Northeastern Illinois University announces furlough days


By Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of full-time professional and administrative staff members at Northeastern Illinois University will be required to take furlough days starting this month, school officials announced Thursday.

Administrators and nonunion employees will be required to take off one unpaid day each week starting March 14.

Some unions also have agreed to the furloughs following negotiations with the university. Others, including those representing some faculty and professional staff, are still in talks about how their members will participate in the spending cuts.


School officials project the furloughs will save between $225,000 and $250,000 per week and affect about 1,000 employees.

The decision comes as Illinois continues to operate without a budget, denying regular funding and financial aid dollars to public universities.

NEIU President Sharon Hahs said the institution in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood is well-situated for the rest of the 2015-16 school year, but the furlough was needed to keep operations going past the summer.

“The decisions we are forced to make are incredibly difficult and certainly painful both economically and personally,” Hahs said in a statement. “This is an action that we all regret having to take, but for the sake of our students and Northeastern, it is a necessary one to assure fall semester.”

Eastern Illinois University leaders said a similar move is imminent for the Charleston-based campus.

EIU President David M. Glassman wrote in February the school would have to lay off about 200 civil service employees and require furloughs until June for administrative and professional employees if the state budget was not implemented by March 10.

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