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Message from UW System President Kevin P. Reilly on state budget (May 7, 2009)

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May 7, 2009

Message from UW System President Kevin P. Reilly on state budget

To: All UW System Faculty, Academic Staff, and Classified Staff

"As you may have heard in the news, Governor Doyle today announced his response to manage a growing state budget deficit. New projections show that the shortfall for 2009-11 is projected to be about $1 billion higher than initially expected, now totaling more than $6 billion over the biennium.

"Remember that the original deficit projections resulted in major challenges for us, including funding cuts and reallocations totaling as much as $174 million at one point in the process. While we had begun to see some reductions in that projected cut, we now expect the situation to worsen.

"The Governor’s proposal will require all state employees, including UW System faculty and academic staff, to forego the two percent pay plan increase that was scheduled to take effect on June 1 of this year. It will also require all state employees, including UW faculty and staff, to take eight days of unpaid leave (furlough) in each of the next two years (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2011). Represented classified staff will be asked to reopen contract negotiations to allow for the cancellation of the June 1, 2009 general wage increase, or face layoffs to attain the equivalent in savings.

"In these extraordinary times, our Governor and our Legislature are facing tough choices to help the state regain its financial footing and preserve core services in this deepening economic crisis. We know that the UW System institutions play a major role in the state’s economic recovery and renewal. With that in mind, we will continue to advocate for strategies that minimize further harm to our core mission of teaching, research, and service. At the same time, we must remain cognizant of the broader context – extreme economic turmoil that has resulted in business closings and family hardships all across the nation. We are not immune from those economic impacts.

"More information will be forthcoming on the details of the Governor’s proposals and their implications for our university workforce. I recognize that these kinds of actions will have a big impact on each of you, your colleagues, and your families, and we will be mindful of that impact going forward.

"I thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of the students and citizens of Wisconsin."

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