UW-Madison orders furloughs through October

A UW Madison sign

MADISON, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Madison officials are ordering most employees to take furlough days through October and top campus leaders will take pay cuts as the school tries to absorb a $100 million loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank sent an email to employees Wednesday saying most workers will have to take between three and six furlough days between May 15 and Oct. 31. Employees earning less than $50,000 must take three days, those earning between $50,000 and $80,000 must take four days, those earning between $80,001 and $150,000 must take five days and those earning more than $150,000 must take six days. Graduate assistants, post-doctoral, temporary and student workers will be exempt.

Blank, Provost John Scholz and vice chancellors will voluntarily take a 15% pay cut for the next six months in addition to their six furlough days.

Work units that have seen heavy reductions in on-site tasks will adopt a work-share program in which employees will share tasks on a part-time basis. The change means employees in those units can expect to see between a 10% and 60% reduction in their hours.

The school also will offer voluntary leave without pay if workers want to take it.

Blank said the moves will save up to $30 million toward the university’s $100 million shortfall.