As you’re likely aware, the Kansas Legislature has still not passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2016. Without a budget, there is no authority to distribute funds to cover the first pay period of the fiscal year, which begins Sunday, June 7. The result would be the furlough of state employees beginning that day.
Certainly, we hope it will not get to that point. If the Legislature passes a budget or a bill authorizing short-term expenditures for payroll by midnight Saturday, June 6, there will be no furloughs.
But in anticipation of a worst-case scenario, we are planning how the university would implement furloughs. Per directive from the State, we are currently determining which employees are essential and non-essential to core functions and limited continuity of operations. Non-essential employees would be furloughed if legislators don’t pass a budget in time.
KU employees will be notified by Human Resources or by their supervisors or unit heads no later than noon on Friday, June 5 about whether they would be furloughed. Employees will then need to check the State of Kansas website kansas.gov/employee or monitor media reports beginning Saturday to see whether furloughs will begin Sunday.
I want to emphasize that use of the terms “essential” and “non-essential” for these purposes has nothing to do with the value of an employee or position to the university. These decisions are made for the simple purpose of keeping minimum necessary services and functions in operation.
We have created a page at www.statefurloughs.ku.edu where we will provide more information as it becomes available. This page currently includes a list of frequently asked questions about furloughs.
I know the threat of furloughs is an enormous disruption, both professionally and personally. And I think I can speak for most employees in saying how disappointed I am that legislators have not passed a budget in a timely fashion. Please know that we continue to work with legislators to avoid furloughs. And know that I remain truly grateful for your continued hard work on behalf of the university, and that every one of you is essential to our mission.