Georgia universities to furlough employees six days - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Georgia universities to furlough employees six days

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Just days before the new school year starts, the Georgia Board of Regents dropped a bomb on faculty and staff.

All 40,000 employees in the state university system will be forced to take six unpaid days this school year.

It's all being done to make up for $115 million being withheld by the governor's office.

"It's frustrating, we've had record enrollment, and it just seems like when everything is going great, they cut the rug out from under us," said Stephen Snyder, Director of Public Relations at Georgia Southwestern State University.

These furloughs are not the end of the cost cutting...even more could be coming down the pipeline in the coming weeks and months.

Reductions in travel, benefits and salaries, as well as more furloughs or even layoffs are all a possibility.

Even though class time will not be affected, student may be asked to cough up more money for extra fees.

"This time we've got to find any place possible to generate revenue. Unfortunately we are at a point now where students are going to have to bear some of that load. It ultimately goes to benefit their classroom experience," said Jon Lester, Director of Public Relations for Columbus State University.

The final decision lies with the Georgia Legislature on how deep they implement budget reductions when they return to Atlanta in January.

In addition to the six furlough days, about 5,000 university system employees are having their healthcare benefits changed.


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