WESTMINSTER — About 70 Carroll Community College instructors and staff workers will be furloughed for three days as part of a package of cost-cutting measures.
The furlough, endorsed by the Baltimore County Community Colleges board of trustees, will take place Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 and 3,1992, incorporating CCC's Christmas holidays, said Alan Schuman, director of administration.
Furloughs will also take place at Essex, Dundalk and Catonsville community colleges.
"(The furlough) will extend the length of timethe facility is closed to an even two weeks," Schuman said. "It's a better time to do it because we will get energy savings out of this, and it's a time when school is not in session, so it will not impact on students."
The furloughs, the last of a series of cost-cutting measures implemented by the board of trustees, are needed to offset cuts of $7.9 million in state aid to the colleges. As a result, CCC has trimmed $412,000 from its $5.3 million budget for the current fiscal year. The furlough plan will save the college about $27,000, Schuman said.
Other savings have come from increasing tuition from $39 to $48 per credit hour, implementing a $5 per semester registration fee for all students, and a $20 per course fee for senior citizens. Thecollege also has curbed spending on supplies and equipment, reduced maintenance agreements on equipment, and limited travel.
Employeeswere expected to receive official notice of the furloughs Thursday. Schuman said the furlough affects all full- and part-time employees who receive benefits. Temporary workers without benefits will simply not be assigned to work those three days, he said.
Suzanne Dixon, chairwoman of CCC's faculty organization, said instructors are aware of budget constraints, and most think furloughs are a sound way to cutthe budget quickly.
"Most of us are accepting of it," she said. "Cost-cutting is necessary, and people realize it's a way to cut moneyfast. But we don't like it. It seems as if financial crises are borne on the backs of faculty. We're the largest group, and we take the biggest hit."
She said the furlough plan is not "quite equitable." She said staff on 10-month and 12-month contracts have been furloughed for the same number of days.
"Most of us are working very hard to make things work despite the cuts we face," Dixon said. "But some of us on shorter contracts are getting bigger hits. Our concerns have been forwarded to administration."
The college would have been open the three days marked for furlough, Schuman said. Jan. 2 had been scheduled as a registration day for the winter semester. That date hasnow been changed to Jan. 6, he said.
Dixon said that while she understands the days were chosen so
as to have the least impact on students, the choice may do a greater disservice to the college and its budget woes.
"By tucking (furloughs) away so the public is not aware, it keeps the public unaware of the tremendous financial impact on the college," she said. "That bothers me."
Schuman said employees will not have wages deducted from their paychecks during the Christmas holiday. Deductions will probably be spread over six pay periods, beginning in February, he said.