Western Announces Furlough Programs

Erika Ward

On Tuesday afternoon, Western Illinois University announced a plan to execute mandatory furloughs and voluntary pay reduction programs.

According to a release from university relations, these programs will only affect “administrative/ non-academic and civil service personnel not covered by unions.”

The university released a schedule of the mandatory furloughs, which are based on base salary and will take place during the month of June. The schedule affects employees who make as much as over $150,000 a year and says that employees making less than $39,999 year will receive no mandatory furloughs. Employees who wish to spread out the days without pay are being offered a voluntary pay reduction program, which would begin April 2.

“Without further action to reduce expenditures, such as furloughs and holding positions open, our monetary reserves that serve to bridge the revenue gap will be depleted by the end of this fiscal year,” Western President Jack Thomas said in the release.

The release also said that the furloughs are possible because of “an emergency rule that has been approved by the State University Civil Service System office and the Joint Committee on Rules in the Illinois State Legislature.”

“We have significantly reduced operating expenditures and Western Illinois University is a very efficient university, operating well below state averages on instructional and administrative costs per credit hour,” Thomas said. “The decisions we are being forced to make are incredibly difficult. We are making these decisions to ensure a sound future for Western Illinois University.”

An informational session will be held next Tuesday in the University Union Heritage room at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to address questions and concerns.

-Visit westerncourier.com for the extended version of this article and more information regarding furloughs