K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: UW-Madison announces another round of furloughs for most employees in 2021

Kelly Meyerhofer:

Facing a coronavirus-induced “budget crisis” that exceeds $300 million, UW-Madison announced on Monday another round of furloughs and pay cuts for the first six months of 2021.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a message to the campus community. “The pandemic will affect UW into 2021 and beyond.”

Roughly 16,000 university employees will take between three and six unpaid days off between Jan. 1 and June 30, reducing their pay between 2.5% and 4.6%. Blank and vice chancellors will take a 15% salary cut over those same six months. School and college deans will take voluntary 10% salary cuts.

The latest round of furloughs and salary cuts is expected to save $27 million, university spokesman John Lucas said. That’s about the same as what UW-Madison recouped when it imposed its first six-month furlough period that ends Friday.

The university estimates about $320 million in revenue losses and increased costs from March through the end of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. Some of that shortfall has already been made up for through the first round of furloughs, a hiring freeze, travel restrictions and other reductions.

But the budget gap is still “larger than any that we’ve faced in any past year,” Blank said.

Much more on Madison’s substantial Fall 2020 tax & spending increase referendum, here.