There is a new F word on campus...furloughs! They may not happen, but we have an opportunity to shape the calculus of the administration in weighing furloughs vs. other options for cuts, as well as in enunciating some principles for structuring the furloughs, should they happen. Some ideas that came up at the meeting on Monday night:
1) make it clear to the administration that if furloughs are imposed, they cannot dictate to us when we take them--i.e. we will take some furlough on days that we are scheduled to teach (if you like this option, how do we explain this to students?)
2) work to rule - prepare a list of things that we can no longer do because we are not being paid to do them - this is not purely a furlough issue but also connected to increased class size and reduced TA support in a context in which expectations for performing service and research remain unchanged. Faculty on 9-month contracts are already working for free on research over the summer, so furloughs add insult to injury. (and again, since this will affect our students, how do we persuade them that this is a legitimate course of action that they should support?)
3) everybody's favorite--tell the administrators making over $200K that they should fire themselves. Fire 8 highly paid administrators and we've closed a large chunk of the budget gap that CLA faces. And these would be permanent cuts!
4) structuring of the furloughs - those earning more should take more furlough days than those making less; staff earning low salaries should be exempted from furloughs; length of contract should be taken into account when calculating the number of furlough days for faculty