To furlough or not furlough

Today faculty received notices that the NY legislature enacted and the government signed a furlough of state workers.  That includes our professors at Baruch.  Soon enough the  unions (including PSC to which same professors belong) filed  for a restraining order.  Judge Kahn in district court issued the order this afternoon according to the New York Times.

The drama is clearly a political move by the Governor to motivate the obdurate legislature.  Who’s paying the price though?  In the near term, professors pay dearly.  A one day furlough of university professors would serve the State very well.  Day’s off on Friday without pay sounds not bad considering the economy.  But wait, professors already have that day off.  Oh and over summer?  But wait full-time instructional staff don’t have summer teaching under regular duties.  A furlough amounts to a 20% pay grab.   No teaching time is lost and 1/5 of pay remains in State coffers.

The long term cost will be borne by the CUNY institution.  Crain’s NY recently ran an article on the vision of our Chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, to forge CUNY into a tier-1 research institution.  The theme of his plan is to “build it and they will come.”  World-class researchers and high-yield students I presume.  However, will CUNY attract the best and brightest if there is a cloud that hangs over the institution of mandated furloughs from dysfunctional Albany?  Such a cloud will certainly not be a deal breaker, but will raise eyebrows.  Of course if those prospective best and brightest don’t mind taking stairs because escalators and elevators don’t work.


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