UW-Superior to continue intermittent furloughs through June 2021
In a town hall meeting with more than 200 staff and faculty joining remotely, University of Wisconsin-Superior administration announced that it will continue intermittent furloughs for all staff and faculty through June 2021, although at a lower number than was required in fall 2020.
“Thanks to the dedication and creativity of our campus community, there are many enrollment bright spots emerging even in the midst of the pandemic,” said Chancellor Renée Wachter. “However, there continues to be an ever-changing landscape that presents many unknowns in both the short and longer-term. As with this past spring, we have been working toward the future and we have kept our institution and academic programs robust, while also preserving what makes UW-Superior so special. We are thankful that fewer furloughs will be needed in spring 2021 than were required in fall 2020 –– a sign that the university is indeed weathering this storm successfully and continuing to remain strong despite the unexpected challenges of COVID-19.”
UW-Superior will implement the round of intermittent furloughs starting January 1, 2021. Furloughs are unpaid leave periods that allow employees to keep benefits such as health insurance, vacation and sick-leave accrual. Furloughs also preserve employees’ jobs. No layoffs of personnel are pending.
“We are very committed to our employees as being the most valuable resource of our institution and we are working hard to keep people in their positions despite these challenging times,” Wachter said.
The upcoming intermittent furloughs are less than the ten percent earnings reduction imposed in the fall. Under the plan, a UW-Superior employee will have earnings reduced by roughly six percent (eight days for 12-month employees and six days for nine-month employees) with furlough days taken between January 1 and June 30, 2021. A UW System-wide two percent pay increase due to begin in January 2021 will help offset some of the decrease.
“I fully recognize the continued stress this news brings to the faculty and staff who are the lifeblood of our university,” said Wachter. “While at times it can be hard to see the other side of this, it’s important to remember that we as a university will prevail because of their sacrifice, dedication and resilience. This has been a year unlike any other in UW-Superior’s history, but I remain tremendously proud of our campus and each campus community member who make us Superior.”