University briefly cuts salaries, furloughs personnel as COVID-19 takes monetary toll – The Beacon

24August 2020

The University of Portland is momentarily cutting the pay of professors and personnel, and has actually furloughed some personnel reliable Sept. 1. Staff members who were furloughed got the news from their managers last week. Their work schedule and commensurate pay were cut anywhere from 10% to 100% (indicating their job was temporarily eliminated). The extra pay cuts range from 3% to 20%, depending on salary level and, in many cases, position. Adjuncts and employees with a yearly wage under $35,568 are exempt from the paycut.

The pay cuts and furloughs are the outcome of a 25% revenue shortage in UP’s yearly spending plan, losses related to COVID-19, according to Interim Vice President of Financial Affairs Eric Barger. Loss in space and board profits alone for this is $26 million. An increase in financial assistance to students due to the economic challenge triggered by COVID-19 contributed to the spending plan shortfall, according to Barger.

Barger described the University’s monetary circumstance, pay cuts and furlough plans in

an e-mail to professors and personnel Aug. 18, emphasizing that the University was not in threat of insolvency which the cuts were momentary procedures to get UP through the pandemic. Nevertheless, there is no recognized timeline for when employees might return to regular hours and pay.”Given the unknowns about the pandemic, we assume that our current mode of operation will continue through the spring,”Barger said in the e-mail. “Such an assumption is made for monetary planning functions only and I stress that no decisions have actually been made about spring 2021. It is our company hope and intention to resume in-person direction, residence life, and study abroad in the

spring.”Pay Cut Particulars

Under the revealed strategy, the majority of UP workers will see momentary pay cuts of either 3%or 6%, depending on just how much they make. Professors and staff with a yearly salary between $ 35,568 and $ 50,000 will take a 3 %pay cut, and those making over $ 50,000 will take a decrease of 6%. According to Barger,”senior leadership-vice presidents and long-term deans of schools “will take a 15% paycut, while UP executives in the Budget Working Group(which devised the cost-cutting strategy) will take a 20% salary reduction. This consists of UP President Fr. Mark Poorman, Provost Herbert Medina and Barger.

Furthermore, according to Barger’s announcement, members of the Holy Cross Community at UP offered to take a 15% pay cut, “although their compensation would otherwise lead to smaller reductions.”

Furlough Particulars

According to a Frequently Asked Question file from Vice President for Person Resources Sandy Chung, furloughs can range from 10% to 100%. Under a 20% furlough, an employee arranged to work Monday through Friday will generally work one less day per week and earn money for simply four days a week. A 100% furlough briefly removes a worker from a task and wage completely. The intent of furloughs is to bring employees back to a complete schedule as soon as financial conditions improve.

It’s not clear precisely the number of UP’s approximately 3200 staff members were furloughed, and to what degree. The Beacon has actually requested the information from the administration, and is waiting for a response.

No professors were furloughed, but furloughs were reportedly widespread among staff in many departments consisting of Home Life, Career Provider, Student Activities, the Moreau Center, School Ministry and more.

The University will continue to provide medical and dental insurance coverage to furloughed staff members, at least until the end of 2020. Furloughed workers will also retain other advantages such as life insurance coverage, tuition remission and tuition exchange, and Employee Support Programs (EAP) through Cascade Centers.

Although faculty and personnel first got word that there would be furloughs in an email from the University President’s Office on Aug. 7, some staff members who were in fact furloughed were still shocked that the decision came so close to the beginning of the term.

Samantha Trunkett, weekend and late night program planner, was one of the 30 staff members in Trainee Affairs who were reportedly furloughed 100%. Trunkett and other furloughed workers spent the majority of the summertime planning a safe on-campus reopening in the fall, up till the announcement that the University would be moving the semester online. Trunkett continued her work, trying to establish virtual events for trainees to attend throughout the semester.

“Before the furlough statement, I created a form for cooperation for Pilots After Dark,” Trunkett stated. “Pilots After Dark is still going to occur in some sort of capacity throughout the fall. And I encourage CPB (Campus Shows Board), and CPB is still going to have occasions in some sort of capability in the fall. The only thing that’s missing out on from the fall is me.”

Students who have close relationships with staff members need to connect to them before their University emails are shut down on Sept. 1, Trunkett stated. Staff members who have actually been partly furloughed will be dealing with a difficult task determining how to navigate their jobs with shortened work weeks and lowered support staff.

“My understanding is that we all really like University of Portland students and the neighborhood,” Trunkett said. “I want trainees to understand that personnel and professors that can’t work with you this term, it’s not by choice. And the staff and faculty that are lawfully enabled to deal with you this semester, respect them, they’re attempting their finest. Everyone’s trying their finest.”

Austin De Dios is the News and Handling Editor for The Beacon. He can be reached at


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