 12 community colleges, and Charter Oak State College.

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