‘Such a hard decision’: CCU approves mandatory furlough plan set to begin July 1

‘Such a hard decision’: CCU approves mandatory furlough plan set to begin July 1

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Coastal Carolina University’s mandatory furlough plan has been approved by the Division of State Human Resources and will start at the beginning of July.

The furlough plan begins July 1 and will continue through CCU’s 2020-2021 fiscal year, according to information from the university.

“Coastal Carolina University is facing several new challenges during the current COVID-19 pandemic including an expected decrease in future student enrollment and a projected fifteen percent (15%) reduction across all revenue sources for the 2020 – 2021 fiscal year,” the plan states.

The CCU Mandatory Furlough Plan includes all position types and will cover all employees, with these exceptions, according to information from the university:

  • Employees compensated at an annual salary of $33,100 or less.
  • Employees in federal or other externally funded positions if the terms of the funding prohibit the employees from participating in a mandatory furlough. If a position is partially funded by an external agency, the mandatory furlough may be prorated.
  • Employees holding H-1B Visa status are excluded from participation in a mandatory furlough pursuant to Federal law. H-1B employees can, however, participate in a voluntary furlough.
  • In the event of natural disaster, pandemic or declared state of emergency, additional exclusions or exceptions may be granted by the University President, if deemed necessary to preserve employee health and/or safety or the operational welfare of the University.

The number of mandatory furlough days are listed below and based on salary scale:

$33,101 to $33,600 – 1

$33,601 to $34,350 – 5

$34,351 to $35,000 – 10

$35,001 to $35,750 – 15

$35,751 and up – 20

CCU officials anticipate the cost savings of the furlough program will be $7 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Affected employees will be able to participate in state benefits during the furlough period.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for many organizations and businesses, and CCU is not immune to the budgetary challenges and impacts brought on by COVID-19,” said David A. DeCenzo, president of Coastal Carolina University. “This has been such a hard decision to make, requiring faculty and staff and administration to take furlough days, and it weighs heavy. It is our hope that, with everyone pulling together, this step combined with other expense adjustments will make the difference needed to stabilize the budget.”

WMBF News has reached out to numerous universities in our area, to see if they’re considering furloughs as well due to the pandemic.

Vice President of University Communications for Francis Marion University, Tucker Mitchell, said their institution is not considering furloughs or layoffs in the foreseeable future.

“Right now, we feel pretty confident in our finances going forward, so there’s no furloughs or layoffs in our plans,” Mitchell said. ”We hope that will continue and we believe it will. Of course, there’s a lot of uncertainties in the future related to the pandemic and budgetary issues that cause [these type of things] to happen for businesses and institutions. But [not having furloughs], that’s where we are right now .”

Staff at the Horry-Georgetown Technical College said they’re also not considering a furlough plan, providing this statement to WMBF News:

“Consistent with prior years, HGTC continues to monitor enrollment activity and will make the appropriate staffing decisions as that data becomes more clear. There are no immediate plans for furloughs at this time. The College remains forever committed to fiscal stewardship in all aspects of its operations and scope of services.” HGTC

Our news team has also reached out to Florence-Darlington Technical College about their plans for the upcoming year. We are waiting for a response.

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