A message from President Drake about UC’s commitment to preserving jobs during the pandemic
President Drake sent the following message to all UC staff on Nov. 23, 2020.
Last month, I announced the launch of a consultation process with the UC community to explore the idea of a systemwide program to preserve jobs and avoid COVID-related layoffs to every extent possible, and to help us address the more than $2 billion budget deficit UC faces due to the pandemic. This would supplement our many other efforts to deal with our financial challenges, and I write you today to update you on our plans.
We appreciate the thoughtful feedback which underscored the complex financial challenges facing the University, with impacts varying by location and even within each campus. Therefore, locations will be allowed to employ a mix of measures depending on what options best meet that location’s financial and operational needs.
While local measures will vary by location, all actions will be guided by our shared priorities:
- Protecting jobs and avoiding pandemic-related layoffs as much as possible;
- Supporting the health and well-being of employees and their families, including their long-term financial security, particularly for those in lower-paid positions;
- If salary actions are taken, in the spirit of equity and fairness, higher-compensated employees should carry a larger burden to protect employees with lower earnings.
Each location will establish a pandemic relief fund, to be used to minimize, to the extent possible, pandemic-related layoffs. One of the key goals of this approach will be to preserve lower-paid jobs that otherwise may not have sufficient funding. And, we will meet any applicable obligations under our collective bargaining agreements concerning actions involving union-represented colleagues.
Each location will be responsible for communicating the details of its plan to its respective community.
In closing, I want to express my deep appreciation for our dedicated and resilient staff and faculty, who continue to work selflessly during these most challenging times to take care of the people we serve. In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of our collective work and contributions to California’s response to the pandemic — from transforming the way we educate students to providing life-saving patient care and advancing groundbreaking research. Thank you for your tireless service.
Despite the serious challenges we face, I am grateful to be part of this extraordinary community of people, and I remain optimistic for what we can continue to accomplish together.
Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Michael V. Drake, MD
President, University of California