This information is for System Administration employees only.

CU System Administration implemented a furlough plan on July 1, 2020 in response to budgetary considerations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Mark Kennedy announced that University of Colorado System Administration will lift its COVID-19 related furloughs by 50%, effective to Feb. 1.

  • For officers, this reduces furloughs to 5% and 21 required furlough days for the fiscal year.
  • For affected University Staff, this reduces furloughs to 2.3% and 10 required furlough days for the fiscal year. 
  • Employees who have taken all required furlough days do not need to take the standard System Administration furlough day set for March 26; February 15 can still be taken as a furlough day.

If you are affected by furloughs, you may have additional questions about what this means for you. Refer to the FAQs below.

Affected employees

Which employees are being furloughed?

University staff employees only:

  • University staff employees making above $60,000 per year base salary will receive a 4.6% pay reduction that equates to 1 furlough day per month equaling 12 days in the fiscal year. 
    • Effective Feb. 1, pay reductions will be modified from 4.6% to 2.3%, which equates to 10 furlough days total for the fiscal year.
  • Officers will receive a 10% pay reduction that equates to about 2 furlough days per month equaling 26 days in the fiscal year.
    • Effective Feb. 1, pay reductions will be modified from 10% to 5%, which equates to 21 furlough days total for the fiscal year.

This furlough does not affect:

  • University staff who earn $60,000 per year or less
  • New hires
  • Temporary staff
  • Working retirees
  • Students
  • H-1B visa positions
  • Classified staff

How will the furlough days apply to part-time employees?

The furlough day will be prorated based on the percentage of time the part-time employee is scheduled to work, just like other types of leave.

For example, if an employee typically works 50% time in a week then the employee’s furlough would be based upon the 20 hours worked of their normal schedule. 

Are new hires subject to the furlough?

Employees hired after Jan. 1, 2021 are not subject to the furlough.

Taking and Tracking Furlough Leave

With the furlough reduction, how many furlough days must I take by June 30?

  • University staff employees making above $60,000 per year base salary must now take 10 furlough days by June 30, as opposed to 12.
  • Officers must now take 21 furlough days by June 30, as opposed to 26.

What if I’ve already taken all my required furlough days?

No further action is needed if you have taken all or more furlough days than required, prior to the Feb. 1 furlough reduction.

Your monthly furlough pay reduction will still decrease by 50%, effective Feb. 1.

Where can I track how many furlough days I’ve taken since July 2020?

  • Review your furlough days taken in My Leave since July 2020.
  • Department heads will be provided a report of employee furlough data.

Do I have to take a certain number of furlough days per month or can I take them in blocks (for example, 5 consecutive days)?

You and your supervisor can decide which furlough days you take during the furlough period (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021).

You may take the days in a block (ex. 5 days in a row) or spread out over the pay reduction period. It is the responsibility of you and your supervisor to track use of allotted time during this period.

System Administration is implementing the following three standard furlough days:

  • the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25)
  • President's Day (Feb. 15), and
  • a Spring Break day (March 26)

Note on standard furlough days

  • If you have taken the required number of furlough days, do not take March 26 as a furlough day.
  • If your job duties prevent you from taking those days off based on business necessity, you may arrange to take other day(s) that are mutually agreed upon by yourself and your supervisor. 

Please manually enter all furlough days into your MyLeave calendar using the code "Furlough Leave."

Will March 26 still be standard a furlough day for System employees?

Yes. If you have taken all your required days (10 for staff and 21 for officers), do not take March 26 as a furlough day.

How do I enter my furlough leave in My Leave?

Please use the “Furlough Leave”  code when coding all your furlough days. Your pay will be reduced whether or not you code a furlough day. 

Can I use earned leave instead of taking a furlough day?

No, accrued leave may not be used on or to substitute for a furlough day.

Will taking a furlough day affect my leave accural?

No, employees will continue to accrue leave at their respective rates. Furlough hours count toward the total leave accrual in any pay period.

Pay 

How will the furloughs affect paychecks after Feb. 1?

Effective Feb. 1, pay reductions will be reduced from:

  • 4.6% to 2.3% for University staff employees making above $60,000 per year base salary.
  • 10% to 5% for Officers.

No action is needed from employees.

Can I choose which paycheck my salary is reduced following a furlough day?

No, employees will see a reduction on their paychecks during each pay period. 

  • For University staff employees making above $60,000 per year base salary, this reduction will be:
    • 2.3% for paychecks from February 2021 to June 2021
    • 4.6% for paychecks from July 2020 to January 2021
  • For Officers, this reduction will be:
    • 10% for paychecks from February 2021 to June 2021
    • 5% for paychecks from July 2020 to January 2021

Employees will need to discuss their day(s) taken each month with their supervisor and track it in My Leave. 

Benefits

Does taking furlough affect my health benefits?

No, an employee on unpaid leave, including furlough is eligible to continue health, dental and life benefits. However, if you do not make enough in that month to cover your contribution to benefits, you will receive a bill in the mail.

Can a furloughed employee utilize the tuition benefit?

Yes, employees on furlough will be able to use the tuition benefit.

Will the plan affect an employee's retirement contribution?

Yes, the employee and employer retirement contributions are based on salary paid. A reduction in salary, as a result of the furlough, will reduce the base amount used to calculate the retirement plan contribution amounts. For PERA, an employee must earn $580 in a month to have that month counted towards service credit.  If a furlough lowers the amount of earnings lower than $580, that month will not be counted as PERA service credit.

Will the length of service date be affected as a result of a furlough?

CU length of service dates are not adjusted during furloughs.  For PERA, an employee must earn $580 in a month to have that month counted towards service credit.  If a furlough lowers the amount of earnings lower than $580, that month will not be counted as PERA service credit.

Additional FAQs

Am I entitled to unemployment benefits to cover the loss of pay due to the furlough plan?

The Colorado Dept of Labor and Employment (CDLE) administers the unemployment benefit process, and the most complete information can be found on the CDLE's unemployment page.

Am I expected to perform work while on furlough?

No, a furlough is a day (or more) off from work with no pay. No work should be performed while on furlough and hours should not be made up for the week. No adverse action should be taken regarding employee performance for the hours not worked due to furlough.

Does an employee have grievance rights regarding the furlough or temporary salary reduction?

Neither the placement of an employee on a furlough nor a temporary salary reduction gives rise to any grievance or appeal rights.

Can furloughed employees take outside employment while on leave?

Furloughed employees may work other jobs, subject to the Administrative Policy Statement 5012. Any earnings may impact unemployment benefits.

 

 Do you have additional questions? Email systemHR@cu.edu.