Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Letting Go

Are you sure you know where we are going, Nicholas?
UC Berkeley to eliminate 500 staff jobs

By Nanette Asimov, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, SF Chronicle

Financially troubled UC Berkeley will eliminate 500 staff jobs over two years to help balance its budget by 2019-20, The Chronicle has learned.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees Monday informing them of the job reductions and said they will amount to “a modest reduction of 6 percent of our staff workforce.”

Berkeley employs about 8,500 staffers, from custodians to administrators. Faculty members will not be affected. Dirks said the reductions will be done in part through attrition and did not mention layoffs.

But the campus is in the process of laying off about 60 employees, spokesman Dan Mogulof said without identifying the departments they’re from.

Some staff members in at least one area, residential student services, were told by managers two weeks ago that they should prepare to be laid off, sources said. Other departments are bracing for similar news.

The job elimination message comes as the campus is projecting a deficit of $150 million this fiscal year — 6 percent of its operating budget of $2.5 billion, which campus officials have blamed largely on state allocations that have not kept pace with campus needs.

Berkeley’s deficit was $109 million last year and $12 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year, campus officials told The Chronicle in February.

The campus will receive at least $200 million in loans and debt restructuring from University of California headquarters and is identifying other areas to cut and raise more cash.

An estimated $50 million will be saved by eliminating the jobs, Dirks said in the memo, which offered few details.

The news was greeted with anger by some labor union leaders, who criticized Berkeley and the entire UC for what they say is excessive spending on executive salaries at the expense of lower-paid workers...

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