Salary cuts sloppy so far

The University should not hastily approve any pay cuts.

During spring break, University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks announced a last-minute change to the furlough plan that all University employees would be subject to. Instead of workers taking three furlough days and executive administrators taking six, those who arenâÄôt hourly workers will take a 1.15-percent pay cut and executive administration will take a 2.3-percent cut. The plan remains unchanged for hourly workers. There are several glaring flaws in the plan, not the least of which is the timing of the announcement only 10 days before the intended vote and during spring break. The University of MinnesotaâÄôs Faculty Senate intends to vote on the plan Thursday, which is not enough time to properly review and debate the plan. There are many questions the administration will need to address; for example, how will they ensure that the missed work of a furlough day will not need to be covered by paying someone overtime to do it? Will hourly workers lose a full dayâÄôs pay in one paycheck, or will the loss be spread over all their paychecks? Once again, the savings of this plan are a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. University employees will have a scheduled two-percent pay raise pushed back, but will still receive it eventually. Tuition increases, on the other hand, are in effect indefinitely. Students shoulder an unfair share of the UniversityâÄôs financial burden in the long term. If there truly is a âÄúnew fiscal realityâÄù as the administration claims, permanent solutions âÄî not temporary fixes âÄî should be the goal. The administration and faculty senate should take more time to resolve these issues rather than hastily approve an underdeveloped plan.