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Faculty vote seeks to sway UA administrators away from impending furlough plan

Faculty vote seeks to sway UA administrators away from impending furlough plan

From the June's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Bars, gyms face shutdowns; Tucsonans worried telemedicine might disappear series
University of Arizona

A livestream at 10 a.m. on Thursday will provide an update on the reentry plan for University of Arizona students. School President Robert Robbins is scheduled to be on the livestream.

A vote that included more than 1,300 faculty members seeks to convince University of Arizona leaders to halt a furlough plan set to take effect on Wednesday.

Members of the Coalition for Academic Justice, a group of some 200 faculty, staff and graduate students, say they’re “pleased” with the vote because it speaks to their months-long effort to get leadership to rethink the cost-saving plan.

In the vote, 89% supported a delay. A total of 1,462 among 3,513 voting-eligible faculty participated.

Supports say the outcome should help convince the administration to delay its furlough plan to at least mid-September. That would allow for further study, more inclusion and revisions.

The furlough plan affects workers making $44,500 or more. It is expected to save about $95 million amid projected losses of $250 million for the UA through the 2021 fiscal year. The plan would also save departments from layoffs, according to the UA.

The coalition formed in April in response to the school’s furlough plan.

It says at least 200 UA employees have been laid off or did not have their contract renewed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group released an alternative furlough plan.

It proposes a higher salary floor of $70,000, with more of the cost-saving coming from employees making $200,000 or more. The group says its plan would save the UA at least $87 million.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com. On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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