Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fighting the Free Day Weekend

On Friday the wise, witty, and Wii playing (oh yes, I have pictures) Craig Smith ended his posts alerting us that the Daily Nexus, in a budget move, is discontinuing its Friday paper and will now be printing just four days a week. At the end of the news, Craig wrote:

If the Governator wants to find a way to trim the state budget, perhaps he should have the entire UC system shut down on Fridays.

Not assuming he was giving his seriousness a Friday off, I took this suggestion at face value, and here are 5 reasons it probably won't happen:

1) Huge crush for classrooms, at least at UCSB--one reason there are more night classes and that they're pushing summer as a full quarter. Cutting out a day of instruction would really mess scheduling up. And evening classes cut into student drinking.
2) Many large classes have their sections on Fridays, so again, scheduling would become a mess.
3) In a place like UCSB's Writing Program, there is no instruction on Fridays but it's a day for program governance, i.e. meetings. Jamming those in during the other 4 days around people's teaching schedules would be a nightmare.
4) As for staff, this suggestion means everyone gets an annual paycut of nearly a month's salary (4 Fridays a month X 12 months = 48 days of no pay). Ouch.

And speaking of that, a change of work conditions like that would probably have to be negotiated with each bargaining unit, so there's problem #5. (See, Wendy is right--unions are a pain.)

Of course Craig then pointed out an article from the LA Times which says:

State officials say they will close most California state offices on the first and third Fridays of each month starting Feb. 6 as a cost-saving measure.

Luckily for UC employees, the university isn't quite a CA state office. After all, while it's not surprisingly hard to pin the figures down, as therefore those in charge would have to be responsible and accountable and all that, it's rumored the state provides merely 30-40% of the UC's budget anyway. Still, there could be fun ahead, if one likes to define fun as something like being locked in a recording studio with James Blunt or getting The Real Housewives of Orange County on every TV channel 24/7.

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3 Comments:

Blogger craigsmithsblog said...

OK. How much do you want for those photos?

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Freealonzo said...

At the University of MN, the talk is that we may have staff furloughs during the two holiday breaks: Christmas and Easter. Since no contracts have provisions for furloughs, it is unclear whether or not they could actually happen.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I know you're a word person, George, but there are 52 weeks in a year, so that's 52 Fridays not worked. And 52 days less of pay is way more than a month -- when a month is 20-23 paid days, 52 is more than two. In fact, it's a 20% pay cut to cut out 1 of the 5 days each week.

The 1st/3rd Friday thing, however is a month of pay reduction -- 24 fewer days of work in a year.

However you slice it, though, it stinks.

2:26 PM  

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